How to Get Your Kids to Eat Kale
(and Other Yucky Vegetables)
Let’s face it……kids are stubborn. They don’t understand the importance of a well-balanced diet. They don’t understand their sicknesses and crankiness could be improved by eating that “yucky” green broccoli. I’ve prepared vegetables covered with butter, salt, and yes, even sugar, to only have my three little ones turn their nose’s up in disgust. Desperate and exhausted from dealing with “vitamin deficient” tantrums, I decided it was time to get sneaky.
My “aha” moment came one day while taking part in my every day, multi-tasking, mommy duties. At this particular point in time it was a typical Sunday afternoon. I was busy preparing chili and spaghetti to have in the fridge for the week, packing lunches for the kids for school the next day, and blending some vegetables to make veggie ice cubes to use in my smoothies. Lainey (my middle child) LOVES to be with me in the kitchen and asked if she could help.
As we worked she rambled on with her usual Lainey chit-chat. While rinsing the veggies she exclaimed, “Gross, these leaves (kale) are nasty,” which was directly followed by, “Yum, I can’t wait to eat chili, though!” My wheels started turning. “Hmmmmm……I wonder what would happen if I put some of these in the chili/spaghetti?” I added a few already frozen cubes and guess what? THEY NEVER REALIZED IT! How did they not know, you ask? By finely chopping the veggies in a blender. When I blend my vegetables, I use a Nutribullet. The vegetables are so small that they looked likes spices in the chili.
How to make Veggie Cubes
To make the cubes you first wash your vegetables. For a better clean I will mine with Apple Cider Vinegar (I use Braggs brand) / water mixture). After spraying allow them to sit for 5 minutes. Then rinse.
Next, fill your Nutribullet cup 3/4 full of vegetables, add water to the “max” fill line, attach the blade, and blend for 45-60 seconds. If you find any chunks or large pieces of vegetables just reattach the cup to the base and blend for another to 30 to 45 seconds.
After blending, remove the blades and pour your liquefied mixture into ice cube trays. The large cup that comes with the Nutribullet will typically fill 1 and 1/2 trays. If you don’t want to make ice cubes simply pour the blended veggies straight into the soup or meal you are preparing.
After pouring into the ice trays place the trays in the freezer and allow the mixture to harden. Once they are completely frozen pop the cubes in a freezer bag to store for your next meal!
When using the frozen cubes I find green ones(kale, spinach, broccoli, green beans) work best when added to soups or other meals that include tomato sauce such as spaghetti or lasagna. Due to their light colors, blending veggies such as carrots, squash, cauliflower, and mushrooms are ideal when mixing with something cheese based such as macaroni and cheese. I’ve even let the cubes melt and added the liquid to hamburger/turkey meat for meatloaf, burgers, and tacos. The possibilities are endless!
Buy vegetables in bulk for cheaper prices and prepare all at once! It’s definitely a cheap way to make sure your kiddos (and husband) are getting the nutrition they need!
Tip: I add the veggie cubes to the foods when the meal is close to being done. This way the nutrients are preserved as much as possible (cooking takes out some nutritional value). This also allows time for the cubes to melt and warm to an appropriate temperature.