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Omaha Magazine

Say “Yes” 
to More Veggies

Jun 01, 2013 05:00PM ● By Katie Anderson
When it’s time to eat vegetables, does your child do the Brussels sprout pout? Don’t give up. It can take eight to 10 tries before children accept a new food.

Children are born with a natural preference for sweet foods and develop a liking for salty foods at around four months. That’s combined with an innate suspicion of foods unknown to them. But if a child rejects a food at first, it doesn’t mean they’ll always dislike it.

Healthy Kohl’s Kids, a partnership between Children’s Hospital & Medical Center and Kohl’s Department Stores, offers these tips to encourage your child to try the green stuff:

  • Don’t overcook. Steam vegetables lightly so they taste better.
  • Teach by example. Eat vegetables with your child.
  • Rather than telling your child to “eat your vegetables,” offer him or her a choice of two and ask, “Which one of these do you want to eat?”
  • Shop with your children. Let them pick a vegetable they like.
  • Add color. Use red bell peppers, bright carrot strips, and different types and colors of lettuce. Bake shoestring “fries” out of deep orange sweet potatoes.
  • Incorporate vegetables into the main dish rather than serving them on the side.
Here’s a great recipe that combines spinach with a family favorite—pizza! For more healthy recipes (with and without veggies), visit HealthyKohlsKids.com.

Spinach Pizza

Ingredients (Yield: 2 servings)
  • 1 store-bought whole wheat pizza crust (7-inch diameter)
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 oz part-skim fontina or mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • ¼ cup cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 tsp grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup fresh baby spinach, chopped
  • Black pepper to taste
Preparation
  • Preheat oven to 450°.
  • Place pizza crust on a baking sheet. Brush pizza crust with 1 teaspoon of the olive oil. Evenly spread garlic, fontina or mozzarella cheese, and beans over pizza crust. Sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese.
  • In a large bowl, toss the spinach with remaining 1 teaspoon olive oil and black pepper to taste.
  • Spread the spinach leaves in the center of the pizza, leaving a border around the rim.
  • Bake the pizza for 8 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the spinach is wilted.
Nutrition Facts Calories: 323 Fat: 11g Saturated Fat: 4g Cholesterol: 18mg Sodium: 488mg Carbohydrates: 37g Fiber: 7g Protein: 12g

* Nutritional information is based on ingredients listed and serving size; any additions or substitutions to ingredients may alter the recipe’s nutritional content.