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Veggie Wars…

No matter how good of an eater Jojo is, I am constantly fighting to get him to eat more vegetables without having to hide them in pastas, muffins, pancakes etc. I’m sure all you cooking moms and dads out there feel my pain! Nothing is more frustrating than watching that piece of broccoli get flung across your clean kitchen …well… maybe lunging for the rest of the plate so that it doesn’t end up on the floor with the broccoli is. (Yes LH, it has happened to me too 🙂 !)

At times offering a vegetable to your toddler with dinner can feel like your setting yourself up for failure (believe me I know), but as I’ve learned through my little kitchen experiments,  it doesn’t always have to be. I was watching an episode of Dr Oz one afternoon, when he discussed encouraging young children to eat more vegetables. Now granted, nothing Dr Oz said was revolutionary advice, but somehow his magical Ozness made simple advice seem life-changing. In short, he suggested offering young children vegetables that taste good and said that preparing vegetables in a tasty way will encourage youngsters to enjoy them because they actually are delicious!  Simple idea right? But somehow for me this was an Ahh haaa moment. I realized that I needed to change my Veggie War “game plan” and get my cook on. Here are a few ideas for simple but tasty veggies that are Jojo approved.

Roasted Cauliflower – Yes that’s right … cauliflower. Jojo loves it. There is something popcorn-esque about this preparation and everyone in my family loves it. The best part is it is ridiculously easy!

Ingredients: Cauliflower, salt, pepper, extra virgin olive oil

  1. Cut the head of cauliflower in half and cut out the hard core.
  2. Break apart the small cauliflower trees into small tree pieces.
  3. Place cauliflower pieces on a cookie sheet.
  4. Toss with olive oil, and salt & pepper to taste (*Do not over salt)
  5. Roast in a 425 degree oven for 20-25 minutes until the cauliflower is slightly golden brown on the tops of the trees.

This recipe is great for fresh broccoli as well. You may have to adjust the cook time depending on the size of the pieces. Jojo loves how sweet and caramelized the pieces get. The roasted flavor is a big hit!

Cinnamon Carrot Sticks– This veggie is even easier than roasting and very popular with lunch and dinner.

Ingredients: Baby carrots, cinnamon, honey

  1. Steam the desired amount of baby carrots on the stove or in the microwave. Then let carrots cool.
  2. Take cooled carrots and cut them in half long ways and then cut them in half long ways again.
  3. Sprinkle cut carrots with cinnamon and drizzle them with honey.
  4. Serve at room temperature or heat them in a skillet to caramelize them.

Told you it was easy! What’s even better is the reaction. It’s got the right amount of sweetness and spice to make it interesting and the stick shape makes it fun and very french fry like.

Enjoy the recipes. Let me know how they work out.