You have made the decision to grow your own vegetables. It's a lifestyle and health choice. You want the best for your family and there are no shortcuts on the way. Good for you!
So now you've got all these wonderful fresh vegetables growing in your garden how do you get the kids to eat them? We should be eating 5-9 servings of fruit and vegetables a day. Many adults don't get the full servings required and you know the kids are getting a fraction of that.
If you've got problems getting vegetables into the kids, try a few of these strategies...Start them young with a wide variety of tastes. If you get them between 2-4 years of age you're more likely to capture them for life.
Set a good example. If you snack on fruits and veggies, then your children are more likely to follow your lead.
Try to prepare interesting after school or between meal snacks. I used to prepare a selection of cut up fruit, dried fruit, raw vegetables and two squares of chocolate. Okay, the chocolate always went first, but then they moved on to the good stuff to fill up.
Keep mixing it up. Prepare new types of vegetables or prepare them in different ways. Let them try just a small bit. If they don't like it, fine. Just keep serving the stuff up.
Never make your dinner table a battle ground. It's not worth it. If they are not forced to eat something they hate, they are more likely to continue trying different foods.
When all else fails, disguise it. Shred some carrot or zucchini into pancakes or hash brown potatoes. Blend vegetables into soups, pasta sauces or on pizza.
Involve them in the process. Take them shopping and let them pick out the veggies. Have them help plan and prepare the meals. Get them into their own gardening project!
And for something really left field, try this sweets recipe.
I know it sounds really bad, but it's really good! It tastes like a veggie free zone, so if you really feel like you have to sneak it into family and friends, do it with dessert!
Different vegetables and fruits can be used in this recipe to vary it. You can add apple; chocolate; carrot; beetroot. Try your own varieties and see what happens.
The base recipe is this:
3 heaped tablespoons of butter
2 cups sugar
1 x 400g can condensed milk
Prepare a greased square slice pan or dish. Heat the butter and sugar very gently and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Add half a cup of finely shredded fruit or vegetable, then add the condensed milk.
Stir constantly and keep the heat low or your mixture will burn. After about 20 minutes your mixture will be bubbling throughout. If you want to add chocolate at this stage, you can. Six squares of cooking chocolate should be about right. Once it's completely blended throughout, pour into your dish and let it cool.
Cut into squares and enjoy!
Don't despair, just keep trying. You know that you're serving the best tasting vegetables on the planet when you grow them yourself organically. One fine day, your children will reminisce about that...
Judy Williams (http://www.no-dig-vegetablegarden.com) aspires to become a fulltime earth mother goddess. This site acts as a primer for all vegetable gardening aspects covering topics like how to build a garden, nurture seedlings, container gardening and composting.