Belinda Smith | March 16, 2019
Eat your greens!
How many of you heard your parents say that when you were growing up? Some of you may have even said it to your own kids.
But do you know what? We do need to eat our greens. They are so important for our body. They help our energy, lungs, skin, teeth, bones and sleep, and so much more.
When we travelled around Australia on our mission to transform children’s health, parents told us that getting their kids to eat their vegetables was difficult enough, but getting them to eat their greens was even harder. Quite often the problem is that children (and adults) taste with their eyes not their tongues and greens visually do not look appetising to many.
We’ve run our Mad Food Science Program in over 100 schools around Australia and served over 27,000 children, parents and teachers a green smoothie to taste. Sure, there have been some who have declined to taste it, but most do. And then many come back for more.
Why has this experiment proven so successful? Because it makes it fun to taste a green drink, even though some kids say it looks like snot or puke. So why not have fun with greens this St Patrick’s Day? Let’s get into some of the fun you can have with greens in your kitchen!
Greens Tasting Plates
Depending on the age of your children, you can make up a St Pats greens tasting plate. For older kids, cut up a whole heap of different greens and display them on a chopping board. For younger kids, pop them in a muffin tray for a bit of fun.
I got this image from Be Brave, Keep Going which has a whole feature called Muffin Tin Monday which has loads of fun ways to use the muffin to help you get kids to eat more foods.
Green Le Snack Cheese Dip
I recently shared a video of how to make your own version of Le Snack Cheese at home in my lunchbox e-Course Facebook group and also in the TWC Facebook group. Both videos received lots of positive comments with people trying it out and their kids loving it. One of our lunchbox community members took it up a notch and turned it green by adding some baby spinach. Here’s what you need to make St Pat’s Le Snack Cheese Dip. Serve this with some delicious plain crackers, like any of the Ceres Organic crackers from TWC.
100g of tasty cheese, grated (from the block to avoid anti-caking agents)
150g full fat sour cream
A small handful of baby spinach
1. Heat a frying pan over medium heat, add in a small amount of butter
2. Add the handful of baby spinach, season with salt and pepper and wilt the spinach until it’s soft
3. Remove and allow to cool
4. Blitz the baby spinach in a food processor or nutri-bullet kind of device until it’s a paste, set aside
5. Take a small saucepan over low heat and add in the grated cheese and the sour cream
6. Stir to mix the cheese and sour cream together as it melts
7. As it starts to melt, add in the baby spinach and stir to combine
8. When the mixture has no lumps and it’s runny, pour it into little pots and refrigerate to set. Takes about 2 hours. Can be frozen and used in lunchboxes. Will last in the fridge for 1 week.
Kids tend to love food on sticks. Again depending on the age of your kids, you may like to make up the kabobs in advance of just cut up an array of greens and let them have fun making them too.
Mix it up if you can. Have some vegetables and some fruit. Some ideas include:
- green capsicum
- a little floret of broccoli
- sugar snap or snow peas (cut in smaller pieces)
- green grapes
- kiwi fruit
- green apple
- honey dew
You could even jazz it up a little and cook them on the BBQ with a bit of pineapple juice sprinkled over to give it a yummy caramel coating as it cooks.
You simply can’t go wrong with a green smoothie made with fruit and then some baby spinach added to turn it green. There are loads of green smoothie recipes you can find online but here’s the recipe for one my kids love and it gives them a cup of greens in a drink before school.
It doesn’t take many real food ingredients to make some fun St Patricks Green Wraps at home. All you need is:
1 handful of baby spinach
¾ cup wholewheat flour
¼ cup brown rice flour
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup milk
Throw it all into a blender and blitz. Then let the mixture rest for about 10 minutes before pouring some of it into a hot pan. Swirl the batter so it spreads out and then cook until the mixture starts to firm up. Gently flop to the other side and allow it to cook.
For more fun and inspirational real food ideas for every day and the lunchbox, join our communities at therootcause.com.au or Facebook or Instagram.
If you’d like The Mad Food Science Program to come to your school, go here to make an enquiry and we’ll send you an information pack for you to take to your school.
Share your glorious greens creations with us on Instagram with #myTWC