Research shows if we place a plate of veggies out, we are more likely to finish them. This is the origin of the 21-Day Veggie Challenge by Vegy Vida. Read on to learn more.
If the world’s table can be viewed as a potluck, then every one of us should consider an appetizer from Mother Earth.
Research shows that if we put a pretty plate of fresh veggies out on the table before a meal, kids and grownups will be more likely to finish them. This is especially important since 93 percent of kids do not get their daily recommended servings of veggies – one to three cups a day depending on age.
“Brilliant idea!” we thought of the veggie tray. “But how do we transform one good act into a lifelong habit? Habits take time to form, maybe days or weeks.
Thus the seeds were planted for our 21-Day Veggie Challenge by Vegy Vida.
It is a pretty simple plan:
- What is it? The 21-Day Veggie Challenge is a fun way to make a healthy habit change. Just prepare and put out a plate of veggies as a snack or before your meal every day for 21 days.
- Why? It takes 21 days to develop a habit, even a good one!
- How to start? After setting out your veggie plate, snap a photo and then feast! Easy peasy, lemon squeezy.
- Spread the word via social media. Encourage your friends to eat their veggies by creating a Facebook album and adding your photos over 21 days. Tag your posts with #21daysofveggies
Need inspiration? There’s plenty of gorgeous and healthy veggie tray fodder on Pinterest. There, for example, one can find pins by moms like Emily Lindberg, who topped her luau veggie tray with a carrot-and-green-pepper palm tree.
We also applaud several foodie bloggers, including Mary Frances Hart at “Cook Eat Share” for her vibrant veggie platter that uses a purple cabbage as an optional dip bowl. And we thank Valerie Rice, who assembles breathtakingly simple but gorgeous veggie trays, featured on her blog “Eat Drink Garden.” Rice understands the importance of putting veggies first: “A pre-dinner veggie snack plate is an easy way to get my kids crunching on carrots and radishes rather than crackers or chips.”
We also recognize our many Vegy Vida ambassadors, including Ginger Moser and Alexandra Wadsworth, for their creative and enthusiastic efforts to (successfully) get their little ones to eat more veggies.
Ready for the challenge but have questions? Check out our handy-dandy FAQs below.
21-Day Veggie Challenge FAQs:
Do the veggies have to be raw?
Not necessarily, though raw veggies may hold up longer when set out. Some roasted veggies, including baby potatoes, beets, zucchini and kale chips, are robust enough to hold up and are easy recipes to follow. The key is to use very little olive oil so they do not get soggy or too yucky to handle.
Am I required to eat only veggies?
No! Veggies are essential for a complete, balanced diet that includes sources of proteins, fats and grains. We just suggest you eat your veggies first, followed by a complete meal.
Can I add dips or dressings to my veggie tray?
We know that plain veggies can be a hard sell to some people, especially kids whose palates are extra sensitive to certain tastes. So we suggest healthy, all-natural dips and toppers. Avoid products that carry lots of preservatives, sugars and artificial flavorings. After all, what’s the point of making those beautiful trays if we offset the nutritional value of the veggies with unhealthy additives?
Are there other suggested ways to prepare veggies?
Blanching is a great process for serving cooked, but cool, veggies such as green beans. Cook veggies in boiling water for a few minutes and then give them an immediate ice bath. Be warned, however, some veggies such as broccoli lose much of their nutrients when boiled.
Do I have to post photos every day?
At Vegy Vida we’re all about making life healthier and easier, so we encourage you to post photos every few days, like miniature photo albums. Experience has taught us that friends and family enjoy these combo-plate photos better.
I am not great in the kitchen. Does it have to be camera-beautiful?
Hey, we are far from perfect, and we don’t judge. Our goal is to get you to eat more veggies, by whichever method works for you. If that means assembling beautiful veggie bouquets, have at it. But if you only have time to throw a couple handfuls of carrots and green beans on a plate, then go to town. One easy recipe tip: Toss the veggies into a couple of water glasses or jars. Viola! You are a veggie connoisseur.
The benefit of veggie plates is their spectrum of color makes them pretty on their own. Next time you are at the grocery or farmers’ market, look for reds and greens and even purples. Each color signifies different nutritional benefits, so the more colors you eat, the healthier you and your kids will feel.
For more info about the #21daysofveggies challenge, check in at www.facebook/vegyvida.