Getting Your Family To Eat Vegetables

Sometimes getting your family to eat vegetables can be hard. Here at our house, I typically make meals that are either for my husband and myself, my husband, son and myself, or for three kids all 2 years or under. When asked which one is the hardest to cook for…..my response is almost always the three of us….my husband, son and myself. Shocking right? I bet you would have thought the three kids. Here is why I respond the way I do.

For one, my son is not a vegetable eater!!! Even though he grew up having to try whatever the veggie was that night for dinner, he is not a veggie eater. I think this may happen to all teenagers and then they don’t venture back to vegetables until later in life maybe. Who knows, all I know is he is too old now, at 22 years old, for me to say he HAS to try the vegetable of the night. However, that is not to say he still does not get them in his diet when he eats at home. It a guarantee, if mom is cooking there is a veggie mixed in the meal somewhere that is very difficult to pick out or eat around.

My husband on the other hand, likes some vegetable and some he will not touch….okra for instance. So in this instance I can work around this much easier…..we just don’t have okra or I save a vegetable I know he dislikes for when he is traveling or not going to be home.

Here are a few tricks I have found that have made getting my family to eat vegetables a bit easier. One, mix them into casseroles. Cooked spinach can be mixed into almost any casserole or soup and is nearly impossible to pick out.

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Roasting a vegetable adds a whole different spin on flavor than boiling does. Boiling vegetables is very unexciting and bland in my opinion. Take for instance broccoli…..roasted with whole garlic cloves and a bit of salt…. it is fabulous and even my little kiddos eat the florets up like they are candy.

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Sauce them up. My son loves chicken curry and I used to serve this with mixed veggies on the side. Now, I add the vegetables right to the chicken and add the curry sauce to the entire dish. He eats them and admits they are good this way. Win for mom!!!!

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Add them to breakfast egg cups….no one thinks to have veggies at breakfast but it sure is easy to add them in where they least expect it. My daycare kiddos love these veggie egg cups and oftentimes we will make them together.

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Instead of meat marinara over pasta, try veggie or meat and veggie marinara. The pickier they are when it comes to vegetables, the smaller you should cut the pieces of vegetable to ensure they can not pick around them. Add some cheese to the top before serving and I would bet they will all try it if not gobble it all up.

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Try adding vegetables to sandwiches….like beef with pepperocini peppers

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or our favorite here is turkey reuben sandwiches.

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Don’t be afraid to try different things. We fell in love with lemon shrimp with capers and spinach. It was enjoyed by all of us even the spinach haters in my house.

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Sometimes even letting your children help prepare the meals will encourage them to try what they made. And one word of advice…..if you make a face at something you don’t like they are almost always going to agree. So if at all possible, try your veggies without expression and let them decided for themselves whether it is good or bad.

 

Weekend Snapshots: Farmers Market/ Ice Age Trail Hike/Pier Walk

With temps in the high 80’s Saturday and humidity levels up there I decided it was time to get some things done around the house this weekend. I was feeling very Martha Stewart like for some reason. My husband tried really hard to get me to go fishing and wade through the river with him but I refused. I know from past experience that this river has snakes along the edge and I am NOT getting stuck in a river with no way of running for my life to escape these slithery reptiles. He was on his own and so was I, which sometimes is pretty nice. First, I made a trip to my favorite farmers market for some veggies. IMG_1764

After that I came home threw in the laundry and started cooking and preparing things for the week ahead. IMG_1772 I then rearrange my workout area to make room for my husbands new inversion table. He was taking up space in my yoga area so we needed to fix this asap.  IMG_1749 Then I cleaned the entire house before it was time to make a nice dinner to be eaten alone. I decided lemon, dill, shrimp fettuccine sounded fabulous with sauteed zukes and onion from the market. Yummmmmm!

After that it was a 3 mile walk in the heat of summer. I love summer, the hotter the better.

Sunday brought another hot, humid day. Although, that did not stop us from hiking 5 miles down the Ahnapee State Trail also know as the Ice Age Trail.  IMG_1780

We began todays hike at HWY 42 and Cty Rd H. There is a very nice parking area with the cleanest public bathrooms I have ever seen in WI.

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We found a few geocaches along this stretch and only one snake. One too many that is:)

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The trail in this area is completely flat, crushed rock. We saw no other hikers but we did come across a few bikers. It was pretty warm and buggy but still felt great to be on a trail again.

