Adding microgreens to tasty foods- Win!
This recipe is a good example of a very tasty food that is quite palatable to even those who dislike veggies. A lot of our recipes are created to be inviting to those that do not normally eat vegetables. I have a few of them in my family, but I don’t give up easily! Desserts are tempting to almost anyone- who is going to turn down a cookie just because it has green things in it… well, unfortunately, there are adults as well as children that believe that they dislike vegetables in any shape or form, including specks in cookies. Our job is to change hearts and minds to increase health and nutrition!
Only 2% of teens eat enough green vegetables
Children in the United States between the ages of 1-10 are eating 50% less green vegetables than similar aged children 15 years ago. Only 2% of youth ages 13-17 eat enough green vegetables. Those statistics should make anyone pause. Brain and body health depend on getting the right kind of fuel. Microgreens can be an excellent tool to increase the consumption of vegetables in children, youth, and adults of all ages.
What do you do if your child doesn’t like vegetables?
Start where they are. Make the stuff with greens in it taste fantastic and serve them for snacks (check out the chocolate chip cookie recipe). Make treats like these peanut butter balls or ice cream with microgreens. Put a handful of chopped microgreens in the pancake batter and call it leprachaun pancakes.
One of the best tips is to encourage children to grow their own microgreens- they may be more willing to eat what they have grown themselves. Our Adventure Kits are perfect for children- and the subscription kits that will be the focus of our Kickstarter Campaign in just a few months will not only get them growing a new appreciation for microgreens, it will help them discover why they WANT to eat a few veggies every day as they learn about nutrition, biology, and other great STEAM ideas.
Here are a few more hints:
- Smile when you eat vegetables. Studies have shown that whey YOU smile when you eat vegetables, it affects your family- they are more willing to eat them also.
- Eat together. Numerous studies show that eating together not only is an important aspect of family life, but also tends to promote more sensible eating habits, especially consumption of healthy vegetables.
- Stay positive. Avoid forcing your kid to eat vegetables and punishing them when they don’t. Instead, use positive reinforcement by praising them when they do eat a few bites or finish their vegetables.
- Let your child experiment. There are some vegetables your kids will not like, and that’s okay! Let them walk around the produce section and choose a vegetable to try. Let your child know that when we try a new food, it sometimes takes trying it 10 times before our taste buds realize it is good. Experiment, but don’t give up too soon!
Here are a few creative ideas to try with your children:
And, of course, ice cream! This recipe uses fresh mint to flavor the cream, giving it a wonderfully subtle taste that is irresistible for mint lovers. This is not your supermarket ice cream aisle ice cream!
Fresh Mint Ice Cream with Pea Microgreens
- Ice cream maker
- 2 cup Heavy Cream
- 1 cup milk skim, 2% or full-fat. I use skim
- 1 cup packed, fresh mint leaves, coarsely chopped
- 4 egg yolks
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 4 oz. dark chocolate
- 2 oz. light tasting oil
- 1 cup pea microgreens, chopped fine
- Heat the cream and the milk on medium in a saucepan until just barely simmering
- Remove from heat and add the chopped mint leaves. Cover it and allow it to steep 6-12 hours in the refrigerator.
- Mix the egg yolks and sugar together well and set aside.
- Strain the mint leaves out of the cream and pour the cream back into a saucepan. Add the egg yolk/sugar mixture.
- Heat over low-medium heat, stirring almost constantly until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a metal spoon.
- Chill thoroughly- at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.
- Add chopped microgreens and churn according to your ice cream maker's directions.
- While the ice cream is 'doing its thing', melt the chocolate with the oil in a microwave, mixing every 15 seconds until smooth.
- Drizzle the chocolate in a thin stream into the ice cream when the ice cream is almost done but while it is still churning.
- Place in a container and freeze for at least 2 hours before serving.
How do YOU encourage children to eat vegetables? Do you have any great recipes that your children absolutely love-despite them being full of vegetables? Please leave a comment, below!