No Pressure Ways to Help Kids LOVE Vegetables {+ Make-Ahead Breakfast!}

This post was developed in partnership with Wholly Veggie. We're thrilled to bring our readers more ways to help their families eat healthy!

Wholly VeggieKids and vegetables don’t always mix, but it’s not for lack of trying. You can read books and make baby food from scratch and somehow they might still prefer crackers every single time. My kids can be this way, but my kids also love vegetables. I know what worked for us, but I also know that every family is different, so I connected with our CMB mamas and some themes emerged in what helps our kids love veggies:

  1. Early Exposure. When your kiddo is ready to start real food, start with veggies. We loved avacado and smashed black beans at our house, but start savory before you go sweet.
  2. Set the Example. I’m not sure about your kids, but mine always seem to want what I have. If I’m snacking on snap peas and hummus, they want it, but same goes for cookies. 
  3. No Pressure. No sneaking or lying either. No ultimatums or making kids sit until they finish something. It doesn’t work. 

It’s the kitchen table, not a battle ground. 

If you’re committed to helping your kids eat healthy, check out these ideas: 

GET KIDS IN THE KITCHEN. The more connected they are to the food they eat, whether in choosing it or preparing it, the more likely they are to eat it!

Wholly VeggieMAKE THEM EASY ACCESS. I prep veggies a couple times a week so we have easy access to healthier choices. We’re busy, and at the end of the day we’ll often choose convenience – especially when we’re hungry – and so will our kids. This applies to quick-grab snacks, but also meals. How many nights have you groaned about having to prep all the veggies or skipped them altogether to save time? Surely that’s not just me. 

OFFER VARIETY. We often think of broccoli and green beans, but what about edamame? Or snap peas? And who would have thought they’d eat spinach out of the bag? Surely not me – until I offered it to them one day. The other interesting thing is that variety can be in what we offer, but also in how it’s prepared. My kids won’t eat raw broccoli, but lightly steamed they gobble it up. Brussel sprouts – not so much steamed – but shaved in a salad or roasted with bacon and they’re all about it. The important thing is not to give up, because what they don’t like today they might like tomorrow (and vice-versa #becausekids). 

OUTSOURCE. Yep, I said it. We simply don’t always have the time for any of the ideas above, or maybe we’d rather spend our time doing something other than washing and chopping. If this is you, we’ve found the ultimate mom hack: Wholly Veggie – they do the work for you! Their products are made with all the good stuff (and none of the bad stuff), just high-quality veggies that you don’t have to wash, cut, prep, or even cook – just warm ’em up!  

Wholly VeggieI love helping my kids eat healthy, and if I can do it quickly, even better, but they are no fools and I won’t try to sneak the goodness into things (though this would blend right up into a smoothie in a desperate situation – just sayin’). So I did what we do – we took to the kitchen to see what we could make with veggies that our kids would eat.  You’ll be thrilled to know that we came up with one recipe that can become three different breakfast options (all make-ahead!) that just-so-happen to include vegetables! What better way to make an impact than by adding veggies to the most important meal of the day?

Wholly Veggie Make-Ahead BreakfastWhat I love about this idea is that it’s customizable to the needs of your family. Just crack eggs, add meat, cheese, Wholly Veggie, salt and pepper, mix, pour, bake, and enjoy. It took us 35 minutes to prep Monday-Friday breakfast for our family, including bake time and assembly so it could be grab-and-go later this week. WHAT? If I had been doing it without help it would’ve been 45-50 minutes, but little hands can actually do a lot of this, so they did. 

Make-Ahead BreakfastHere are my tips for making this as low-prep as possible: 

GO HANDS-FREE, OR NOT. One of the hardest parts about engaging my kids in eating veggies is that they’re just not quite able to be trusted with a sharp knife. The way the veggies are blended makes the patties and bites an easy consistency for mixing in just about anything. We used a pizza cutter here to chop, but my daughter ended up crumbling it with her fingers before adding to the egg mixture and on my second “adult” batch of these (in which I splurged for the fancy cheese) I threw the whole thing in the bowl, broke it up and combined it with my whisk.

OUTSOURCE. Yep, I said it. Again. Pre-cooked and crumbled bacon for the win here, but you could easily snag some pre-cooked and crumbled sausage or diced ham. Same with the cheese – choose shredded or crumbled and your invested time ticks lower and lower. 

Wholly Veggie Make-Ahead Breakfast

Wholly Veggie Make-Ahead Breakfast
Wholly Veggie Make-Ahead Breakfast
Wholly Veggie Make-Ahead Breakfast

Once you have your egg muffins made the possibilities are endless! We had mini-bagels on hand, so I used them to make little sandwiches and wrapped them up for a quick breakfast on the go.   On days when I have an extra five minutes (which is nearly never, but if I did) I would pop a Wholly Veggie pattie in the toaster with an English muffin while I fried an egg and then stack the patty up with a piece of sharp white cheddar. 

Wholly Veggie
Wholly Veggie Make-Ahead Breakfast
Wholly Veggie Make-Ahead Breakfast

Wholly Veggie Make-Ahead Breakfast

If your kiddos will eat the muffins with their fingers, great! But if not, add one or two muffins to mason jars with an extra sprinkle of cheese, then in the morning pop the jar (with no lid!) from the fridge into the microwave for 30-60 seconds. Use this mom hack to keep those hot jars from burning fingers: 

Wholly Veggie Make-Ahead BreakfastMy son is extremely skeptical of new foods. He always asks “What’s in this?” and we’re committed to always telling him the truth, so I grabbed the package out of the fridge and handed him the box, which shows (and tells) you exactly what’s in it – and you can pronounce every ingredient! Every Wholly Veggie product is also Gluten Free, Soy Free and GMO Free, so they’re all the way in with the good stuff. He was surprised how green they were and asked “How’d they get all those veggies in there?”. 

Because I believe what I said above about kids following our example, I took a big old bite to lead the way. And wouldn’t you know it? My daughter snagged one of the bagel sandwiches, took a big bite herself and said “Yeah, it’s good mom! And we made it!”. With our example, no secrets and the ability to see exactly what was in his breakfast, he gladly took a no thank you bite. And thus, this recipe was added to the win column!

My head immediately started spinning on how I could use the other flavors (Southwest Beet anyone?) and different ingredients to fancy these up and I found my own personal favorite combination: Instead of bacon, use chorizo, and instead of the Herby Garlic Greens patty use the Cauliflower Roasted Red Pepper bites. Oh, and crumbled goat cheese. You guys. You’re welcome. 

I mean, I know a lot of adults who aren’t even all about vegetables, but the flavors of Wholly Veggie are enough to stand alone or can be added to most anything! The more I think about it, the more I wonder why no one has thought of this before? It makes adding veggies to anything easy! Chili, yep. Lasagna, for sure. Meatballs, mmhmm. Think about the time we’ll save washing and chopping! 

Wholly Veggie takes regular meals and makes them better and better for you!

Find Wholly Veggie at four Cincinnati Targets:
Milford, Norwood, South Lebanon, and Springdale.Wholly Veggie

What works for your family? How do you make veggies easy and encourage your kids to enjoy them? 

If you try Wholly Veggie, be sure to let us know! #respecttheveg


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