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Jennifer Brodsky


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5 Tips to Keep Kids Hyped About Healthy Eating While Back to School
Inspire future veggie lovers with fun ideas and recipes at paveggies.local

HARRISBURG, Pa. — With August behind us, and Pennsylvania Produce Month in the rearview mirror, the focus for many families has switched to managing the back to school madness. Healthy eating amidst new and busy schedules is often a concern, which makes it an opportune time to help kids taste — and enjoy — Pennsylvania’s fresh bounty in fun and exciting ways.

There’s no doubt it can be challenging to encourage youth to eat healthy vegetables, so the Pennsylvania Vegetable Marketing and Research Program tapped into the “kid brain” and came up with ideas to help get kids on the veggie bandwagon. Check the brand new PAVeggies.org for more detail and recipes.

1. Veggie Chips
These tasty treats are popping up in grocery stores everywhere, but savvy parents can save time and money by making them at home—no fryer needed. Try kale, collard greens and thinly sliced root vegetables, simply dressed with seasonings and citrus or a creamy dressing, and baked in the oven until crispy.

2. Pureed Veggies
Be a sneaky mama, and slip pureed, nutrient-rich vegetables such as zucchini, cauliflower or sweet potatoes into dishes and sauces like mac and cheese, tomato sauce, lasagna and mashed potatoes. It’s as simple as pureeing raw or cooked veggies with a little water or vegetable broth and adding them to the dish. They boost flavor, too.

3. Glazed Veggies
Appeal to kids of all ages’ sweet tooth with a light glaze. Choose carrots, pearl onions, beets, turnips, parsnips or celery root to start; a glaze can be as easy as butter and sugar. Try pure maple syrup as a less processed sweetener.

4. Multi-colored Veggies
Sometimes it’s fine to play with food! Start with a rainbow of veggies such as purple carrots, multi-colored tomatoes and bright yellow cauliflower. Challenge the kids to taste test, and help them have a contest to see which tastes best. Including differently colored vegetables in meals ensures that the family diet is rich in vitamins and other nutrients.

5. Get Down on the Farm
One of the best ways to engage kids is to have them do the picking. Bring them to a local farm to see how vegetables grow. Spend an afternoon at a pick-your-own farm, then allow the kids to help prepare and cook them. They’ll be rushing to the table to try “their” work. You will be ecstatic at how well this tactic works!

Want more? Check PAVeggies.org, like PA Veggies on Facebook (PAVeggies), and follow PA Veggies on Instagram (@PAVeggies). Use and search for #PAVeggies to stay up to date on the latest.

The Pennsylvania Vegetable Marketing and Research Program is a statewide marketing order established by a grower referendum, governed by a grower board and funded by grower assessments. The Program’s sole purpose is to serve the vegetable growers of Pennsylvania by promoting Pennsylvania-grown vegetables and funding practical vegetable production research. Consider liking PA Veggies on Facebook (PAVeggies), following along on Instagram (@PAVeggies); and using #PAVeggies to find and share your homegrown PA happiness experiences. EDITORS: If you have any questions, please contact us at 267.275.1198 [email protected].

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