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It’s hard enough to get your kids to eat vegetables at dinner, so the thought of trying to get them to eat veggies at breakfast too seems like too much work.
Stay with me, mama.
When kids eat vegetables at every meal including breakfast, they’ll get the nutrition they need for healthy growth and development and to help prevent serious health conditions as they get older. Vegetables are also filled with fiber which will help kids stay satiated and may prevent them from gaining too much weight.
Serving vegetables at every meal teaches kids what a healthy meal looks like. And the more opportunities they have to eat vegetables, the more likely they will.
Eating vegetables at breakfast sets the tone for the day and sets the stage for a lifetime of healthy eating.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends kids, like adults, eat vegetables at every meal and snack. Depending on your kid’s age, they need between 1 and 3 cups of vegetables a day but studies show kids aren’t coming close.
According to a June 2017 study in the journal Pediatrics, toddlers are more likely to eat french fries than green vegetables on any given day and many kids go days without eating a single vegetable.
Although it may not be easy at first, you can get your kids to eat more vegetables and eat them at breakfast. Here are 7 ideas to get you started.
1. Green Smoothies or Green Juices
I’m not a fan of pureeing vegetables and sneaking them into meals so your kids will eat them when you make a green smoothie or a green juice, it’s no secret what they’re consuming.
Smoothies and juices are a great way to feed kids vegetables for breakfast and get several servings in at once. A good rule of thumb when making smoothies or juices is to use 80 percent vegetables and 20 percent fruit.
Pumpkin is one of the healthiest foods you can feed your kids so I was so excited when—after interviewing Danielle Walker of AgainstAllGrain.com—I discovered her delicious recipe for Paleo Pumpkin Chia Seed Pudding.
If you’re trying to avoid gluten or simply looking for new breakfast options, try it out. My kids loved it and it was so quick and easy to make.
Eggs are so versatile and lend themselves to almost any vegetable you have on hand, raw or cooked.
Add vegetables to scrambled eggs or make a veggie omelet, frittata, quiche or egg “muffins.”
4. Avocado Toast
High in fiber, and vitamins B6 and C and healthy fats, avocado (a fruit) is a nutritional powerhouse that will keep your kids feeling full until lunch and pairs well with many types of vegetables.
Start with your favorite bread, spread the avocado and add slices of cucumber, peppers or radishes, for example.
5. A Side of Vegetables
Instead of—or in addition to—fruit, serve your kid’s favorite breakfast with a side of leftover vegetables, cut up crudité or even vegetable soup.
6. Pancakes and Waffles
Before you pour your batter onto the griddle, fold in shredded carrots, zucchini, onion or yellow squash for a delicious, fiber-filled and healthy breakfast.
7. Veggie Hash
Dice up your kid’s favorite vegetables or last night’s leftovers and add eggs or beans for a healthy, protein and fiber-filled breakfast.