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How to get your kids to eat and enjoy vegetables…

May 22, 2018

squash blossom bouquet

We are happy to feature an article from Kristin Louis on getting your kids excited about eating vegetables… Enjoy!

How You Can Get Your Kids to Eat and Enjoy Vegetables

Every parent knows the struggle of trying to get their kids to eat healthily. A big part of that is eating enough vegetables. Often, this can be a struggle, but it doesn’t have to be.

Show Them How It’s Done

It isn’t enough to tell your children to eat their veggies because they’re healthy. Shockingly, children don’t often care about what’s healthy. Inspire your children to love vegetables by using model behavior. If you want your child to be enthusiastic about leafy greens, you’ll need to be excited, too. Eat what you serve to your children and show them how delicious those vegetables are firsthand.

Don’t be afraid to play with your food, either. Broccoli can be tiny trees that are the perfect food for giants. Kale or chard could be the perfect fuel for dinosaurs, and mushrooms might become exactly what a happy swamp monster needs to stay, well, swampy.

Make It Colorful

Kids like fun. Adding bright colors to foods is a way to make eating more enjoyable. There are so many ways you can add color to a dish by using healthy vegetables. Adding beets to a dish can not only add fiber, vitamins and folate, but it can turn it into a shockingly fun shade of fuchsia. Carrots are a bright orange, and are the perfect vehicle for some blended beans in a dip. Add some pureed white beans to avocado to make an even healthier guacamole, and instead of chips, use different brightly colored vegetables cut into fun shapes for dipping. The more colors, the better — and more fun this snack can be for little ones, especially when it comes to finger food. Once they realize how tasty and entertaining these foods can be, they may be more inclined to choose them themselves.

Make Things Appear Less Exciting

This may seem counterintuitive, but studies suggest that when other foods present aren’t as exciting, vegetables tend to be eaten. If given the choice to eat something green like spinach or green beans versus a helping of macaroni and cheese, you can imagine what is left on the plate. It isn’t a good idea to deny them things including macaroni and cheese or hamburgers, but be clever with how you serve them. It’s extra work, but serve the veggies first, and don’t have the other, “yummier” food visible until after the vegetables have been eaten. Not only are your children more likely to finish their vegetables this way, you may get them in the habit of eating them first.

Hide Them

Sometimes, no matter what you do, kids just don’t want vegetables. Young children are especially sensitive to the bitter taste of some of the healthiest vegetables. One way to get those vegetables eaten is to hide or mask the bitter flavor. Grass-fed butter contains plenty of vitamins, and the healthy fat may actually help them absorb the nutrients from the vegetables. Don’t hesitate to put a small dab on your child’s spinach or kale to make it more interesting. Roasting vegetables can bring out their natural sugars and sweeten them. If even the sight of vegetables causes your little one to throw a tantrum, hide them in their meals by pureeing them and mixing them into a sauce.

Get Them Involved

Children, like most people, like feeling they are in control and have some say in decision-making. One great way you can encourage and inspire your children with a love of vegetables is to let them choose for themselves. Take them to the Uptown Wednesday or Saturday farmers market and have them pick out interesting and unique vegetables to get them excited about trying new things. If they get overwhelmed, or are only interested in starchy vegetables, hold up two healthy veggies and ask them to pick between the two. They will still feel involved and may be more excited about eating them.

It may take a little extra work, but you can get your children inspired by vegetables. It just takes time. With a little modification and a bit of prep, you’ll be well on your way to having a child who eats their vegetables.

-Kristin Louis

Kris Louis is mom to two rambunctious boys. Her oldest is 10 and her youngest is 7. A former advertising copywriter, she recently created parentingwithkris.com, where she puts her skills to work writing about the trials and tribulations of parenting. Kris, her husband, and two boys live in Durham, NC.

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McClendon’s Select will be at the Uptown Wednesday Farmers’s market tomorrow with some of the beautiful squash blossoms, like those featured above, and we will continue to be there through June 20th.  We will also be at the Uptown Saturday market this weekend and throughout the summer at the SE corner of Central Avenue and Bethany Home Road.  Stop by and bring your kiddos!

