by Chrishonda Brown
Vibrant, delicious produce is plentiful at the beginning of summer. As temperatures rise outside, cool, crisp vegetables highlight our menus. But how do you get your children to eat their veggies? It may be easier than you think.
Make your kids “produce pickers.” Encourage questions and conversation, giving them a sense of responsibility and value.
Cook with your kids. They will be proud of their work and more likely to eat the vegetables they prepare.
Name dishes after your children. Karen’s Zucchini Surprise may be the new dinner table favorite.
Be fun and creative. For instance, make a tic-tac-toe board from eggplant or cucumber cut lengthwise. Use broccoli and grape tomatoes for the pieces. Everybody wins!
Above all, model the behavior. Practice what you preach in your own diet. Your children’s healthy habits are caught more than taught and summer is a great place to start.
Chrishonda Brown, M.S. in kinesiology, is a guest columnist for Kansas State Research and Extension, Wyandotte County. For more recipes visit www.kidsacooking.org Like the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/KSREWyco and follow on Twitter @WyCoSnapEd.
Summer Fiesta Veggie Wraps
Makes: 8 servings
1 ripe avocado, peeled, pitted and diced
1 tablespoon low-fat sour cream
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon onion powder
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
8 (8-inch) whole wheat tortillas
2 tomatoes, diced
1 cucumber, sliced
1 bell pepper, cut into strips
1 head romaine lettuce, chopped
1 cup low-fat mozzarella cheese, shredded
Mash avocado, sour cream, salt, garlic powder, onion powder and cayenne pepper in a bowl with a fork until well blended.
Spread tortillas with a layer of avocado spread. Place tomatoes, cucumber, pepper, lettuce and cheese on each wrap, leaving about 2 inches of space at the bottom. Fold the bottoms up. Roll tortillas over vegetable firmly to close wraps.
Variation: Slice wrap into pinwheels for smaller hands.
Nutritional information for each serving: 244 calories, 11g total fat, 4g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 16mg cholesterol, 29g carbohydrates, 6g fiber, 3g sugars, 374mg sodium, 9g protein, 23% Vitamin A, 47% Vitamin C, 16% calcium, 16% iron.