Wednesday, May 4, 2011

My Toddler's Favorite Veggie Things

I would have to say the hardest part of my vegetarian/vegan transition is getting my toddler to eat and enjoy her new foods.  Toddlers already are picker eaters; but when you are trying to feed them a vegetarian diet, it can make it much harder. Not only do we have to be concerned with feeding them foods they will like, but we have to be extra aware that they are getting all their nutritional needs met.  And we must do this while still adhering to our vegetarian or vegan lifestyle...not an easy task!

When my toddler was a baby, she loved her veggies (with the exception of anything green). But as she began to eat more foods, she would push those veggies to the side of her plate. Then one day she discovered that the dog would eat them if she threw them on the floor (yes, my dog loves veggies...go figure). Well, I kept giving her veggies and she kept feeding them to the dog. Sometimes it can feel like a veggie war with her and neither of us is willing to give in.

So when I find something that my toddler loves, is good for her and fits in with our veggie life, I just have to share it!

I found Fruitables fruit and vegetable juice at my local grocery store during my last visit. Since removing milk from our diet, I wanted to get something other that just apple juice for her to drink.  After reading the labels on all the juices, I realized that most of them were just sugar with some juice.  Then I came across this one and it seemed great.  It's a combination of apple, carrot, sweet potato, beet, butternut squash and tomato juice.  Wow, that's a lot of veggies in one little juice box!  It has no added sugar and had the lowest sugar count out of all the juices I looked at.  It also has 100% vitamin C and also has some vitamins A and E.  The best part, she loved it! She likes it a bit too much and wants to drink them all day, so I told her they are for meals and snacks only and she can have water the rest of the day.  While nothing can replace the benefit of eating fresh veggies, I think this is a great addition to my toddlers diet just to make sure she's getting enough.

My toddler's other favorite item is Smart Strips by Lightlife.  Since she has to eat her preschool's lunch (which is not vegetarian), she does eat meat while there and has come to love the chicken.  This is a great substitute!  I wasn't sure if she was going to like it, but she loves it and has no idea that it's not real chicken.  In fact, she helped create the meal you see her enjoying above.  I made her some whole wheat spaghetti with Alfredo sauce (made from non dairy milk and butter).  While I was making it, she asked if she could have corn and chicken.   So I heated up the corn with the smart strips in a pan with a little olive oil and topped in on her pasta and then topped with some veggie cheese.  She loved it, as you can see by her big smile! Add a box of Fruitables juice and you have a yummy veggie meal.

1 comment:

  1. I love the light life products! i haven't tried the smart strips yet, but i'll have to now!