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Put Play on the Plate with Veggies

9/27/2013, 9:46 a.m. | Updated on 9/27/2013, 9:47 a.m.
“Getting kids involved in the dinner process makes them more likely to eat and enjoy what they helped create.”

(Family Features) Ninety percent of kids don’t eat the recommended amount of vegetables each day. To help get more kids on board with healthy eating, it’s important to show them how fun veggies can be.

It’s no secret that kids love to play, especially with their food. While this behavior may normally be discouraged, the Birds Eye Vegetables brand is switching things up and encouraging parents to try rewriting the dinnertime rules this year. The Rewrite the Dinnertime Rules program lets kids have fun and play with their veggies while setting healthy eating habits at a young age.

“Getting kids involved in the dinner process makes them more likely to eat and enjoy what they helped create,” said Birds Eye Vegetables Corporate Chef Michael Christiansen. “With our Rewrite the Dinnertime Rules program, we’ve come up with some easy ways to get your kids excited about dinnertime and loving vegetables.”

Here are five tips to get your kids to eat more veggies, and a kid-approved recipe to try for your next family dinner:

Get your kids involved: When kids are involved, they’re more likely to eat their creations. Let the kids help with the shopping, choosing of the recipes, prep and cooking of the meals. Have them choose the veggies they want to eat for dinner and which they want to pack in their lunch. Encourage them to try a variety of colors and flavors.

Make family playtime with veggies: Kids can create rainbows on their plate with veggies or make smiley face pizzas. For the pizzas, use mini whole-wheat pitas as the base and let the kids add marinara sauce, reduced-fat cheese and Birds Eye veggies to make faces.

Mix it up: Veggies can be used in surprising and delicious ways. Mix veggies with yogurt, orange juice and honey to make nutritious smoothies, or whip up refreshing popsicles with carrots and orange juice.

Positive reinforcement: Celebrate veggies and how delicious and fun they can be by using positive words when talking about them. You can also amp up the cool factor by using some of your child’s favorite stars, such as Jennette McCurdy, as inspiration.

Use new veggies in familiar dishes: Combine new veggies with a few simple ingredients for a twist on familiar favorites. Try making pea guacamole, corn salsa or other unique creations that combine old favorites with healthy veggies. For these recipes and other ideas, visit www.birdseye.com or www.pinterest.com/RealBirdsEye.

Chicken & Corn Sliders

Total time: 15 mins

Servings: 6

1 bag (12 ounce) Birds Eye Steamfresh Super Sweet Corn

1/3 cup prepared barbecue sauce

1/4 cup water or fat free, low-sodium chicken broth

2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken, skin removed

2 green onions, chopped Torn lettuce leaves, such as Boston, Romaine or Iceberg

12 1-ounce whole grain slider rolls

Bring barbecue sauce and broth to a boil over high heat. Simmer 1 minute. Stir in chicken and Super Sweet Corn; toss to coat and heat through. Stir in green onions. Evenly arrange on lettuce-lined rolls. Secure with fun toothpicks.