Our current American food culture is changing, which is awesome! So many families are making the switch from the standard carbohydrate and sugar heavy diet to a diet full of veggies, fruits, and quality meats. But, this switch hasn’t made it’s way down to our kids yet. PB&J’s and mac & cheese are still choices number one and two for many kids’ lunches. I am guilty of this too. Breads and pastas are much easier to chew and prepare than produce and meat. But if it isn’t good for us, it’s definitely not good for their little growing bodies!
Where are the veggies?!
If your kids are like mine, you struggle getting them to eat their veggies. Whenever we sit down to a meal, I find myself taking a few deep breaths in anticipation of my three year old’s antics. We have tried ranch dressing, bribery, and haggling down how many bites are required. He is extremely picky eater and a tenacious negotiator. Trying to provide my kids with nutritious food that they will actually want to eat gets really frustrating and often leads to major mom guilt.
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So what’s a mom to do?
My son may be the pickiest eater ever, but he does, however, love noodles! My Veggie Packed Pasta is one recipe that he will eat, and a proven way to get that kid to eat some veggies! Try making your pasta with a healthy pasta alternative like Miracle Noodles or veggie spirals, if that is too drastic a change for your family, try a whole grain pasta variety.
This recipe packs a serious nutritious kick under the guise of regular old pasta and meat sauce. I recommend chopping those veggies down until they are small enough to be almost hidden. As a bonus, this will ensure that each bite has an equal amount of the good stuff. Get creative with this recipe. Add peas, carrots, and pasta that comes in fun shapes. Include your children’s input and they much more likely to be a fan of the end result.
I made my Veggie Packed Pasta Sauce with with tomatoes that we grew and canned ourselves and ground venison from last year’s hunting season. Obviously, these aren’t options for every family. But I urge you to try to keep the ingredients you cook with as local and high quality as possible to ensure your family is getting the most nutrition out of your food.