FOOD

How Tara Rosa Gets Her Four Kids to Eat Their Vegetables

December 14th, 2020

When you’re trying to eat healthily, it’s all about flavor. A delicious dressing can turn a salad into something truly craveable, while lean proteins like chicken breasts can go from simple to sensational with the spicy tang of harissa and plenty of garlic. Easy enough with an adult’s palate—but what about when you have kids in the house, and all they want to eat is chicken nuggets?

With four girls under the age of six, bridging the flavor divide at mealtime is something Tara and Mandi Rosa know a lot about, and one of the many parenting topics they cover on their popular YouTube channel, LivingRosa. We asked Tara to share some of her tried-and-true tips for encouraging healthy eating habits in little ones:

  1. Bump up the healthy stuff: “Offer them their veggies as an “appetizer” while you’re cooking dinner. Normally they are always so hungry before dinner time they will eat the veggies no problem while they wait for the rest of the meal.”
  2. Remember, they eat with their eyes first: “Try preparing things differently—perhaps they like their food mixed together rather than separated, or maybe they would prefer a dish cut into stripes rather than small pieces.”
  3. Find easy ways to customize: “Everyone in our house likes carrots but we have one daughter who will only eat them raw, two who like them steamed, and Mandi and I like them baked. There are also times that we might leave out certain spices on their portions, or they might use ketchup when we use gravy.”
  4. If at first you don’t succeed…: “Always offer them food that you’re eating. Never assume that they don’t like it; just because they didn’t like it last time doesn’t mean they won’t eat it this time!”

Read on to learn more about what the Rosa family eats in a day and one of their go-to family-pleasing recipes.

What Tara Rosa Eats in a Day

8:00 a.m. Breakfast: The wife and I always start our day with coffee. We both also love cereal! If we have extra time in the morning we would make egg sandwiches, omelettes, or avocado toast. The kids always start their morning with an organic yogurt drink and a Nature’s Bakery fig bar.
11:00 a.m. Snack: I normally grab some fruit or whip up a smoothie to hold me over until lunch.
2:00 p.m. Lunch: I am terrible when it comes to lunch (honestly sometimes I skip it all together). Our kids love peanut butter and jelly, hummus, sweet peppers, and carrot sticks. I tend to eat the leftovers or snack on the food as I prepare it for them.
6:00 p.m. Dinner: We eat a lot of chicken and roasted veggies in our house! It’s something that everyone can agree on. If the kids finish their food they always ask for a treat: typically a cookie or a scoop of ice cream.

Tara Rosa’s Easy Pesto Chicken Recipe

Yield: 2-4 servings
Active Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

Ingredients
2-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
4 tablespoons pesto
½ cup panko breadcrumbs
Drizzle of Thrive Market Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 tablespoon parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions
Preheat the oven to 375F. Lightly coat a baking sheet with cooking spray. Pat the chicken breast dry and arrange on a baking sheet.

Mix together panko crumbs, parmesan cheese, drizzle of olive oil, and salt and pepper in a small bowl. Spread 1 tablespoon jarred pesto sauce onto the top side of each chicken breast. Top with panko breadcrumb mixture.

Bake at 375F for 25 minutes or until chicken is fully cooked to 165F.

Pair with your favorite roasted veggies and pasta or rice. Enjoy!

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Kendall LoweryKendall Lowery is a current college student and a lifelong food enthusiast. When she’s not studying, she spends her time playing the flute, finding her next great bite, and working at Thrive Market as Content Contributor.

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