Jennette McCurdy of Nickelodeon’s Sam & Cat and iCarly recently teamed up with Birds Eye to get our kids excited about veggies and show us how healthy eating can be fun too. Nickelodeon’s Worldwide Day of Play may not be until September 21st, but there’s no time like the present to begin healthy eating habits while playing with your veggies.
I had the opportunity to meet the lovely Jennette at a Birds Eye event, where she showed us some delicious recipes, new rules for dinner, and even joined us for some food games. “No playing with your food,” definitely did not apply here!
My first order of business was to taste-test my veggies blindfolded! Parents put their taste buds to work as they tried out some new recipes and guess which veggies were used. In the photo above, I tried the Birds Eye Sweet Pea Guacamole (sans that fatty avocado), and it was delicious. A guacamole lover myself, this is a must-try recipe!
Birds Eye Sweet Pea Guacamole
- 1 bag (12 oz) Steamfresh® Sweet Peas, cooked according to package directions and cooled slightly
- 4 ounces 1/3-less fat cream cheese, softened
- 1/4 cup light sour cream
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 1 medium tomato, diced
- 1/4 cup chopped onion
- Hot pepper sauce
- In the bowl of a food processor, combine cooked peas, cream cheese, sour cream, garlic and lime juice; mix until smooth.
- Spoon into a bowl; stir in onion and tomato. Season to taste with hot pepper sauce and salt.
- Cover and refrigerate dip for 2 hours before serving.
- Sprinkle with cilantro if desired, and serve with tortilla chips.
Birds Eye also introduced 4 new house rules to show kids how much fun eating their veggies can be.
Rule #1: Role Reversal
Kids pick the menu and the veggies, help shop for the groceries and are in charge (with a little help from mom and dad) in the kitchen. Plus, they get to pick the theme and dress and decorate accordingly, whether it’s hitting the “beach,” bringing out your family’s wild side in the “jungle,” or cheering on your favorite sports team.
Rule #2: Play With Your Birds Eye Veggies!
You can use your veggies to make smiley faces or create colorful rainbows on your plate… you can even give your broccoli a mohawk haircut (really!)… just have fun!
Rule #3: Celebrate Every Bite
It can take up to 12 times for kids to try a new type of veggies, or any new food before he or she begins liking it (www.choosemyplate.gov). So, keep it up! And while you’re at it, give yourself a high five for every bite your kids take.
Rule #4: Be A Veggies Explorer
There are all sorts of cool and surprising ways to serve veggies. Like smoothies (mixed veggies with yogurt, OJ and honey), popsicles (carrots and OJ) and salad dressings (carrot ginger). You AND your kids will be amazed at all the cool ways you can eat your veggies.
We had a great time getting to know Jennette (did you know that neither Jennette McCurdy or Miranda Cosgrove have their ears pierced?), and playing with our food. I was absolutely shocked when I saw my little one go back for seconds on the smoothie with corn in it. Later on she said that it gave it a great extra boost of sweetness. Take that, sugar!
This was a great event to go to not only because my girls were DYING to meet Jennette McCurdy, but also because we discovered great new ways I hadn’t thought of to incorporate healthy eating habits into our routine. Before this, my best move was putting anything and everything on a skewer (a technique I still stand by- somehow this makes food taste better). A lot sure has changed since I was kid, when I would pretend to be one of the dinosaurs eating trees in The Land Before Time movies with my broccoli!
Here are a couple of more fantastic recipes provided by Birds Eye:
- 1 bag (12 oz.) Steamfresh® Broccoli, Cauliflower & Carrots, cooked according to package directions, cooled
- 1/2 cup low fat vanilla yogurt
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- 1 large ripe banana
- 3 Tablespoons honey or brown sugar
- 1-1/2 cups ice cubes
1. In blender, combine all ingredients and process until smooth. Serve immediately.
Green Monster Pizza Night
- 1 box (10 oz.) Birds Eye® Chopped Broccoli, thawed
- 1 3⁄4 cups crushed tomatoes
- 2 refrigerated Lender’s® 100% Whole Wheat Bagels, halved
- 1 cup reduced-fat shredded mozzarella
- Preheat oven to 425°F.
- Add tomatoes to a saucepan and bring to a boil; add broccoli, reduce heat and simmer for about 5 minutes.
- Equally divide sauce between the four bagel halves.
- Top bagels with 2 tablespoons cheese.
- Place on a baking sheet and bake for about 8 minutes, or until bagel is at desired crispness and cheese is lightly browned.