Saturday, April 6, 2013

Recipes and ideas for Getting Our Rugrats to EAT MORE VEGGIES!!!!

As a father of 2 boys I haven't exactly set a good example for nutrition.  The juice fast has been a good opportunity to teach nutrition to all of us in the Juice Avenger abode.  We've found some good recipes, and ideas that have been slowly successful in bringing our picky little avengers into the fold.

Manipulation/Trickiness/Tactics  for dragging those picky little processed food junkies into accepting the smallest bit of juice and/or veggies: Some of the ideas we had to bring the kids in were a little out there.  Maybe we would sneak some carrot juice into their bowl of sugar flakes?  Replace their chocolate milk with beet juice?  If none of that worked we even considered juice-boarding. but we all know that never works!

Let them Drink Juice! To avoid prison and the award for worst father of the year I decided to take the kinder/gentler approach.  I let them help out.  Our littlest Avenger (AKA The Hulk....cause he likes to SMASH) likes to stand on his "helper stool" and drop the fruits and veggies into the juicer for us.  Often he's been excited to taste the juice that he helped to make, other times he's just happy that he got to SMASH something. Our 8 year old (Iron Man...because it's impossible to get him to try anything the first time) likes to create his own juices.  I had to be cautious that the first juice he helped with was not one that made US want to run screaming let alone the kids. But I find that letting them be creative gets them excited about what mom and dad are doing.  

As a result of letting them help we've found which juices they will accept.  Usually fruit juices.  This morning WE made, Grape, Apple, and Strawberry juice (recipe below).  I was pleasantly surprised that tiny Hulk asked for seconds.  As we've found a foundation for yummy kid juices it's time to start experimenting with additional veggies to add in to some juices.  Carrots and cucumbers are likely the easiest to begin with.

Not Just Juice:  We see no need to put our children on a juice fast.  It’s just a simple, fun, and tasty way to add in valuable nutrients.  But we didn’t lose sight of the goal; to add more fruits and vegetables to their diet, to give them the strong nutritional foundation that they need to avoid complications in the future.  My kids do enjoy some vegetables(mostly the starchy vegetables, like corn and potatos). One way we’ve found that they enjoy some of the better vegetables (brussel sprouts, broccoli, Asparagus, Cauliflower) is Roasted.  This leads to one of our favorite Recipes (not our original…just our favorite) Good luck!  We would love to hear what works for you!  1 DAY AND A LIFETIME TO GO!!!!
Cauliflower Popcorn!!!!!

Cauliflower Popcorn (link to other recipes):   It’s really just roasted cauliflower, but so cute, and so tasty!
1 head of Cauliflower (nutritional information) (did you know there are orange, and purple cauliflowers too?)
Cut or pull apart so that there are medium sized flowerets.  Not too small, but not too big (this is your preference. Try multiple sizes the first time, and see what works for you.

Mix: Place the cauliflower in a mixing bowl and pour in some generous olive oil. Don’t be stingy with the olive oil Avengers!  That stuff is so good for you, and a great anti-inflammatory!
Spices:  There are hundreds of different options here:  Just like with popcorn.  Here are some that we like. All should be flavored to your taste. We'd love to hear variations!

Salt and Pepper: 
Cinnamon, Tumeric, Salt, Pepper
Parmeasean Cheese, Salt, and Pepper.
Set the oven between 450 and 475
Cook 20 minutes, or until they are browning and crisp.


Hulk Smash Grape Avenger Juice:
20-30 Grapes -(Don't be fancy: whatever kind you have)
Juice, serve over ice