I will be 100% honest with you: at the time of writing this post, I do not have children. BUT, I have spent years counseling parents and clients and patients on how to help their kids eat more plants. AND, I have spent even more years learning from experts in the field on how they find the most success with even the pickiest eaters. So, these are simply a collection of tips I have found to work well for the families in my community.
1. Make it fun!
I am well past the age of being referred to as a “kiddo” but I still love grazing trays! Check out these fun ideas from my friends Jenna Rude (founder of Raised on Plants) and Lauren Kovacs (founder of Wholesome Eats & Sweets).
2. Get them involved.
Involve your kids in the meal prep and grocery shopping process! Even if it’s just for a small part of it, they’ll learn what goes into preparing a meal and it gives you a chance to teach them what each ingredient offers for them. I LOVE the below suggestions from @kids.eat.in.color on how to reframe the conversation about what each color does for your body.
3. They’ll eat it if they grow it!
Traditional gardens are great, but they take so long from planting the seeds to eating the food that kids can lose interest quickly. But a Tower Garden uses aeroponic technology, which—compared to soil gardening—has been shown to increase yields by as much as 30% and triple the speed of plant growth, while using only 10% of the water and space. Check out the video below to see how fast it grows.
If you don’t believe me when I say growing your own food with your family will help get kids excited about eating more plants, just watch this quick video below from Stephen Ritz, founder of The Green Bronx Machine.
4. Become a part of the Healthy Starts for Families program.
I started as a kid in this program over 20 years ago. That means I’ve been getting 20-30 fruits and veggies into my body every day since then. It’s literally 30 different fruits and veggies, picked at the peak of ripeness, flash frozen and ground into a powder. Don’t believe me? Check it out here. Want to see the science? You’ll find that right on the website: here. Check out the results from kids of over 1.5 million families who have participated in this program:
5. Keep offering variety.
Kids’ taste buds are constantly evolving and developing. Just because they didn’t like broccoli last week doesn’t mean they won’t like it 2 weeks from now. And if they are getting all 30 fruits and veggies in our favorite plant powders every day, you might even notice they start to try new things more often! Want to get your kids excited about trying new plants? Check out Have a Plant’s database, where you can search for a new fruit or veggie your family can try. They even include nutrition info, storage tips, and recipe ideas!
6. Spiked with plants!
This is where you may disagree with me. But I really do believe that the tiny ounce of deceit surrounding these ideas will result in lifelong health habits that will long out-weigh the risk of a small about of deceit.
Smoothies: you can hide SO much in a smoothie. Here are some of my favorite “Super Smoothie” (or milkshake….whatever the kiddo in your life gets excited about) combinations. You could probably use any protein powder in place of the JP Complete mix. That is the only smoothie mix / protein powder that we have used for over 7 years because it’s just that good!
I hope you found some of these ideas and resources helpful! As always, please reach out with any questions – that’s what I’m here for!