5 Ways to Add More Plants To Your Plate
In today’s blog article we are going to help you and your family add more plants to your plate!
But first, I have questions! Do you find the kids are getting bored of their meals? Are you struggling to get more vegetables on their plates? Do you find it’s harder to try something new and still be sure you’ve got enough vegetables, vitamins and minerals? Do you find the family is getting sick of eating the same thing over and over again?
If you are nodding your head right now, you are in the right place to finding out easy ways to add more plants your plate.
Sometimes the kids look at their plates and say “Mama? Carrots, again?” And that’s normally my signal that I need to start mixing it up a bit. After years of practice and too many hours in the kitchen, I am pretty confident to say that our plates are always full of plants and happiness.
Here are my top 5 tips to add more plants to your plate:
This is an easy favorite of mine (especially for breakfast). Adding veggies and fruits to muffins, cookies, and pancakes is such an easy way to make you feel like you are eating a treat instead of a raw veggie and it gets the kids excited about what they are munching! Also a great way to include grains and seeds into their diets. Some great plant examples to add into your baked goods are apples, spinach, carrots, and zucchini.
The key to a healthy plate is more than just sneaking veggies into your kids meals. I find that when my children help me with the preparation, and understand that their muffin has zucchini or carrots inside, a lesson is learned. Veggies should not just be hidden inside things. They should be loud, proud, and celebrated!
Make it fun!
Make your plants – FUN! This is so ideal for kids! Cutting your veggies into shapes makes the kids LOVE it. Hearts, stars, dinosaurs, their favorite cartoon characters (depending on your knife skills) will make the kids excited about seeing their plates and more prone to eating them up! For parents, make your vegetables into noodles or rice (I LOVE ZUCCHINI NOODLES), or make it into pasta! Who doesn’t love pasta, eh? (Also it makes for a fun and unique pasta themed date night – Who doesn’t love GREEN pasta?)
Smoothies are one of the easiest ways to jam-pack so many delicious vegetables into one nutritious drink, adding the perfect amount of sweet fruits and wholesome fruits will make for a refreshing liquid and healthy meal. I also like to do this with as many sauces as I can and try to sneak seeds in, as well for some more nutrients into things like pastas sauces, marinades and more.
Be sure to check out some of these smoothies and sauce recipes that are full of nutrition below.
Trying something new normally always gets everyone excited. Even when you just cook it. Finding new recipes and favorites will make mealtime fun. Try to make one new meal a week to keep the menu rotating and fresh. I like to do this on Sundays and it always ensures our meals never get boring! Your palate needs to be entertained. Get creative with eggplants, mushrooms, squash and anything else you find at the market, make a unique plant inspired taco night with all of the fixings! Take the norm and make it unusual by adding new spices and toppings. (Exploring my blog here for a new recipe to help you).
Ask the family what they want
Sounds easy enough but it does help! Make a meal-time voting checklist for the week and see what the family is craving! If they all want eggplant but hate carrots… stop making carrots (sneak them into those muffins & smoothies) and start making eggplant boats. This way everyone is getting what they need and everyone is spending their kitchen time wisely. Giving everyone a say during meal-time will not only inspire everyone to get creative in the kitchen but it also makes meal-time more meaningful and motivates everyone to enjoy their entire plant-filled plate of nourishing healthy food.
Bonus tip: JUICING! We all know I love juicing and it’s such an easy way to get so many plants and fruits throughout the day by sipping on your favorite one continuously. If you’ve got a juicer, use it. You won’t regret it. (Here is my current favourite juice recipe.)