(Family Features) When it comes to promoting a healthy diet, it can be difficult to convince children to eat their fruits and vegetables. The last thing you want to do is take away from quality family time by persuading picky eaters to complete a nutritious meal, especially at the dinner table.
Here are some strategies to get kids excited about adding vegetables to their favorite dinner meals.
- Spark interest by getting kids involved. It’s easy to get kids more engaged in mealtime by including them while you’re preparing and cooking family meals. Teach kids how to measure out herbs and spices, or have them pick out their favorite vegetable to serve with dinner.
- Embrace variety to keep dinnertime boredom from creeping in. Just like adults, kids can become bored with the same old rotation of veggies every week. Branch out from the basics by tapping into the 40 different vegetable varieties.
- Introduce new foods slowly, pairing them on the table with familiar foods. It can be difficult to get little ones to try new foods – especially fruits and veggies, so introduce foods slowly. Add in new flavors and tastes alongside their favorite dishes. Try serving your family’s favorite dips, salsa or hummus with veggies to get them more willing to expand their taste preferences.
Starting at a young age will help kids establish healthy, well-rounded eating habits to last a lifetime. There’s no better time than dinnertime to start modeling smart behaviors for them to follow.
Here’s a recipe to help get you started:
1 orange, juiced and zested (about 1/3 cup juice and 2 teaspoons zest)
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 pound thin-sliced chicken breast
Salt and ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 bag Birds Eye Recipe Ready Broccoli Stir-Fry
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons minced ginger
1 1/4 cups low sodium chicken stock or broth
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
Cilantro for garnish
Blend orange juice, soy sauce and cornstarch in small bowl; set aside.
Season chicken with salt and pepper and dredge lightly in flour.
Heat oil over medium-high heat and cook chicken, turning once, 10 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Remove from skillet and keep warm.
In same skillet add broccoli, mix and cook, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender. Add garlic and ginger and cook 1-2 minutes or until just fragrant. Stir in orange juice mixture, orange zest, chicken stock and rice wine vinegar. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes or until sauce is bubbly and starts to thicken.
Add chicken back to pan and let flavors combine 1-2 minutes.
Sprinkle with cilantro before serving.
For more recipes and ideas for incorporating more veggies into your family’s diet, visit www.birdseye.com.