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It was a Saturday morning ritual. We would all get up early and drive down to our Farmers Market. When the boys were young, my husband kept them busy on the slides and swing set at a nearby park while I hunted for the freshest vegetables and fruits.
California has an abundance of fruits and vegetables, very much like my hometown of Coonoor in the cool Nilgiri hills. Here I have tasted nectarines, artichokes, English peas and Bibb lettuce.
I loved the tastes and textures of fresh fruits and vegetables and was determined to pass this legacy onto my young boys. How do you get your kids to eat broccoli and beans and chickpeas, my friends would ask me.
It's easy, I tell them, if you prepare them yourself. So the chickpeas are flavored with a mustard seeds, a grating of fresh coconut, a pinch of sea salt and and squeeze of lime juice. My kids couldn't get enough of them!
Broccoli sauteed with a bit of olive oil and tossed with lemon juice and garden-fresh tomatoes were gobbled up by the boys.
I discovered by accident that the best way get young children interested in fresh veggies and fruits is to offer them a variety and make sure you join in eating the same foods. My eldest son, now 23, didn't taste candy until he was nearly 5 so he loved raspberries and slices of fresh pears smeared with cheese.
As young adults, living away from home, both boys are vegetarian (difficult sometimes in US) and continue to enjoy all manner of vegetables. My oldest son has a vegetable garden which he shares with his Rugby playing roommates! My youngest, now 18, made ghee for the first time a few weeks ago!
Looking for good recipes? Our Indian heritage has plenty to offer. Add healthy twists. For example: Add a handful of peas, carrots or green beans to the onions when making Lemon Rice. And just like that a tasty, tangy dish has a serving of vegetable!