10 fun and easy ideas for making veggies a part of every family meal.
1. Make it a game: Take the Veggie Pledge to help your whole family eat at least one more vegetable a day for 30 days. Kids can color a leaf on the Green Giant daily to track the veggies they’re eating—and have fun doing it.
2. Be veggie ready: Capture the goodness of fresh vegetables without the prep work by always keeping a bag or two of frozen veggies at home. (Same goes for stocking your pantry with shelf-stable veggies!) Having corn, peas, green beans, mixed vegetables and broccoli on hand makes planning great meals (like our cheesy bow ties and broccoli Alfredo or Italian sausage and orzo skillet) a snap.
3. Try different preparations: Notoriously finicky, kid palates can bend with the wind, the barometric pressure, the time of day. On the plus side, they’re open to the power of suggestion, and it helps to have a few tricks up your sleeve. If your child passes on raw zucchini slices, maybe a matchstick slice might appeal on a different day. Sometimes the simplest preparation creates an amazing side dish or snack out of proportion to the effort involved. Roasting draws sweetness out of ordinary root veggies, like in these maple roasted vegetables.
4. Veggies as secret ingredient: There are infinite ways to hide vegetables in everything from baked goods to casseroles, but don’t underestimate the cover-up capabilities of the versatile smoothie (our super strawberry smoothies are a great option)? Or sneak in some mashed sweet potato or pumpkin into kid-approved favorites—like in this three cheese pumpkin macaroni and cheese).
5. Get kids cooking: Give budding chefs the Betty Crocker’s Kids Cook! cookbook full of fun recipes and ideas, and seek out specially designed kids’ kitchen tools to make kitchen tasks fun and safe.
6. Try something new: Sugar snap peas can be an energizing snack—and so much fun to eat. Toddlers love to discover the tiny little peas hidden inside each crunchy green pod. Simply steam and serve with a spicy carrot hummus for an easy snap-pea snack or try fresh sugar snaps with sesame.
7. Bring on the surprise: Give breakfast-for-dinner a wholesome spin by packing veggies in a classic dish that’s flavorful, fun and totally unexpected, like these veggie pancakes.
8. Good-for-you snacks: Use snack time to reinforce healthy habits for eating foods. Sweet potato fries are packed with nutrients, and most kids will gladly gobble them up. For 99 more great ideas, see The Betty 100: Snacks.
9. Revolutionize lunchtime: Turn a veggie-rich diet into a work of edible art. Create your own Japanese bento box, the compartmentalized lunch kit, by cutting sandwiches into fun shapes using cookie cutters or making faces with vegetables. Round out the meal with compartments for veggies in cupcake liners or matchstick carrots, bell pepper or zucchini strips with plain yogurt, cucumber roll-ups and grape tomatoes.
10. Reimagine takeout night: With its savory flavors, Asian food tends to be a kid-favorite. Brown rice and chicken breasts make our healthified cashew chicken and broccoli a crowd-pleaser—and includes two easy-to-enjoy vegetables to speed up the meal and balance the plate.