by Nancy Johnson Horn, Editor
When you’re the parent of picky eaters, dinner is harder. Getting them to eat protein and veggies is tough (though carbs are never a problem). Birds Eye contacted to tell me about “Re-Writing the Dinnertime Rules” – which I think is pretty terrific.
Did you know that 90% of kids don’t eat the recommended amount of veggies each day? Nickelodeon’s Sam & Cat star Jennette McCurdy is on a mission to put the play back on the plate. She’s teamed up with Birds Eye Vegetables for a multi-week challenge for families to seize the fun and Rewrite the Dinnertime Rules leading up Nickelodeon’s 10th annual Worldwide Day of Play this fall (in NYC, it will be in Prospect Park in Brooklyn on September 21).
McCurdy and Birds Eye have the following suggestions for getting started Rewriting the Dinnertime Rules. “These rules are only the beginning”, McCurdy says. “Kids have endless imagination—veggie tacos, veggie faces, veggie ‘try’ outs and on and on. Rewriting the rules means letting them put the fun in the picture. I had so much fun filming as I played with my Birds Eye veggies, so I hope kids will watch my videos and they will provide inspiration!”
For spreading the word, Birds Eye sent us a Rachael Ray Casserole Dish, frozen samples their Steamfresh product, veggie face plates and coupons to try more products.
Here are some fun NEW rules for Dinnertime:
1. Role Reversal: Kids pick the menu and the veggies, help shop for groceries and are in charge of making the meal (yes, mom and dad are allowed to help and do the “heavy lifting”). This is ideal for kids over 9 or 10; but younger kids can help plan the meal, set the table, put out side dishes.
2. Play with Your Birds Eye Veggies: Encourage your kids to use their veggies to make smiley faces or create colorful rainbows or pictures on their plate. And yes, they will eat the veggies after!
This was our favorite rule — as you can see from the pic below. We love the Steamfresh line — our faves are the corn and the peas. We found so many fun ways to “play” with our food. It really helped to get my kids into mealtime.
3. Celebrate EVERY bite: It can take up to 12 times (really) for a child to like a new type of vegetable. Give your child a high five for every bite your picky eater takes (or a round of applause).
4. Be a Veggie Explorer. There are all sorts of cool and surprising ways to serve veggies. Like smoothies (mixed veggies with yogurt, OJ and honey), popsicles (carrots and OJ) and salad dressings (carrot ginger). You AND your kids will be amazed at all the cool ways you can eat your veggies.
The Birds Eye and Nickelodeon partnership is in its second year.
Personally, I always keep frozen veggies on hand. Besides making sure I always have a vegetable to serve my kids, also I throw them in soups to amp up the veggie content (it’s also a great way to get kids to eat them). But I never thought about using them to make pizza (which is something we make often).
Recipe: Green Monster Pizza
- 1 box (10 oz.) Birds Eye® Chopped Broccoli, thawed
- 1 3⁄4 cups crushed tomatoes
- 2 refrigerated whole wheat Bagels, halved
- 1 cup reduced-fat shredded mozzarella
- Preheat oven to 425°F.
- Add tomatoes to a saucepan and bring to a boil; add broccoli, reduce heat and simmer for about 5 minutes.
- Equally divide sauce between the four bagel halves.
- Top bagels with 2 tablespoons cheese.
- Place on a baking sheet and bake for about 8 minutes, or until bagel is at desired crispness and cheese is lightly browned.
Enter our Birds Eye Giveaway
Thank you to Birds Eye for sending me the casserole dish, the funny face plates, coupons, and Steamfresh Vegetables and providing the prize for this giveaway. No other compensation was received. As always, all opinions are my own.