Monica Irwin, the creator of Veggie Buds Club, recently Skyped with Twin Cities Live to discuss 4 simple snacktivities (1-2 ingredients!) that are guaranteed to keep your kids entertained and well-nourished. A snacktivity is simply a snack and activity combination, they are all guaranteed to make veggies fun for your kids!
Carrot Tower: Slice 1-2 carrots into “coin” shapes. Place them on a plate with some of your child’s favorite dip (i.e. nut/seed butter, ranch, or hummus). Encourage your child to stack the carrot “coins” as high as they can to make a Carrot Tower while they snack on carrots and dip at the same time. They can also use the dip as “glue” to help hold the tower together!
Bean Tic Tac Toe: Create a “Tic Tac Toe” board with 4 green beans. Use any type of veggie, snack food, or dry beans for the “X’s” and “O’s” and play Bean Tic Tac Toe with your child! Place some extra green beans on the side and encourage your child to snack on these while you play.
Peas & Cheese Necklace: Twist 2 pipe cleaners together. Place a plate of sugar snap peas and cubed cheese in front of your child and have them poke them on the pipe cleaners to make a “Peas & Cheese Necklace”. Have fun with patterns and counting as you do this activity with your child. They can eat their necklace when complete!
Popcorn Garland: Pop some popcorn, preferably unsalted and unbuttered. Prepare a needle and thread for your child (you know your child best, only have them do this activity if you’re comfortable letting them use a real needle!). Have them poke popcorn on the needle and create a garland while snacking on popcorn at the same time.
March's theme is "Give PEAS a Chance" here at Veggie Buds Club so we are excited to bring you this delicious and unique pea recipe from Noelle Martin!
Noelle Martin is a Registered Dietitian and mom of three young boys. She has a passion for education, inspiring, and empowering moms to make healthy choices for themselves and their families. Noelle loves involving her children in food planning and preparation for their home and sees the kitchen as a perfect area for teaching both academic and life skills. Follow @MotherhoodandMeals on Instagram for Noelle's nutrition tips, recipes, product reviews, and motherhood moments.
Creating a good relationship with food means enjoying treats along the way. I like to add as much nourishment to treats as possible. It doesn’t mean we can over indulge in them. It just means there is some extra nutrition in the serving we take. Here is a fun brownie recipe that you can make with your kids that includes nutrition from peas, avocado, and hemp hearts! If you want to make them peanut free you could use almond butter or sun butter in place of the peanut butter.
We are excited to bring you this month's adorable post from Katie Blauser, the creator of Eat Pretty Darling!
You can join in on lots of pea fun with our "Give Peas a Chance!" Veggie Buds Club box. Your child(ren) are guaranteed to love (...or at least try!) peas after this fun box, learn more and purchase here.
Katie Blauser is the mama of two boys, wife of a picky eater, and food lover at Eat Pretty Darling. She believes in making food fun, healthy, & pretty! Katie’s not only outnumbered by boys in her little family, but also by picky eaters. She loves trying to find new wys to get both kids and adults to eat healthy while making food pretty yummy, pretty healthy, and pretty fun! Find Katie on Instagram (@eatprettydarling), where she shares colorful and cute food ideas for both picky and adventurous eaters.
Turning food into art can make a once feared food a little more approachable. It doesn’t mean that your kids will automatically eat it all and love it, but they might actually touch it or even try it. The more we can expose our kids to new foods, the more comfortable they can get with them.
My pickiest eater loves hummus and carrots but still doesn’t want to try peas. Having him help me transform the peas into boats made him giddy and he was begging to eat them before we were even done! He took a bite and said the peas were yummy with hummus, but decided he still was learning to like the boat. I’m glad that he can now picture the Sugar Snap Peas as boats and associate it with a fun experience every time they are on his plate again!
How to Make Them
March's featured veggie is PEAS at Veggie Buds Club! We hope you enjoy this delicious pea recipe from this month's Veggie Buds Club subscription box.
This recipe was developed by Heather Staller, a mom of two boys, ages 6 and 4, and cooking instructor specializing in bringing cooking into preschool classrooms. After college, Heather knew she wanted to be a teacher, but first followed her lifelong dream of going to culinary school. Teaching cooking combines both of her passions, and she truly enjoys introducing young children to the joys of cooking with fresh ingredients. Find Heather on Instagram (@heather.happykidskitchen), where she shares inventive kid-friendly recipes and ideas for cooking with kids at home.
