The next thing I knew my children, lead by my husband began stomping around the house chanting “Don’t trust mom.! Don’t trust mom!”.
They have threatened me with with spy cameras ever since that day, but I still try to get as much healthy stuff into them as possible.
The first thing to keep in mind when you’re trying to get more vitamins and minerals out of your diet is to buy fruits and vegetables that have more vitamins and minerals. Our modern cultivation practices have cut their nutritional value down drastically. Organic produce contains higher amounts of essential nutrients due to better soil management practices.
We also need to keep in mind that there is no one plant source that can replace your multi vitamins - you must include many plant sources. Eat the rainbow, not in candy form however, in fruit and veggie form. Vitamins are chemical compounds made up of elements from the periodic table for example vitamin C is ascorbic acid C6H8O6, table salt is sodium chloride or NaCl, water is H2O, you get the picture. Minerals are elements found on the periodic table, for example magnesium Mg, and calcium Ca. If you remember from chemistry class colour was an indicator of an element, or of chemical change. Everytime you eat a different coloured food you're ingesting different nutrients. My personal favorite is beta carotene, used to make vitamin A, because it’s bright orange. Including many different colours in your family’s diet will help insure a wide range of nutrients. If you have fussy children you may want to get them involved in growing a rainbow garden that includes veggies and berries from all the different colours of the rainbow.
Variety is the key to a balanced diet. Some nutrients such as vitamin C are destroyed during the cooking process. Others such as beta carotene become more readily available to our bodies. Making sure we eat not only a variety of colors but of cooked and uncooked foods can insure a good balance of vitamins and minerals in our bodies.
Here are some ways to include more raw fruits and veggies without salad overload.
Using fresh cut herbs, or shredded fruits, and veggies for toppings on various dishes, is one way to sneak in some extra raw. Not only does this look pretty but it’s one more way to get in extra nutrients without being too obvious. You can top chili with a touch of cheese and sour cream with a bit of chopped cilantro, parsley or chives on top. If this is well accepted then you can start to “garnish” food with all sorts of lovely colourful things that look pretty. If food looks pretty it must taste yummy. Go slow though or they’ll know you're up to something!
Adding extra cooked veggies is actually very simple. You can put shredded veggies into almost just ask my mom, she managed to hide zucchini in almost every meal, and even accomplished hiding sauerkraut in chocolate cake. Now I crave zucchini and hide it in my family’s fares, and sauerkraut has been slowly making it’s way into my diet as well. The trick here is not to add to many powerful flavors or they’ll be onto you in no time. Sometimes however the shredding trick doesn’t work. A very close friend of mine has a husband who is so fussy she makes his spaghetti sauce with veggies, then puts it in the blender so he won’t notice.
Getting the most nutrition into your family can be a real art. As they grow and develop more mature taste buds they unknowingly acquire the taste for a variety of fruits and vegetables and you’ll be thankful for all the hard work, and creative thought you put into feeding them. And who knows maybe one day they’ll be grateful too. I know I am. Thanks Mom!
Live life to the fullest,
Hi, I'm Cyndi Bird, hobby homesteader, aspiring writer, amature photographer, art and craft enthousiast and wanna be cook.