What’s the biggest trend hitting school lunch boxes this school year? Plant-forward options, encouraging kids to fill up on the beautiful colors, amazing flavors, and new food adventures the plant world has to offer.
Fruits and vegetables are claiming their rightful place at the foundation of plant-forward eating habits. The Coborn’s dietitian team encourages all kids and families to Have A Plant® – in the shape of more fruits and vegetables – to enjoy the beneficial role they play in a happier, healthier lifestyle. That’s right, according to the Produce for Better Health Foundation, market research suggests eating fruits and veggies every day of the week can help improve happiness, life satisfaction and emotional wellbeing.1,2
Here are some tips to help the kids in your life Have A Plant®, in the shape of fruits and vegetables:
Pick a Color Theme
Kids love a color scheme and silliness is sure to ensue when kids open a Go Green lunch box filled with green veggies (think cucumber spears, asparagus, broccoli, celery) and our Tasty Tofu Spinach Dip. Include green napkins and silverware to extend the theme.
Add Unfamiliar to Familiar
Kids are more likely to try a new food item, including a fruit or vegetable, when used in a meal they love or with other foods that are their favorites. Add zucchini noodles to a pasta dish, sliced radishes, kale or mango to tacos, or arugula, mushrooms or bell peppers to pizza.
Revamp a Favorite
Smoothies are a go-to for mornings on the run or after-school snacks. Increase the amount of fruits and vegetables included and pair with other nutrient-dense ingredients for a high-powered, smile encouraging option. Our Strawberry Papaya Smoothie includes three fruits plus tofu – a plant-based food that adds creaminess and takes on the flavors of foods with which it’s paired.
Most often we eat foods in combination, and pairing produce with other nutrient-dense foods can balance flavor, texture and nutrition. In our featured recipes, tofu – another plant-forward food – is the pairing. When used in dips, tofu’s creaminess balances the crunch of vegetables. In our smoothie, tofu adds plant protein to fruits’ vitamins and fiber. Pairing with other nutrient-dense foods – as we’ve done in these recipes – can be an effective way to work towards the goal of eating fruit and vegetables at least one more day each week and increasing happiness.
For more plant-forward recipes and information on tofu, click here.