How do you get the little ones to eat more vegetables?
For me its about adding in the vegetables, the nutrients, the phytochemicals. The goodies that help them glow and flourish.
Get the kids to help you in the kitchen.
It is the most exciting thing to be standing next to mum using a child safe knife chopping and grating.
Get them sampling with you as they chop if they will, and they may be surprised at how sweet raw carrot is, how crunchy a red capsicum is and how cute little celery half moons are.
Whisper how this is a big girl/ big boy job and how clever they are to be helping you.
You can just add the vegetables to tea, or hide them if you will, but it’s lovely for them to be more visible, especially if the kids have helped you.
This is why a home made pizza is so perfect!
Make an appropriate pizza base, such as Nadia lims quinoa bases (added protein and nutrients) and pretend you have your very own Dominos in action!
Always a good idea to avoid having kids chopping tear jerkers such as red onions and these are nice precaramalised in a fry pan before they go into the oven.
Then place everything at child reach and ask them to layer the pizza. Make sure you have some fresh herbs from your garden that the kids have chopped up and have them as the “sprinkles“. Parsley and marjoram, oregano and basil are flourishing at this time of year. They add to the nutrients and help strengthen small immune systems.
If you have a juicer , get them to help you juice some yummy juice blends , such as orange and carrot and pop them in mini glasses with a straw and paper umbrella.
My kids were grumbling about having to include tomatoes on the pizza at lunchtime today, but then Millie commented how you couldn’t even see them when everything else was on top and they both agreed with my comment about how you probably couldn’t even taste them, if that was worrying them! And they didn’t taste them and they loved their pizzas!
How many of us mums sit down to a nourishing breakfast every day or a nutritious lunch even?
Most of the times we do eat an evening meal with the family, but many of us are shift workers and even that meal can be taken for granted. We pack the kids lunchboxes and feed them breakfast, we prep tea and then what do we do? We grab a takeaway coffee and a kids muesli bar, we grab a muffin at the supermarket or a chocolate bar at the petrol station. What does it take to feed ourselves properly?
The lack of a nutritious food supply to our bodies and the inclusion of sugar coated inflammatory foods ultimately leads to health problems that we all experience. Whether it is a lack of energy, alteration in mood and weight, an inability to cope with stress or more seriously diabetes, hypertension and heart problems , these are problems that can be avoided or improved with good nutrition.
But why do we do this to ourselves?
TIME would have to be the first thing that comes to mind.By the time we have done everything for everyone else we are exhausted. Its just easier to grab and go on our way to yet another event in our days.
SPACE would be another one, I often do not have room in the fridge for another lunchbox for myself.
Because we do this day after day, we can find women especially are achieving less than optimum fibre and essential fatty acids intakes, which has a huge effect on our moods, hormones and gut health.
What about the psychological impact that this can have on us, are we saying to ourselves that we are really not important enough for a decent meal?
Or are we saying we are just so adept at balancing life that we are ok with the quick snack, So superwoman like that we don’t need good food?
I think we need to stop being so busy and make time for ourselves in one million ways. I believe that we are so important to our children and partners and ourselves that we deserve the simple act of eating well at every meal. Lets start with eating well ladies and we will get to save the world another day.
I cook once and eat twice or often three times in my busy week. On the weekend I make up extra food when I am cooking. It takes little extra effort to double the amount of roast vegetables, rice and quinoa , to hard boil extra eggs and have an extra chicken breast steamed and ready to go.
Then on a Sunday night I meal prep 3 breakfasts and 3 lunches for myself as I am doing the kids lunches. Everything is out on the bench and easy to assemble. I repeat this again Wednesday for the rest of the week, honestly it takes about 20 mins and is a HUGE blessing to have delicious meals ready to go.
I love chia puddings and overnight oats for breakfast, they are easy as pie to assemble and I can change the ingredients to include seasonal choices. These beauties are low in sugar and contain good fats and fibre to keep me full for longer. For lunches I love Jar Salads-don’t get me started on the joys of using jars for meals. They are compact enough to fit in the door of the fridge and take up very little room.The glass is recyclable and toxin free and they are portable, just shake on a plate and enjoy.
Lunches always include a full complement of macronutrients to ensure I get the best out of my day, FATS, PROTEINS and complex CARBS such as kumera, pumpkin and grains.
I place a dressing in the bottom of the jar with a hard vegetable such as corn or chopped capsicum,then layer my choices, spiralizer carrots and zucchini, beetroot, tomatoes,proteins, nuts and a leafy vegetable on top. A sprinkle of seeds adds some beautiful micronutrients. Its really important to use a dressing you love and I like to use extra virgin olive oil as the fats supplied keep me feeling full longer. How about you try some jar breakfasts and lunches this week and let me know how you find fueling yourself beautifully impacts on your day! Here are some salad dressings to try..
Honey Mustard Dressing
2 tsp whole grain mustard 1 T honey 1 T red wine vinegar 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil salt and pepper to taste Combine all ingredients in a small jar and shake well, add 2-3 Tablespoons to each jar salad.
Lemon Tahini Salad Dressing
3 tsp Tahini 1/2 a lemon squeezed 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil 1/2 tsp salt freshly ground black pepper Again shake and enjoy. Jar Salads are individual and you are limited only by your imagination, I like to try and make a beautiful coloured salad including herbs from the garden, brightly coloured hummus and as many nuts and seeds as I can jam into the jar. But if you need a guide try this...
Layer in this order- Dressing Chopped capsicum or corn finely chopped cabbage-use a variety of colors a small grated or spiralised carrot or zucchini Cooked rice or quinoa Roasted vegetables Beans or lentils or shredded chicken A small handful of mixed leaves A T of herbs such as basil, mint and parsley 1 T of nuts and seeds, roasted if desired Hummus or hard boiled eggs to top
Overnight Chia puddings
3/4 cup of rolled oats 1/4 cup of chia seeds 2 tsp of vanilla 2 T of maple syrup 400mls of milk of choice 1/2 a cup of fruit
Place all the ingredients in a NutriBullet and blend until smooth. You can also just stir the first 5 ingredients then add the chopped fruit . Leave in the fridge for a few hours or overnight and then spoon into a separate bowl and garnish to serve. I love an extra blob of yoghurt, fruit, and nuts with a small drizzle of honey or granola.I always use Nadia Lims raspberry chia jam in my puddings for that little bit of delight.If I have the jam made up for the week then I omit the maple syrup in the pudding as the jam makes it sweet enough and sometimes I will omit the maple syrup anyway and pour it on the top. This amount should do 3 serves. I often will make these into little jars ready to grab and go or a big jar and decant each day, it depends on my week. Good eating beauties!