Eating leafy green vegetables is super important during the cooler months to support your families immune system, as Georgia Harding explains.

Green vegetables have a very high nutrient content, in fact, they have more nutrients per calorie than any other food. Forget fancy and expensive ‘super’ foods, greens are as nourishing as it gets. Their high level of nutrients coupled with many potent, immune enhancing Phyto (plant) chemicals, results in much- needed virus protection at this time of year. So consuming greens in some capacity, daily during winter, is a key factor in preventing colds and flu. Nature as always provides.

Getting your kids to enjoy leafy greens?

It took three years of serving up salads to my kids before they finally started eating them. My son used to pick up the leaves, frown and say ‘I don’t like flowers!’ (no matter how many times I corrected him that they were leaves, he maintained they were in fact flowers!). So if greens are off the cards for your kids there are a few things you can do to bring them around.

1. Keep eating them yourself – it is absolutely essential to always demonstrate healthy eating.

2. Always offering them. Put the greens in a self-serve bowl and encourage them to serve up some themselves (children love to participate in any way, they feel independent this way). If they are too young for this then just place one or two leaves onto their plate. As I said it took 3 years of doing this before either of my children enjoyed eating greens, so don’t give up.

3. Get them involved preparing the greens. My son was won over by simply washing and spinning the leaves in the salad spinner. This one simple task turned him from a green hater to a green lover overnight (because he’d been involved in ‘making’ the salad).

4. Get your kids to help grow them or at the very least, encourage them to help you shop for them. Giving kids a simple task in the supermarket greatly enhances their relationship with food. For example; ask them to pick the best lettuce they can find.

5. For older children, I find marketing the benefits of eating greens works really well. Don’t say ‘they are good for you’ as many children just don’t want a bar of being ‘good’. For example; my son wants to be stronger and faster, so I drop little hints that his favourite superhero relies on greens for his strength and speed. For my daughter, I appeal to her vanity – ‘greens for longer, shinier hair and clear skin’. Whatever appeals to your child. McDonald’s market their food to kids very well, so why can’t you? Don’t harp on, just little consistent reminders will do. I hope I have encouraged you to consider eating your greens and how simply they can be incorporated into winter meals. Try it this winter. I firmly believe that greens play an integral role in avoiding the typical winter onslaught of illness.

Well Nourished

Well Nourished  

Founded by Georgia, a mum, cookbook author, naturopath with 19 years experience and the creator of The Well Nourished Lunch Box Challenge, Well Nourished delivers wholesome, easy-to-follow recipes targeted to busy families. Readers flock to Well Nourished for inspiring health advice and free, nourishing, family friendly recipes. // www.wellnourished.com.au