Sunday, July 17, 2011

Carrots are Food and Friends

In an effort to continue promoting a healthy lifestyle for people birth through adulthood, Mama, Inc. is researching methods to introduce healthy eating habits early in life so they will become permanent adult habits.
Somehow vegetables have gotten a bad reputation and young children more often than not wrinkle up their noses when offered carrot sticks and cucumber slices for snacks. Alternately, bribes of unhealthy sweets establish a pattern of corruption, payola and graft with parents, teaching immoral and unethical methodologies aka the end justifies the means.
Stop being push overs to your kids. Give them what they are supposed to eat without compromise. When they get hungry, they will eat what is available.
Recipes to help establish balanced meals are fun and kids can be taught good cooking habits early on, too. Here are some examples:
1.   Cucumber ice cream: Toss in a few mint leaves for a summer refresher. Minty freshness will taste yummy. You may want to dispose of the cucumber seeds first.
2.   Kids will eat almost anything with tomato sauce on it. And there is a veggie serving in itself. For added fiber, cut cereal bars into rotini shapes and spoon pizza sauce over them. Cheese is optional but a great source of calcium.
3.   Get out the juicer. Light colored veggies juiced up to look like milk, such as cauliflower and turnips, can go over nutritious cereal such as Special K (K for Kale). Add parsnips for a nippy change of pace. Vanilla can give a sweeter flavor.
4.   Pizza is always a kid fave. Sliced up carrots sprinkled with oregano will pass for pepperoni. Spinach and collard greens look like spices when cut up.
5.   Dip celery sticks into chocolate as edible dessert chopsticks. Have a race to see who can pick up the most peas. Winner gets choice of pancake additive- shredded carrots or diced peppers.
6.   Hide a few colored frosting sprinkles among lettuce leaves and have the kids find the bugs.
7.   Pea soup is yummy, especially over pancakes or waffles. Top with a cherry for a color contrast.
8.   Now for juice. The trend is for Cran- everything. I’ll bet you never drank CranPruneGrape.
9.   How about AvacadoApple?
That’s enough to get started. Let your imagination fly.
So you see, veggies are easy to incorporate into kids’ diets. And for exercise, chase them down the street brandishing a handful of broccoli.

Mama says, “ Yummy for the tummy keeps the brain from getting scummy.”