Microgreens, the latest favourite of parents to tackle fussy-eaters.
Cindy Kambeitz’s nine-year-old son, Mikey, only eats carrots, snow peas and lettuce. “It’s pretty frustrating. I’ve tried everything to get him a boiled veg down his throat and now I’m giving up,” she shared with Oakville News.
On his birthday, Mikey got a chia pet (terracotta figurines used to sprout chia) and loved watching it grow. “Shortly thereafter, we wondered if he could actually eat a vegetable he grew. Next, I bought some pea seeds, which we planted and watched grow,” she continued. As a family, they started cutting off some leaves at dinner and called it “Mikey’s Salad.” And the plan works so far!
They plan to grow some broccoli microgreens as a March break activity this week.
As a mother of two boys, Cindy’s experience encapsulates the frustrating journey of several parents who have tried the harshest or most creative methods of feeding their children greens! Considering how picky kids are when it comes to veggies, this local mom gives hope to many others for a homemade fix, quite literally. We spoke to several parents in our town and found that microgreens (plants grown and harvested at an immature stage) are their latest favorite and savior!
“Microgreens are baby greens and their flavor is pretty bland. Even though they’re small, they’re packed with vitamins, minerals, protein and phytonutrients that provide 10 to 40 times more nutrients than their mature counterparts,” said Haley McKenna, nutritionist and mompreneur. As a mother of two picky teenagers, she’s been looking for a way to grow microgreens for her family for a while because she can easily shred them and turn them into “green sprinkles” on everything, including her son’s pizza and tacos.
After successfully growing them at home and hiding them in smoothies for his neurodivergent son who hates green things, she listened to a podcast about microgreens and learned about a course to help her grow microgreens for sale.
Oakville Microgreens, Haley’s start-up company, is gaining popularity with parents who don’t want to grow microgreens at home. When choosing a vendor, they pay particular attention to freshness and speed to market because the second a vegetable is harvested, the nutrients begin to break down. When there is a surplus in her weekly harvest, she also donates to the Kerr Street Mission.
“I was intrigued to know that microgreens can be harvested 10-14 days after planting. These are like concentrated veggies that can be hidden in all types of meals. But I don’t have the time, so I prefer to order from local low-cost companies like Oakville Microgreens. We need the most nutritious ‘bang for the buck’ with escalating food prices,” shared another local mother of three young children.
Haley shares that her son is helping her plant the seeds and her daughter is helping harvest the microgreens. With a highlight about incorporating veggies into your daily lifestyle, she encourages parents to try easy green smoothies with simple recipes like mixing broccoli microgreens, 1/2 a frozen ripe banana, some plain yogurt, and pineapple juice.