By: PEATER, the Original Green Pea Cookie
Vegan Action has a special guest post by Peater, a Certified Vegan cookie created by Peasures, Inc.! In this post, Peater will be talking about a big challenge many families face: how to get kids to eat their greens and veggies!
Hi, Pea Family! Peater here.
If there’s one thing I noticed about the USA, it’s that people get stressed out a lot. But stress is not good for your health! It messes up your skin! It messes up your heartbeat! It messes up your mood and your day! (At least when you are stressed, though, you seem to always have something to talk about, but that’s beside the point.)
Anyway, I am here to bring you some tips to reduce long-term stress in the kitchen, at least when it comes to little kids. Imagine a boy, age 5. Let’s call him Little Johnny Boy! Little Johnny Boy is a picky eater. You wish that he was a pea-cky eater instead, right? Healthy = hap-pea = stress free!
Often times people try to hide green vegetables or their extracted nutrients somewhere so that folks like Little Johnny Boy won’t even know they are eating them. For instance, putting good stuff in a gummy bear vitamin or a kid’s nutritional beverage. That’s fine and all, but in my humble o-pea-nion, it’s a more affective approach to be open and honest with your kids so that you get them excited about greens — or about anything you want to encourage. This way they’ll want to make healthier choices down the road, even when those healthy choices are not in hiding!
- #1: Mix vegetables in with a meal they like. That doesn’t quite mean lying about what’s in there 🙂 My favorite picky eater DW decided she liked spinach when it was served in a Little Bo Peep Pot Pie.
- #2: Knowledge is Power. Simply explain why vegetables and greens are good for you! Understanding that eating a nutrient-packed diet will help Little Johnny Boy grow taller and stronger, like Popeye, and will help him feel good about eating well.
- #3: Engage Curiosity. Take a field trip to a farm or farmer’s market. Your kids can learn about where their food comes from and truly understand how it gets from “farm to table”…hey! Maybe you’ll learn something too! I know I keep learning.
Here’s me being sold at one of our amazing local farmer’s markets!
- #4: Create Food Art. Changing the way food looks can make it more appealing to kids, and bringing a new perspective to the plate can get kids excited about eating healthy foods. Check out Pinterest for some cute and
healthy vegan bento box options, like this carrot rice bun box!
- #5: Offer them greens for dessert! They’re not a substitute for vegetables of course, but it’s a good way to make greens a little less im-pea-midating! Mix the vegetables in with brownies, ice cream, or even cookies! Green Pea Cookies are a vegan cookie made from roasted green peas. Check them–including myself–out over at my home: www.greenpeacookie.com 🙂
In conclusion: Food is fun! After all, you spend years and years of your life eating: why get stressed during it…or before it…or after it? Plus, if you send positive vibes to your food, and to your kids’ food, it will be more nourishing. The opposite is also true. I’m just saying! So there, I hope these suggestions will help you have a great day and be a hap-pea cookie!
Peas and love,
Want to read more by Peater? Check out the little guy’s diary entries over at the Green Pea Cookie website!