It’s notoriously difficult to get kids to eat their veggies. As parents, it can get tiring to constantly fight with your kids about eating their veggies. Although it may be a short-term solution, sneaking veggies into your kids’ diets is one of the best ways to get them to eat veggies and ensure they are eating a well-balanced diet.
Check out these simple recipes:
Mac n’ cheese
Mac n’ cheese, whether homemade or from a box, is often a last resort for parents looking for something for their kids to eat. The next time you bring out the blue box, also bring some veggies to the mix. You won’t feel as bad about having mac n’ cheese for dinner (again), and your kids will get nutritional benefits from it. If your child doesn’t mind some color, try adding peas. If your kid is sure to complain about the new addition, then try pureeing steamed veggies like carrots and sweet potatoes into the mix. The golden hue of these foods gives the impression that the mac n’ cheese is extra cheesy—not extra healthy.
At snack time, try a smoothie. You can add just about any vegetable you want into a fruit smoothie; and the sweet, fruit flavors mask any hint of veggie, such as kale, broccoli, spinach, or carrots. You can even make a pumpkin-pie smoothie with canned pumpkin. As a bonus, smoothies blended with veggies also tend to be a good way to get grown-ups to eat their veggies, too, especially when salads and side dishes start getting old. You can also put smoothies into popsicle molds for frozen treats that work well for snacks or as an after-dinner “dessert.”
Try pureeing some veggies into your favorite pasta toppings. You can make a butternut squash “cheese sauce” that can double for toppings for anything cheesy. Or add some mushrooms to the ground meat that goes into your lasagna. You can even sneak carrots and other veggies into tomato sauce for an extra veggie punch. Make your Sloppy Joes extra sloppy by adding in a few chopped carrots or even a touch of spinach. Many casseroles benefit from adding some vegetables into the sauce mix because they not only add some nutritional value but also add some moisture to the dish.
When it comes to getting kids to eat veggies, sometimes all it takes is a little extra chopping and color coordinating. See what works for your family. Once the kids are older you can teach them about the importance of eating green.