This week’s mission:
Serve Veggies First. Consistently. Not simultaneous with carby-competitors.
Start each meal with a solo course of grilled, roasted, steamed or raw veggies served family-style on a platter. Everyone helps themselves (it’s okay to use your hands!) Try chowing down roasted broccoli, grilled asparagus or kale chips as an appetizer while the entree rests on the stove.
Stay the course – serving veggies first EVERY night this week. If you serve roasted cauliflower as a solo appetizer one night and revert to pre-meal crackers and cheese the next you are impeding your efforts at creating lasting change.
Aspiring to move the needle in terms of vegetable intake necessitates positing the produce wisely. Why? Because kids (and adults!) are more receptive to veggies if they are hungry. Veggie intake plummets if you’ve just filled up on crackers, chips or pretzels. Refrain from serving crinkly-package-type foods ahead of mealtime. This might seem like appetizer buzzkill but vegetables, when prepared properly, far outshine the carb competition. Veggies deserve their own time in the spotlight, so dress them up and get them center stage!
Up the appeal by letting kids flavor veggies with some finishing touches. Try sea salt, flavored olive oil, Parmesan cheese or nutritional yeast, depending on your family’s palate. Let the kids sprinkle this “glitter” on just before serving to pique interest.
Give a solo veggie platter the appetizer advantage this week and let me know what transpires!
Follow along weekly this summer for simple and effective behavior-based strategies to bolster healthy eating in your home.
Stephanie Meyers, MS, RDN