Most toddler and preschool aged children are not meeting the recommended intake of approximately 1-3 cups of vegetables per day - my son included. The struggle is real when it comes to getting my toddler to eat vegetables. He enjoys most fruits, but ninety-nine percent of the time when vegetables are offered they end up on the kitchen floor.
My son's pickiness towards vegetables caught me by surprise. When we first introduced solids into his diet, he ate every pureed fruit and vegetable variety we offered. One day I offered him an unappetizing thick mixture made from kale, white beans, brown rice, and pea - he even ate that. His willingness to eat vegetables came to a screeching halt when we moved to finger foods.
As a Registered Dietitian mom, I am passionate about offering my son a balanced diet including vegetables. One of my strategies for increasing his intake of vegetables is multiple re-exposures. Several studies have shown that it may take upwards of 12 exposures for children to start eating vegetables. We serve a vegetable with every single meal.
Another strategy we practice is to lead by example. For at least one meal a day we sit together as a family at the table and eat a balanced meal. I want my son to see how the rest of the family enjoys eating their veggies.
And when those methods don't work I move towards creativity - typically by adding vegetables to other dishes. I am excited to share some of my successes with this method in upcoming posts. For now, let's focus on today's recipe for Spinach Banana Waffles. This simple recipe made with only 5 ingredients, including a vegetable, can be ready in minutes. The recipe contains no gluten and is packed with protein and nutrients like iron and vitamin K.
My picky, non-vegetable eating son absolutely loves the Spinach Banana Waffles. He has eaten several of them over the past few days for both breakfast and dinner. I decided to serve the waffles plain to my son, but you could certainly add your favorite waffle topping. Perhaps Greek yogurt, fruit puree, or peanut butter would serve as delicious toppings? I love to promote creativity with waffle toppings!
A shout out to one of my clients who first led me on to this recipe concept by sharing a similar recipe for pancakes! No doubt these waffles are kid-tested and mother approved!
Spinach Banana Waffle
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Keywords: breakfast snack veggies egg
Ingredients (4 waffles)
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/2 cup spinach, raw
- 1medium banana,
- 1/2 cup oats
- Dash of vanilla and cinnamon
1. Heat waffle iron
2. In a blender, blend all ingredients until well combined (typically takes 1-2 minutes)
3. Pour batter into heated waffle iron to fill completely; repeat for all of the batter
4. Close iron and cook until waffle slightly browned and cooked through (typically about 5 minutes)
5. Optional: Top with Greek yogurt, syrup, or fruit
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