Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Delicious Nutritious

It is one of my highest priorities to serve nutritious food to these grands of mine. They eat many of their meals here, so there are definitely tons of opportunities for me to amp up the nutrition in what is served to them. They are mostly good eaters, especially good vegetable and fruit eaters, so this is a fairly easy task for me. 
A few weeks ago I was watching a replay of a Periscope presentation about healthier meal planning strategies. One of the four or five points made was to offer a veggie tray every day. That one struck me as such a simple way to have snacks, an appetizer, or even a side to your meal. Usually we only make up veggie trays or cruditè for special occasions. Why not make every day a veggie tray day? So one morning last week, I dug out the sectioned server that has a lid, and spent a few minutes cleaning and cutting up several kinds of vegetables. I had to go to work that evening, but made sure Greg and Jess knew the veg tray was in the frig for them. 
It was decimated when I got home. 
They'd had a busy evening with a parent meeting at school and wrestling practice, both at supper time, so the kids snacked on it beforehand and the grown-ups after. 
On Sunday I was getting food from the frig, and Brad asked, "Are you getting out the veggie tray? I love the veggie tray!" I didn't have one prepared, but quickly pulled out a few containers and he made his own. 
This morning it took only five minutes to pull this one together. There is the requisite broccoli and carrots, cauliflower, green bell peppers, orange and red baby peppers, cucumber, and celery sticks. Black olives fill the center spot.
I'd prefer a bit more color, but we ate up all of the "flavor bomb" cherry tomatoes (those were SO GOOD - from Sam's Club - I hope they still have them next time I go). They will inhale those black olives and the broccoli. Last week we had pea pods from our Bountiful Basket, but they didn't care so much for them. These trays are good for at least a few days, maybe a week, though the cucumbers won't last that long.
If they want, they can have some homemade Ranch or bleu cheese dressing to dip the veggies in, but lately they've been eating them plain. I would prefer they eat the veg with the dip than not eat them at all. 
With Bountiful Baskets and garden season coming up, I look forward to putting together a veggie tray each week for snacks and to serve with meals for as long as they enjoy it. I'm thinking this will be a great way to introduce new or very seasonal vegetables to try. What are your favorite veggie tray components? I'd love to hear if you have a dip suggestion or what your family enjoys for crudite. 


7 comments:

  1. Brilliant idea Tammy, we only tend to do these when have a BBQ. Will have to start doing them more as both "boys" love pasta salad with loads of veggies chopped into it.
    For dips I love hm alioi and hm hummus, as you can adjust the garlic etc to taste.

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    1. I have a very tasty hummus recipe, but have never made aioli. How do you make yours?

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  2. I have also served fruits and veggies in muffin pans. Seems the more fun it is the more the good for you stuff is eaten. I often use plain greek yogurt in my dips. It taste just like sour cream. A little ranch seasoning and we are good to go.

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  3. What a great idea! It's just Brian and I here, as you know, so I don't make veggie trays, but we do always have the veggie bin in the fridge filled with fresh veggies. We eat a lot of salads with the veggies in them.

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  4. I love this! I've been taking time to cut up celery sticks or carrot sticks and putting them in a container in the fridge. We grab them for snacks or to eat along with our supper sandwiches, but I almost always have a load of fresh produce that would lend itself well to a vegetable tray and would insure we eat better every day. I'm going to try setting one up every day. It's bound to be a help.

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Thanks for sharing!