picky eater kids healthy recipes

Got a picky eater? Try these healthy recipes

Three easy healthy recipes for picky eaters, whether or not they’re kids!

Got a picky eater? Whether your picky loved one is a kid or a grown up, here are three easy recipes to help picky eaters of all ages eat more spinach, kale, and sweet potatoes, plus other veggies… with or without their knowledge.

To make it even easier, you can get many of these ingredients and sides home-delivered from Seasonal Roots’ year-round farmers market. Check it out here. If you’re not a member yet, the 30-day money back guarantee makes it easy to give it a try.


Who doesn’t love meatballs? And they’re a great place to hide the greens!

picky eater spinach meatballs

Sneaky Spinach Meatballs

4 servings
For a quick delicious meal, serve with your favorite local artisan’s prepared sauce, pasta, and a simple side of apple slices.


  • 1 c fresh local bread, cut or torn into pieces, or substitute Seasonal Roots’ gluten-free options
  • 3/4 c Oberweis milk, or water
  • 1 lb grassfed beef or a mixture of grassfed meats of your choice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pastured egg
  • 1/2 c cheese (parmesan or your fave), grated, or substitute Unmoo’s Notz
  • handful parsley and basil, chopped finely (optional)
  • 1-3 handfuls spinach or kale, puréed in a blender to make it invisible
  • salt/pepper to taste


  1. Get ready to bake or fry, your choice. Preheat oven to 350 or coat frying pan with grapeseed oil or vegetable oil.
  2. Soak bread in bowl of milk/water.
  3. Combine ground beef, garlic, egg, cheese, and greens. Feel free to use or mix together different types of ground meat: veal, pork, chicken, etc.
  4. Mix the soaked bread into the ground beef mixture and add milk. Form into balls.
  5. Oven: Bake meatballs on cooking tray for about 15 minutes, depending on size. Stovetop: Heat frying pan before adding meatballs for a nice crust.
  6. Meanwhile, boil your favorite pasta according to package directions and heat up a local artisan sauce in a saucepan or microwave. Dish up and serve!


Serve a smoothie as a drink, or for a really picky eater, go one step further — popsicles! Kids and adults alike sometimes don’t care for the texture of smoothies, but most of the time we all love popsicles.

picky eater kale smoothie popsicles

Hide the Kale Smoothie Popsicles

2 servings as a smoothie / or many popsicles

When bananas are a little past their prime, that’s when they’re perfect for smoothies, so pop them in the freezer. That way they’ll stop ripening and will be the right texture and temp for a smoothie whenever you’re ready to whip these up.

TIP: Freeze the kale ahead of time, too. Wash it, dry it, and throw it in the freezer as soon as you get it. Freezing it makes it less bitter. It will keep for weeks, even months, so you’ll have it whenever you need it with most of its nutrients intact.


  • 1 frozen ripe banana, peeled and sliced
  • 1/2 c frozen mixed berries, blueberries, or fresh apple, cored and chopped
  • 1 T chia seeds
  • 2 c frozen kale, chopped if leaves are large
  • 2/3 c pomegranate juice (it hides the taste of kale best)
  • 3/4-1/2 c water, or milk for more creaminess
  • 2/3 c pomegranate juice (it hides the taste of kale best)
  • 1 t – 1 T honey (for more sweetness – optional)
  • 1 T peanut or almond butter (optional)


  1. Add all ingredients to a blender.
  2. Blend until smooth, adding more water as needed. Taste and adjust flavors as needed. Add more banana or honey for more sweetness as needed.
  3. Pour into popsicle molds, freeze, and enjoy for a snack or dessert.


Actually, you can hide just about anything, including sweet potatoes! Use puréed or mashed sweet potatoes to thicken your favorite chili. It’s delish! Don’t have a chili fave? Try this one…

picky eater sweet potato chili

Secret Sweet Potato Chili

Serves at least 4
This is a good recipe for a busy day at home. Throw it all in one big soup pot or Dutch oven and let it cook — the longer the better! In fact, you can make it ahead and refrigerate or freeze for later.

