Feeding Peter Piper, the Picky Pepper: Tip #3

Your kids have now had 3 servings of veggies without even knowing it… the Popeye smoothie, zucchini pancakes and carrot cupcakes. So now it’s time to make sure they haven’t filled up too much before dinner. Tip #3:

Sayonara Snacktime! Make sure your kids are really hungry come mealtime. If they pounded Cheez-Its and lemonade at 4 PM, chances are that the broccoli casserole at dinner is going to look extra gross. Kids should go at least 3 hours between meals. The exception is if the previous meal was barely touched. In this case, avoid low blood sugar rages by offering a small snack a couple hours before the next meal. My rule is that a snack has to be an item i’d be happy with as part of a meal. Do Cheez-Its go with broccoli casserole? Right. And going even above & beyond, try to make the snack something of vegetable matter. When the heads start banging the walls, here are the snacks I offer:

  • Steamed, chilled carrot coins. Dipped in hummus for an extra punch.
  • Just Peas. They taste like popcorn, but they’re dried peas. I ate these before having kids, I swear.
  • Veggie Booty. Robert’s American Gourmet makes other yummy snacks, but these have powdered spinach, broccoli, kale, carrot, cabbage, and parsley. If your kids don’t like those veggies in whole form, they’ll no doubt rejoice in their powdered byproducts. Especially when they taste like cheese doodles.
  • Nuts
  • Whole, and dried fruit (dried mango goes over especially well in our house & is full of beta-carotene)
  • Raw veggies (cherry tomatoes are a hit)
  • Beans. Drained & rinsed, straight out of the can.
  • Edamame. Fun to pop out of the pods, and easy to pop in those cute little mouths.

While there are certainly even more ways to get healthy foods into your kids, including scare tactics, cookie cutters, and toothpicks, we’ll leave it at these 3 tips for now. Please share your successes, ideas, and requests for further tips in the Comments section. Happy eating!

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