All parents know how hard it can be sometimes getting your kids to eat something healthy, especially vegetables! Even just a bite, a lick, a smell, cmon kids!!! I'm a mum to 2 boys who refuse to eat anything that slightly reassembles a vegetable! I have begged, tricked, used reserve psychology, bribed, sacrificed myelf to the Gods but it is still a struggle every day.
So how do I make sure my kids are still what they need every day? It is not easy! So I've included a few tips and tricks along with some recipes that may help you....I'm no expert, just a desperate mum sharing some of my experiences and advice.
No matter what, always still serve your kids fresh, whole vegetables even if they refuse to eat it. Kids still need to see/feel/taste real vegetables. If it is always "hidden" then they will never know what a real vegetable is. Kids need to be presented with a food around 15 or 20 times (or more) before they will learn it is ok to eat it!!
If possible, always sit down with your kids and eat a meal together with no distractions (e.g. tv). Kids learn about good eating habits by seeing us eat. I always try and make sure we sit together as a family at the dinner table.
Try and make vegetables fun! Serve vegetables on a novelty plate or arrange them in a funny shape or face. Invest in a vegetable sprial maker - you will be surprised at how kids react when plain old carrots or zucchinis turn into a long, slender spaghetti-like fun!
Get kids involved in the process. This can start right at the beginning from planting their own vegetables, harvesting them or shopping with you and helping you cook in the kitchen. I invested in some kids safe cutting knifes and peelers. That way my little ones can help me prepare the veges for dinner. http://kiddiesfoodkutter.com.au/
Don't pressure your child into eating them otherwise your child will have negative feelings about food and eating. Try to always stay positive and know that there is always tomorrow.
Hidden Vegetable Recipes
Now, I'm not saying these recipes are to replace fresh, whole vegetables but these foods are great as a "sometimes" food. I sometimes bake up big batches to freeze and use as lunch box snacks. And the best part? They taste delicious and are made with vegetables!!
- Apple and Zucchini Muffins - You will be amazed at how delicious and moist these are! They freeze very well too!
- Zucchini Brownies with Avocado Chocolate Icing - so very rich and moist!
- Corn Fritters - who doesn't love a good old fritter? These are great to use up any left-over vegetables that were refused the night before
- Savoury Muffins - you can add in whatever veges you have laying around!
- Mini Quiches - a family favourite
- Cauliflower Tots - these are so simple!
- Zucchini Tots - just like Tater Tots but with zucchini
- Sausage Rolls - your kids won't be able to resist!
- Chickpea Chocolate Biscuits - your kids will have no idea!
Sources (Kidspot; Kiddies Food Kutter; Crazy for Crust; Paleo Spirit; Tasty; TRTLMT; Storypark)