We eat pretty healthy in my house. 80% of my personal diet is plant-based and my kids understand the importance of a healthy diet and appreciate how they feel when they eat well. But, kids will be kids and they fight me on the veggie front a lot. Shocking, I know. They love fruit so getting enough of that is not a problem but those leafy greens and other colorful veggies are a problem.
Up until about 6 months ago, I made salads often to go with our dinner. What’s better than raw, whole foods, right? Especially in the summer. My husband doesn’t like tomatoes, onions or peppers so that limited what I could put in the salad and I had to get creative. Sometimes, I made one big salad in a bowl and sometimes I made a salad bar so hubby and kids could make their own. Everyone would eat it but I usually had to remind them and there was always leftovers.
I figure I spent a good 20 minutes prepping a salad three or four nights a week and for what? So I could grumbling at the dinner table when I reminded them to fill their bowls? Why was I fighting this? I hated that getting a good dose of vegetables was drudgery for them. It shouldn’t be this hard and unpleasant.
Then I had a vegetable epiphany…
It was more like a “duh” moment actually.
Everyone in my house loves raw carrot sticks and hummus. We have it as a snack often. The kids even take it in their lunches. They like a few other veggies like broccoli, cherry tomatoes and cucumber but carrots seem to be the gold standard for raw vegetable snacks. So one day for dinner I put out a bowl of fresh raw carrot sticks and hummus instead of a salad.
I thought my family would think I was being lazy but they loved it! It was so much easier on me and it was completely gone before dinner was over. This has now become my new norm. I switch it up sometimes with different veggies and dips and sometimes apple slices. And while this isn’t at EVERY meal, it has made everything so much more pleasant.
The lesson here… Don’t fight it based on an idea of what you think a meal should be or needs to be. It just makes being healthy miserable. Rethink your meal plans, get creative and make it easy on yourself.