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After our hike we made our way down the road a ways to Kewaunee, WI for ice cream and a cool walk down the pier.

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Then it was time to head home for the day.

It turned out to be a great weekend. The sun was shining, my husband did his fishing, I did my cooking/relaxing/cleaning, and we hiked a good hike in the heat preparing for our upcoming trip.

While On Dry Land We….

This was a water free weekend for us and I can assure you we do not hope for many of these. Even though we did have some fun this weekend, it just did not happen in a body of water anywhere.

After planning all week to finally get our son to a beach and let him see if he was able to paddle a recreational kayak (not his whitewater kayak quite yet) mother nature seemed to have a better idea for us. He has not touched a paddle since his accident and misses kayaking so much. However, with storms predicted mid afternoon, cloudy conditions  and wind on Saturday…this all meant the beach was not a good idea. That was ok, but then Sunday mother nature thought it would be funny to predict a high of 72 degrees (which it never reached) in the middle of August….which also meant the beach was off limits. I would have froze. And in our home, when mom is not happy no one is happy.

Instead we made a trip to our favorite veggie market Saturday.

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Stocked up on cucumbers, onions, tomatoes, corn, zucchini and one peach for my hubby. Then we came home and started cooking. First we made fire roasted salsa,

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then refrigerator pickles,

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and I used a wonderful idea from Jen and decorated a store brand hummus for a get together we had planned for Saturday night. I also plan to make our favorite zucchini bread this week with my daycare kiddos. They love to do cooking activities.

While we are on the topic of food, let’s talk about our dinner plans that happened Saturday. We invited our neighbor over for some taste sampling before our camping trip we will be taking together for the first time in the near future. She had never had a freeze dried meal and we have an entire case for emergency purposes. You know, in case I have a bad day and feel the need to hike up a cliff away from it all….not the natural disaster type of emergencies, we are not that organized here:) Anyways, we picked out three of our favorites and prepared them at home for dinner and we each had a little of all of them. Along with the meals, I also served that jazzed up hummus, salsa, chips, veggies, and spinach dip.

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Her reaction to the meals before preparing them were amusing but when she was served a sampling of each she was even more skeptical of the outcome. Much to our surprise each meal passed her approval.

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She is even talking about trying a few of her own now that she has a little experience with this form of food.

Switching the topic from food to camping brings me to my wonderful buy of the weekend. Since our last camping trip at Copperfalls State Park, my husband and I decided to invest in two self inflating sleeping mats. I think we are either getting old or the ground is getting harder, either way we needed something to make us feel more mobile in the morning. Well, I am proud to say, I came across a spectacular buy and could not believe it when I found them. We shopped around locally testing out various mats and had our minds set on Therm-A-Rest  Basecamp mats.

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Although, at our local sporting goods store they were quite costly coming in at $109.00 each, so I came home to research how cheap I could find them online. The best I could do online was $98.00 for the size we wanted and that was still to much for my frugal mind to spend. Then I just happen to drive past another store near the grocery store I needed to go to on Saturday. I thought, what the heck, it does not hurt to check, right? In I went, found the correct size right away and saw a red sale sticker for $69.99 and could not believe my eyes. I even had the sales associate do a price check and he happily came back and said, yes that is correct….SOLD I took two immediately. So of course we had to do a trial run and see if they would be comfy all night on hard ground. So hubby and I camped out on the floor Saturday night and could not have been happier. No hip or back pain at all. I was thrilled:)

As for Sunday, we decided to take a drive to one of our favorite disc golf courses. It’s a little bit of a drive but worth it. I will share all the good information later this week regarding the course and how we did.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Roasted Brussel Sprouts With Bacon

We love roasted fresh veggies in our house. One of our favorites is brussel sprouts. Give this recipe a try with your next meal.

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Roasted Brussel Sprouts With Bacon

Clean and cut the stems off your brussel sprouts.

Cut each sprout in half and place the entire bunch into boiling water for about 3-4 minutes. Let them drain on paper towel cut side down for at least 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare your pan and preheat your oven to 450. Cover it with tin foil for easy clean up and spray lightly with nonstick cooking spray. Lay your brussel sprouts cut side down on your prepared pan and sprinkle them with a little garlic powder.

Bake them for 10 minutes.

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Remove them, turn each sprout over and sprinkle them with half a package of bacon bits and place them back into the oven for another 10 minutes.

Enjoy!