Also, there’s a lot of wiggle room when it comes to the amount of each ingredient. So feel free to adjust everything to your taste for spice or thickness. Serve with fresh, locally baked crusty bread, and/or over spaghetti noodles, plus a side of carrot sticks… or if your picky eater “does” salad, go for the green — just keep it simple: lettuce or arugula, craisins, and sunflower seeds, topped with bits of cheese, for instance.

TIP: Bake sweet potatoes ahead of time, then slip off the skins and either mash them or give ’em a spin in the blender.


  • 3-6 slices pastured nitrate-free bacon, sliced
  • 1-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, chopped or diced
  • 1-3 lbs grassfed chuck roast or similar cut, cubed
  • 4-8 tomatoes, chopped, or up to a 20oz can of pureed tomatoes
  • 1 c or more water, as needed
  • 1 c or more mashed or pureed baked sweet potatoes (optional)
  • 1 can kidney beans (optional)
  • 6 slices of jalapeno (jarred or fresh), minced, discard seeds
  • 1 t salt (optional)
  • 1 T chili powder, or to taste
  • 1 T cumin
  • 1 T oregano, dried (if fresh, use 3x more)


  1. Don’t bother pulling the bacon slices apart. Just pull them out of the package all stuck together and cut them up as is into half-inch slices. Use a sharp knife or kitchen shears, whichever you find easier. Fry in a big, deep soup pot.
  2. As bacon bits start to brown, add garlic, then onion.
  3. When onion starts to turn translucent, add beef cubes to brown. If you’re making a larger amount of chili, dump the bacon, garlic, and onion into a bowl on the side and brown cubes in batches, pouring off liquid as needed and dumping each batch in the bowl. When all the cubes are browned, dump everything from the bowl back into the pot.
  4. Add tomatoes, fresh or canned, and enough water (if needed) to just barely cover everything. Increase temperature to bring to a boil.
  5. While waiting for it to boil, stir in sweet potato, beans (if using), jalapeno, and seasonings.
  6. When it reaches a boil, reduce heat to simmer, and cover. Stir occasionally and add water as needed while it cooks for at least an hour. Two hours is better. You’ll know it’s done when the meat cubes are so tender they fall apart easily with a fork.
  7. After you turn the heat off, it will stay hot on the stove for a good hour. You can also reheat it later. Then ladle it up and enjoy!


…Tips to help kids eat more veggies, click here.
…Signing up for Seasonal Roots home-delivered farmers market, click here.
…How to order from Seasonal Roots, click here.
…Seasonal Roots, click here.

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Tips, hacks, recipes, stories, and the weekly special all help you eat better live better with fresh local food!

Read the newsletter below, or view this issue as a printable PDF with clickable links.

newsletter 2019-03-27 FINAL-1

how to cook greens

How to cook greens

‘Tis the season for greens!

– Written by Margo L, veggie fairy & neighborhood Market Manager in Yorktown

Greens are loaded with perishable nutrients, so long as they’re fresh like our locally harvested greens. Our farmers are harvesting two types right now. The cabbage family (Cruciferae) includes bok choy, broccoli, cabbage (obviously), collards, kale, and turnips (which have tasty greens). The goosefoot family (Chenopodiaceae) includes beets, chard, and spinach.

So here’s the inside scoop on the difference between greens and how to make use of them, including how to cook greens.


Beets are loved or hated. They’re dense and have a strong, earthy flavor. But they’re also full of sugars. Beets can be boiled, steamed, or roasted to be eaten on their own or added to salads. They can even be used as a sweetener when baking certain desserts. Beet greens make an excellent salad green or can be sautéed or steamed.

Bok choy

Bok choy is sweet, crisp, and mild tasting. The stems are juicy and sweet and take a few minutes longer to cook than the mild-tasting greens. It’s delicious in stir fries and soups.


Broccoli crowns can be eaten raw, or cooked along with the stem. Just discard the shard tip, then slice the rest of the stem and steam or roast the slices longer than the crown, which needs only brief cooking. Bake broccoli into casseroles or add to soups and stews.


Cabbage, when overcooked, emits hydrogen sulfide (the rotten egg aroma), ammonia, and other foul smells. But cooked with care, it’s delish. Add it to soups or baked dishes, or simmer, sautée, or steam it. Eat it raw in slaws and salads, or use the leaves to wrap up a savory filling. Savoy cabbage, by the way, is the one with extremely crinkled leaves.


