June 9, 2015 | Home >Healthy Kids > In the News >Get your kids to eat more veggies — the easy way!
Get your kids to eat more veggies — the easy way!
June 9, 2015 | Home >Healthy Kids > In the News >Get your kids to eat more veggies — the easy way!

Get your kids to eat more veggies — the easy way!

Are you satisfied with your child’s veggie intake? Are they meeting the recommended standard of 5 – 7 servings per day? Are they getting a good variety? Would you like to have your kid eat/devour more veggies? — without complaining or arguing?!  <— That’s the key, am I right?!

Often as parents we try to sneak veggies into our kids diets. Though I don’t really like to call it sneaking; I like to call it creative cooking — creating a meal that is nourishing and that my family loves (and will finish).  Some of my favorite ways to add in more veggies are with recipes like: green smoothie pancakes, butternut squash mac & cheese, salmon chowder, veggie tacos, etc… I think it’s so important to introduce our kids to a variety of fruits and veggies early on in life so that they establish good healthy habits young that they can carry with them into adulthood. Teaching my daughter to live a happy, healthy life is why I started my blog in the first place!

However, despite my creativity, I have had a super hard time getting my daughter to even try (let alone like) bell peppers. They are one of my absolute favorite veggies — raw, eaten like an apple, sliced in salads, roasted, stuffed, you name it… I adore bell peppers!

bell pepper

Well inspiration struck when I was at a recent conference about the health benefits of peanuts.  I could go on for days about how awesome this little nut is — full of plant-based protein, completely satisfying, good at stabilizing blood sugar throughout the day, uber sustainable and requiring very little water for growth, super affordable, genuinely liked by almost every kid on the planet, etc… but the most intriguing part for me was the fact that peanuts (or peanut butter more specifically) can get your kids to eat more veggies!

They shared a recently published study done by the USDA/American Dietetic Association that showed pairing veggies with peanut butter not only increased the quantity of veggies eaten by kids, it also increased the variety of vegetables consumed as well. The minute I heard this, I knew I had to try an experiment: bell peppers + peanut butter. The study had used carrots, broccoli, and celery… but I figured the concept could be extended to other veggies just as easily.

And so it began… the grand experiment.

ants on a log with bell pepper

I created little “ants on a log” but with a bell pepper log in place of the traditional celery.

ants on a log - nosh

Why are bell peppers so great anyway?

  • more than twice as much vitamin C as an orange!
  • a strong source of vitamins B6, E, and A as well
  • low-fat, high-fiber
ants on a log

Are you on the edge of your seat in suspense, wondering how the experiment went? What was the verdict? Did Babycakes eat the bell peppers?

eating ants on a log

The answer is yes! She ate three slices of bell pepper, er… logs. Which is the most bell pepper she’s consumed in one sitting… ever.

Will she be begging me for this same snack again tomorrow? Probably not. But I know she’ll be more willing to try them again soon when I offer them to her… knowing they were palatable. And for those who think this is totally crazy and weird, just remember one of my favorite meals — Pad Thai — combines bell peppers and eggs and carrots with a wonderful peanut-y sauce. So this combo isn’t that weird!

  • So what do you think?
  • Worth a try?
  • What veggie(s) would you dip in peanut butter?

Kelly is the author, recipe creator, and food photographer behind the blog Nosh and Nourish. She incorporates nourishing superfoods into every meal for her husband, adorable toddler, and herself (think quinoa, Greek yogurt, chickpeas, kale, blueberries, etc..) and manages to keep everything tasting absolutely delicious! She is also the author of the cookbook Superfoods at Every Meal, on shelves now. When not creating new recipes or taking pictures of them, she can be found exploring the Rocky mountains, gardening, hiking, or fly-fishing.

 

Get your kids to eat more veggies — the easy way!

Get your kids to eat more veggies — the easy way!
Serves: 4

One bell pepper, sliced (orange, yellow, or red preferred as they're a little sweeter) -- or try this with a different veggie: carrots, broccoli, sugar snap peas, etc. 4 Tbsp peanut butter (be sure to look for one with no added sugars) 2 Tbsp raisins Directions: Spread a dollop of peanut butter on each bell pepper slice. Then top with a few raisins along the top.

written by
Kelly

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Comments(3)
Meg says:

This recipe is incredibly simple, there’s no excuse not to try it right away. So am going bell pepper shopping tomorrow. I normally have to keep the peanut butter and raising away from the kids so that they don’t over-indulge so I guess this will be an easy sale. Thank you!

Leslie says:

This study makes me feel anxious. My 5-year-old is allergic to peanuts. I shudder at the thought of peanut butter being brought into the classrooms on a weekly basis.

This sounds like a good idea to try at home, but I hope that there won’t be too many parents loading their children’s lunchboxes up with globs of peanut butter on everything!

I can try the same idea with Sunbutter (which is similar to a nut butter, but is made out of sunflower seeds) at home.

Kelly says:

This is a great idea! I was just thinking of what peppers and peanut butter would taste like and I’m glad to find that I wasn’t the only one to think of it! I wonder how it would taste with other types of butter, like pumpkin or apple butter, or even a drizzle of honey! I would love to consider this a nice fall snack!

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