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7 Ways to Get Your Kids to Eat Beans

When I think of beans I think of mushy, cold, baked beans in a can. This is what having beans meant in my childhood. To be honest, I can’t remember the first time I ate beans that weren’t baked beans in a can and it’s really only been in the past decade of having children that I realized and understood their importance. Not only do our children need these nutritious nuggets, our diets do as well, so starting with them, here are 7 ways to get your kids to eat beans:

1. Offer them right away when your baby/tot is old enough to eat them. We started at nine months with no digestive difficulty whatsoever. This was likely due to my soaking the beans for 24 hours in water with 1T apple cider vinegar before cooking them.

2. For a child toddler age or older, season them lightly with fajita seasoning, garlic or onion powder, sea kelp, butter/sea salt for a more recognizable flavor. Many beans take on the flavor of the foods they are cooked with.

3. For a toddler, plain cooked beans are a great finger food…they are soft and fun to play with and it’s a great age to introduce healthy options like beans.

4. Mash and mix them into a prepared hummus or spread for crackers or whole grain bread.

5. Add them to stews, soups and casseroles. This is easy to do with canned organic beans of many kinds. (Watch for the sodium levels in canned beans and to avoid this soak and cook them yourself for a fraction of the cost.)

6. Toss them into a whole grain pasta salad, either hot or cold.

7. Use the old standby of beans/rice. I have met very few children who don’t like this option, especially with a little melted cheese. If need be, mash the beans and stir them into the rice before melting the cheese.

Packed full of protein at 14-22 grams per cup, beans (legumes) prove to be versatile, a cinch to prepare and they barely make a dent in the pocketbook. They really need to become an important part of your diet and lifestyle with their many nutritional benefits. Sometimes it’s not easy to try something new, but I think once you start playing with the addition of beans in your diet, you will be happily surprised with the results.

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About the Author

Nichole Kuechle, My Healthy Beginning
P.O. Box 195
Long Lake, MN 55356

If you would like to re-print this article, please contact the author.
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