These falafel patties are packed with peas! Your little chefs will love adding all the ingredients to the food processor, pushing the button, and helping to make the patties with their hands. Not only are they fun to make, but you can enjoy them in so many different ways. Eat them like “nuggets” with Greek yogurt for dipping, in pita bread, or on top of lettuce leaves
with any toppings you’d like. You could even make the patties a little bigger and eat them on a bun as a burger or cook the falafel mixture in a waffle iron to make falafel waffles. Any way you cook them, falafel is the perfect way to enjoy peas!
To make falafel mixture into waffles, mix in 2 additional tablespoons of flour. Heat waffle iron and grease well. Do not open waffle iron before 5 minutes of cooking. Use a butter knife to gently lift falafel from the waffle iron and transfer to a plate.
I hope you enjoy this recipe that was included in Veggie Buds Club's "Kids Love Veggie Soup" box this month! It was developed by the very talented Heather Staller.
Heather is a mom of two boys, ages 4 and 2, and cooking instructor specializing in bringing cooking into preschool classrooms. After college, Heather knew she wanted to be a teacher, but first followed her lifelong dream of going to culinary school. Teaching cooking combines both of her passions, and she truly enjoys introducing young children to the joys of cooking with fresh ingredients. Find Heather on Instagram (@heather_kidskitchen), where she shares inventive kid-friendly recipes and ideas for cooking with kids at home.
Get kids involved in the kitchen- peeling carrots, adding veggies to the pot, and
stirring in those fun alphabet noodles with this veggie-packed, comforting soup.
-1 tablespoon olive oil
-½ small onion, cut into ¼-inch dice
-1 large carrot, peeled and cut into ¼-inch dice
-1 stalk celery, trimmed and cut into ¼-inch dice
-¼ teaspoon Kosher or coarse sea salt, plus more to season
-1 to 2 cloves garlic, minced
-1 medium sized waxy potato (red or yellow skinned), cut into ¼-inch dice
-¼ teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
-½ 15 ounce can crushed tomatoes (about ¾ cup)
-3 cups vegetable broth, chicken broth, or water
-Handful of green beans, trimmed and cut into small rounds
-½ cup frozen peas, frozen corn, or a combination of both
-½ cup alphabet shaped pasta*
-1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil or micro basil
-Freshly ground pepper
-Parmesan cheese, for the top (optional)
1. Heat olive oil in a large soup pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion, carrot, celery, and ¼ teaspoon of salt and cook until vegetables have softened slightly, about 5 minutes.
2. Add garlic, Italian seasoning, and potatoes. Stir an additional minute.
3. Add tomatoes, broth or water, green beans, and alphabet pasta. Bring pot up to a simmer and cook until vegetables are tender and pasta is cooked, about 10 minutes.
4. Stir in frozen peas then turn off heat and stir in fresh basil.
5. Taste soup for seasoning then add in pepper and additional salt, as needed.
6. Ladle into bowls and top with grated Parmesan cheese and a sprinkle of extra basil, if desired.
*Cooked pasta will absorb lots of liquid if left in the soup for an extended period of time. If you’d like to make this soup in advance or freeze a portion to enjoy another time, you will want to cook your pasta in a separate pot, drain, then add to the portion of the soup you will be eating right away.
We created this fun FREE printable for you to do at home with your kids! Memory is a classic game that's appropriate for a wide-range of ages. Use fewer matching cards for younger kids and increase the amount of matching cards for your older children. Why not make veggies the star by playing a "Veggie Memory Game"?!
Make this activity more robust by first reading a book featuring veggies, here are some of our suggestions:
"Eating the Alphabet" by Lois Ehlert
"Growing Vegetable Soup" by Lois Ehlert
"We're Going to the Farmers' Market" by Stefan Page
Veggie Memory Game Printable
Simply print both sheets out at home, cut out the cards (bonus if you can laminate them), and play!
This pea necklace activity is so simple yet so effective when it comes to getting your kids to eat veggies. We recommend using sugar snap peas as these tend to be a veggie that children are more likely to enjoy (they are super sweet and crunchy), another option are flat snow peas.
This is a great activity to do during your child's morning or afternoon snack time, encourage them to eat peas while they string their pea necklace!
How to Make a Pea Necklace