If you have picky eaters in your family, dinner time can be a huge struggle. Once child wants chicken while another child will only eat food that’s in the shape of a dinosaur. The hardest part is usually trying to get your kids to eat a balanced meal with colorful vegetables and fruits. The good news is there are some tricks out there to help you sneak in their daily servings of veggies without your kids ever realizing it. Then maybe after they tell you how much they love it and they want more you can go ahead and share your little secret. They might even be open to trying new veggies after learning they already like some! Here are some tips for sneaking veggies in your family meals:
Before trying to sneak in the veggies, be open and encouraging with your kids and give them several different options to try. Put a colorful plate in front of them with some butternut squash, carrot sticks, Brussels sprouts, beets, etc. and ask them to take a small bite of each. If they don’t like it and don’t want to eat more that’s fine, but make sure they try at least one bite.
If you’re lucky, you can mix veggies in with your child’s pasta and he will love it. If you’re not so lucky, he will find a way to pick out all of the veggies and only eat the pasta. The way around this is to puree the veggies into the sauce so your child will not know it’s in there. And it will still taste yummy!
Most kids love to eat burgers so you can try grating a vegetable like zucchini into the burger patty and your child most likely won’t be able to tell the difference. Instead of regular fries on the side, try making sweet potato fries or add some carrot sticks.
Instead of using regular spaghetti noodles, try making spaghetti squash or zucchini noodles. It’s easy to make by roasting halves of spaghetti squash, scraping out the strands and then toss with your favorite tomato sauce or cheesy sauce or even just eat it alone! Turn zucchini into noodles by slicing it into thin strips and cooking it in a skillet until softened. Then season and toss in sauce!
Cauliflower does not have much of a taste to it on its own, but it makes a healthier alternative to rice or potatoes. You can grate the cauliflower and sauté it to become rice or cook it and mash it together with milk, butter, sour cream and seasoning to make “mashed potatoes.”
This is a neat trick that will probably fool little kids but maybe not your older children. Make a homemade pizza by preparing the dough with sauce on top and then layer on veggies like mushrooms and red peppers. Then sprinkle a good amount on cheese on top to make sure those veggies are hidden well. It will look just like a regular pizza!
Written by Carrie Shan, Founder of Silkberry Baby
Silkberry Baby is an organic baby clothing brand located in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Developed by Carrie Shan, a mother of two young children, the range was conceived to create a baby bedding and clothing product range as her daughter had an allergic reaction to synthetic fibres. After much research, she sourced natural, eco-friendly and sustainable fibers (mulberry silk floss and bamboo) that she found to be the best natural choices available for baby and toddlers' bedding and clothing.
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