 

Summer Squash…

May 18, 2018

Zephyr

This past Saturday was our last market at the Old Town Scottsdale location for the season.  We will return to Scottsdale in the fall, but until then you will be able to get McClendon’s Select produce and Noble Bread at the Uptown Saturday markets at the North Phoenix Baptist Church every Saturday throughout the summer.  The market will be moving indoors for you to shop in the air conditioning starting in June.  Stop by tomorrow as we will have a whole assortment of summer squashes, including the beautiful Zephyr (shown above), along with Yellow Crookneck, Green and Gold Zucchini, Yellow Straightneck squash.

See you tomorrow!

Last Saturday market in Scottsdale tomorrow…

May 11, 2018

squash blossom1

Tomorrow is our last Saturday farmers market of the season in Old Town Scottsdale.  We will be bringing these beautiful squash blossoms.  We just started harvesting them this week and they are beautiful.  Our organic squash blossoms have become quite popular over recent years and we have had to plant more and more to keep up with the demand.   You will start seeing them pop up on menus around town soon as the chefs we work with have all been asking for them.  We will have blossoms both with baby squash attached and without for you tomorrow at the markets.

squash blossom2

McClendon’s Select will continue to be at the Uptown location at Bethany Home Road and Central Avenue on Wednesday thru mid-June and on Saturdays throughout the summer. The Uptown Saturday market will move indoors beginning June 2nd at the North Phoenix Baptist Church later during the peak summer temperatures so you can shop in air conditioned comfort.

squash blossom3

We will return to the Old Town Scottsdale location in the fall and will post the dates as we get closer to returning.  We will have many of your favorites tomorrow, so stop by to stock up and say hello!  Thank you to all of our Scottsdale shoppers for another incredible season.

See you tomorrow!

At the markets tomorrow…

April 20, 2018

Veggies

Tomorrow McClendon’s Select will have a beautiful variety at both the Uptown Saturday and the Old Town Scottsdale Farmers Markets.  There will be plenty of these beautiful organic multi-colored carrots, along with Easter Egg and French Breakfast radishes and organic, white baby salad turnips.  So many beautiful spring colors for your dishes.

See you tomorrow at the markets!

 

 

 

Rhubarb tomorrow…

April 3, 2018

rhubarb

This beautiful organic rhubarb is the first of the season and will be at the Uptown Wednesday Farmers’ market tomorrow morning.  We are also expecting beautiful weather tomorrow for a perfect market day.  Come early, rhubarb is always anxiously awaited at the markets and will go fast.

See you tomorrow!

This weekend at the market…

March 30, 2018

purple asparagus.jpg

McClendon’s Select will be at both the Uptown Saturday market and the Old Town Scottsdale Farmers market tomorrow morning.  At our Scottsdale market we are bringing this beautiful organic Purple Passion asparagus, which is sure to be a hit at your Easter brunch. Purple Passion asparagus is a rare variety that is sweeter and more tender than the green, and truly one of the most beautiful things that we grow.  There will also be plenty of green asparagus at both markets.  That it is ready for harvest just in time for Easter makes it all the more perfect!

See you tomorrow at the markets and have a wonderful weekend!

Tomorrow at the markets…

March 23, 2018

Rainbow Chard

This beautiful Rainbow chard is from our second planting.  The color is so beautiful and the sweet, earthy flavor is a bit milder than spinach and goes so well with any number of dishes. With big tender leaves and crunch, colorful stalks, our organic Rainbow Chard is a stand out this spring.

I’itoi Onions

Our organic i’Itoi onions have amazing quality this spring.  They have a mild, shallot-like bulb and slightly spicy green.  They first propagated here by Tohono O’odham people, these onions have a long history in this region and pair well with local dishes.  These bunch onions were brought to this continent by the Franciscan Padres from Spain in the 1600’s and are listed on Slo Foods Ark of Taste.  Use the green tops as well as the bulb bottoms.  Genetically they are natures cross between a shallot and a green onion.

Orange Blossoms

Spring is here and with it comes the orange blossoms.  The bees are making the most of the season, working through our citrus groves to make their wonderful orange blossom honey.  Local honey has so many health benefits from countering pollen allergies to working as a powerful antioxidant, that it tastes so much better than anything you can buy in the store almost makes it too good to be real.

See you tomorrow at the markets!