A few weeks ago I decided we needed a change. Currently, my kids have breakfast (oatmeal or scrambled eggs on weekdays, something special on the weekends), a morning snack (they always want fruit or yogurt or both at home, then at preschool, whatever they get), lunch (sandwich), afternoon snack (more fruit and yogurt), and dinner which is totally hit or miss on consumption.

What was wrong with this picture? NOT ENOUGH VEGGIES! I am not a parent that sneaks veggies into things. I mean, if I make zucchini muffins I don’t say they are apple or something, I don’t put spinach in brownies. If we have butternut squash mac’n’cheese, I call it that. However, me and my husband often have salad for lunch so we get vegetables during the day and I was starting to think the kids were stuffing themselves in the afternoon and then ditching dinner and wanted to make a change.

Now, there are reasons on both sides for this lack of veggie during the day. Fruit and yogurt are sweet and veggies generally are not. Fruit is also generally better storing (apples, bananas, grapes) than many veggies that my kids would eat raw, and take less preparation on my part. I also figured if they are less amenable to this change then they will be hungrier at dinner time and get more vegetables there.

I made the change. In the afternoon, we have vegetables. Currently the options are celery, carrots, and bell peppers with PB2 dip or ‘ranch’ dip (greek yogurt with some dill, rice vinegar, onion powder, and garlic powder). My son really liked the celery and PB2 one day and asked for more, another day he wanted the bell peppers. My daughter has been sleeping so close to dinner time that I actually have been skipping the snack with her, but she often will go on and on about how much she LOVES something and eat none, so her talk is cheap! I got these great FUEL containers (the right hand of the pic above) that have a little spreader and then room for something to dip and the dip or like yogurt and a topping or whatever. I thought they were cute and I’m trying to prep a few days in advance.

In return, I do think this has affected dinner as well, both because I think they are slightly hungrier and because I’ve been making more of an effort to make sure there is a veggie they like. One of their favorites, and something I NEVER would have just tried on my own are microgreens (the left hand picture above). These are like sprouts but grown in soil. They are super nutritious and the kids dip them in salad dressing. It’s like a salad they can eat as finger food. They like salad (which they call ‘leaves’) too. Cooked veggies are slightly trickier. If it’s part of the main dish and blended in, like the mac’n’cheese mentioned above or spaghetti squash, they are generally fine but as a side it could be the only thing they eat or the only thing they won’t eat.

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Morgan is a stay-at-home mom who doesn’t really like staying at home. A free range mom? Besides writing about health and fitness for Parenting Snack Mix on Medium, Morgan enjoys cooking, exploring Columbus, and helping others achieve THEIR health and fitness goals as a wellness coach. You can find her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/morgan.l.myers and on Instagram as morganleighbennett Sometimes you can EVEN find her on twitter @morganmalfoy