Chard, including lovely rainbow chard, is almost as quick cooking as spinach. You can steam, sautée, or braise it, or add it to soups, stews, and casseroles. The leaf and stem can be prepared together or they may be cooked and served separately.


Collards are actually a mild tasting variety of kale. Leathery looking but tender after an encounter with heat, they both do well when you slice them into slivers and cook them briefly. They’re commonly cooked with smoked meats, onions, chiles, garlic, and vinegar. But they’re also good with ginger, coconut, and spices like turmeric, coriander, cardamom, and cumin. Raw kale is good in salads or hide it in a smoothie.


Spinach is a delicate veggie and best when lightly cooked, just until it begins to go limp. Its mild flavor absorbs any seasoning and its leaves have a velvety quality. Just wash it well, shake off most of the water, and put it in a hot pan – the moisture clinging to the leaves will be sufficient to wilt it. Spinach can also be eaten raw in a salad or smoothie.


Turnips, in this case salad turnips, taste similar to a radish – earthy, crunchy, and peppery. Eat the roots and greens raw in a salad, or slice and sautée them.

So eat your greens, enjoy the flavors, and feel oh so very virtuous!


Since 2011, Seasonal Roots’ online farmers market has connected Virginia families with local family farmers who use sustainable, humane practices. Our veggie fairies – mostly moms who believe in living better through scrumptious, healthy eating, being kind to animals, protecting the environment, and spreading joy – home-deliver freshly harvested produce, pastured eggs, grassfed dairy and meat, plus artisan fare. We empower our members to eat better and live better with more nutritious, flavorful food that’s good for us and good for the planet. More info at

kids love kale recipes

These kale recipes make kids love kale


Tips, hacks, recipes, stories, and the weekly special all help you eat better live better with fresh local food!

These kale recipes make kids love kale
They even made me, a grown woman, love kale, too!
by Meredith, veggie fairy & neighborhood market manager

I’ve never been much of a “routine” person, despite my best efforts. However, every Wednesday after I complete all my deliveries I do the exact. Same. Thing.

Upon returning home, I unload all the boxes my members have given me to reuse and recycle (thank you!) Next, I head to my kitchen, where I unload and put away my own basket of goodies — everything but the kale and an apple (or a handful of grapes in the summertime). Then I proceed to make my favorite lunch…

Read the rest of the newsletter below, or view this issue as a printable PDF with clickable links.

newsletter page1

newsletter page2

Cooking with kids – Tip #4


Fourth in a 4-part series on cooking with kids
By Jamila T, chief area manager & veggie fairy godmother:

(TIP 1: Start with projects)
(TIP 2: Let them do hard things)
(TIP 3: Set kitchen ground rules)
(PS: Clean up & celebrate!)

Common sense is key when you’re cooking with kids. While it’s important to give children challenging, meaningful tasks, it’s equally important to make sure those tasks are appropriate for their ability. Appropriate tasks build confidence and character, and will ultimately be a rewarding experience for everyone. Not to mention, your little ones will actually help you… not just “help” you.

So… cooking with a three-year-old? Leave the chef knife in the butcher block and opt for one with a small blade. Better yet, select a recipe that calls for tearing rather than cutting!

Tearing and baking. If you have tiny helpers, let them try their hand at tearing kale leaves from the stems. Older kids? Put them on oven duty!



olive oil
optional seasonings: roasted sesame seeds, finely grated Parmesan, paprika, chili powder, flax seeds, nutritional yeast, brown sugar, taco seasoning, lemon or lime zest

Directions (watch the video!):
1. Tear kale from stems.
2. Wash and dry torn kale.
3. In a large bowl, toss kale with oil and salt.
4. Arrange in single layer on baking sheet and sprinkle on seasonings if desired.
5. Bake 20 minutes at 300 degrees F.

Celebrate by posting a picture on our Facebook page!

Want to try another recipe project? It’s in the PS post, and here’s what you’ll need:
Add sweet potatoes, Bella Vita sourdough bread, Trickling Springs Creamery whole milk, Saddle Ridge Farm eggs, and maple breakfast sausage to your basket when the Seasonal Roots online farmers market menu opens on Friday.

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