Not in a box.
Not with a fox.
Not in a house.
Not with a mouse.
I would not eat them here or there.
I would not eat them anywhere.
I would not eat green eggs and ham.
I do not like them, Sam-I-am…
You do not like them.
So you say.
Try them! Try them!
And you may.
Try them and you may, I say.
Our kids are very familiar with the words of the popular Dr. Seuss book, Green Eggs and Ham. Not only because it is such a fun book to read and it makes its way into our read-aloud rotation often.
But also because they hear the refrain, “try them! try them! and you may!”, at the dinner table when presented with new foods. Their hesitant squeamish groans are met with lines of literature and encouragements not to pass on foods they have yet to taste.
Of course, we do use these classic rhymes on adults in the family who turn up their nose at vegetables as well. They just usually lack the imagination needed to succumb to the persuasive power of Dr. Seuss.
Seriously, though, as someone who NEVER ate vegetables as a child or my early adult years (with the exceptions of canned green beans and boiled carrots I was forced to choke down), I can say that Dr. Seuss does know what he’s talking about.
I have learned to like most vegetables. My tastes have changed, and thankfully, our kids are following suit. My eldest regularly fights us for the greens (they are my husband’s favorite too), and our pickiest little eater has surprised us on occasion by eating thirds of the delicious side at dinner as well. (If you’re curious, our middle child will eat the greens, but does not ask for seconds).
I will not insist that EVERYONE should enjoy sautéed greens, but I will echo Dr. Seuss and say “Try it! Try it! And you may!!!”
This is as much true for our children as it is for us. Introduce fresh vegetables often and make it the norm to try new things together as a family. Your kids may surprise you too as you create a culture of healthy eating in your home.
We like our greens with heaps of garlic, but if garlic isn’t your family’s thing, feel free to cut the garlic in half. It will also seem like you are using an overwhelming amount of greens, but they cook down so much we have found that it’s hard to use too many.
A big bag of organic mixed greens (baby spinach, baby kale, Swiss chard) is a little less than $5 at Costco. We use about half the bag for a side dish at dinner.
Sautéed Garlicky Greens
- 6-8 cups greens (kale, spinach, swiss chard, or a combination)
- 6-8 garlic cloves, minced (more or less according to preference)
- 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 C water
1. Heat the olive oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and sauté for about 30 seconds, until the garlic is fragrant.
2. Add 3-4 handfuls of greens and stir until the garlic is mixed in evenly. Cook the greens over medium heat for 1 minute. Add a half teaspoon of kosher salt and a quarter cup of water. Cover the greens and cook for 5 minutes.
3. Remove the lid. Stir 3-4 more handfuls of greens into the skillet. Cover the skillet again and cook for 3 more minutes.
4. Remove the lid and cook for 2 more minutes until some of the liquid is reduced.
What kind of eater were you as a child? Picky or adventurous?
What is your favorite healthy vegetable as an adult?