How to get kids to eat veggies? Most parents would not agree more that kids do not favor anything green or veggies-like appear on their plate. It is not a surprising thing that even many adults are not enthusiastic about eating veggies. Vegetables are important parts of our daily balanced diet as they are important sources of fiber and tons of nutritional benefits for us and our children’s health.
It is important to introduce fruits and veggies once our little one starts eating solid food at the age of 6 months. The earlier kids learn to appreciate their vegetables, the better chance they will be benefited from good eating habits. How to get kids to eat veggies? Many children will go through their first picky eating stage around 18 months and most of the time, the little ones seem to reject anything vegetable-like. As we all know, vegetables have essential nutrients for our kids’ growth and development. We do not want to compromise to their picky habits and turn out to give them only their favorite food.
Here in this article, we will share about ideas on how to incorporate veggies in our children’s daily meal.
How to get kids to eat veggies?
1. Sneak veggies into their meal
When kids see there are vegetables-like things appear on their plate, they will ask to remove them. So, sneak them in! There are many ways you can do it, even your fussy little one will not realize it. Sneak even chunky vegetables like carrot, cucumber, broccoli can be incorporated into sauces, breads, pancakes, soup, noodles, fried rice etc. The point is how you prepare the veggies and incorporate them into their meal, by cutting them really small, blend them up or puree them.
Have you thought of sneaking in any number of vegetables into pasta sources? Sharing a nice recipe with you all, how to make a pasta source with hidden veggies.
- 2 tpsp of Olive oil
- 2 onions, peeled and chopped fine
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 can of tomatoes puree
- 1 tsp dried chives
- Carrot, peel and grated
- Bell pepper, any color, grated
- Cucumber, grated
- Baby spinach or broccoli, chopped fine
- Salt and pepper to taste
Method of cooking:
- Heat the oil in a saucepan with chopped onions and garlic
- sauté them until soften and caramelize
- Pour in the tomatoes puree, carrot, bell pepper and cucumber, simmer for 20 minutes
- Add salt and pepper to taste
- Stir in baby spinach or broccoli, let them simmer briefly and heat off
- Puree the sauce using an immersion blender or food processor.
- Serve with favorite pasta and cooked beef or chicken.
- Finally, top up with some shredded cheese
You can modify the recipe to any vegetable that you like your kids to have. Just blend them in the food processor, in one pasta sauce has many hidden goodies!
2. Veggies puree turn into homemade noodles/pasta and pastries
Purees do not have to be limited to baby first food. They can be used to be incorporated into our children favorite food like pancake, muffins, homemade noodles, pasta, bread, or buns. If you have a good electric blender or food processor, you can just add any numbers of vegetables and puree them. Incorporate them into yummy pastries or noodles.
Here is how you can make your spinach noodles at home. This is an example,
You need to prepare:
- Spinach juice. Get a handful of baby spinach, add a little bit of water and blend them up in an electric blender, sieve it if you want a smooth juice.
- All-purpose flour to make the dough.
- Olive oil, drizzle a little bit on the dough -easy to roll out and shape
- Salt for seasoning (optional)
Making spinach dough by mixing in all-purpose flour, spinach juice and oil. Knead it until a green smooth dough using hands or stand mixer/food processor. You may add water if the dough is appeared too dry, or add little bit more of flour if the dough is too wet. Allow it to rest for 15-20 minutes.
You can make the noodles using a noodle making machine or roll the dough flat and thin and cut them into long strips or pasta shape.
Now, how about pumpkin or sweet potatoes? Kids may like the taste as pumpkin or sweet potatoes have their unique natural sweetness. You may use the pumpkin or sweet potatoes puree to make noodle too. Just replace spinach juice with pumpkin or sweet potatoes puree. They have different flavors and nutritional values that are needed for your child to grow.
3 Make fruits and Veggies Smoothies
Kids won’t eat their vegetables, sneak them into smoothies. You can hide traces of vegetables of your choices and watch your child slurps them up happily with their favorite fruits smoothies. Choose a tasty bases such as coconut water, yogurt or milk (can be almond milk, soy milk, fresh cow’s milk etc). Get at least two types of fruits that your child likes. Sneak in slices of avocado, or spinach. Blend it until smooth and serve.
Carrot smoothies can be overpowering. Add orange and grapes to help overpower the presence of carrot in the smoothies. How about a green smoothies with spinach and mango, grapes and bananas? Try this recipe, and your little one may like it too.
- 2 cups of baby spinach
- 2 cups of coconut water
- mango, frozen cube
- grapes, seedless
- 2 medium banana
- 1/2 cup of plain yogurt
- Combine coconut water and spinach in an electric blender.
- Blend it until smooth consistency
- Add all the fruits ingredients, run until smooth
- And serve!
You can start off with a little bit of spinach, add more if your child does not reject it. Smoothies are easy to make, you can try out different kind of fruits and veggies combination to suit your child’s taste.
4. Veggies powder
How about making the vegetable powder? Let me show you. You can make your homemade vegetable powder at home easily. The vegetables that you can grind it into powder are mushroom, corn, green vegetable such as spinach, kale, broccoli, bean, peas, beet root, etc. Make sure the vegetables that you use before grinding them into powders must be air dried or oven dried. Pulverized them using a blender and you can keep them in the airtight containers. Place them in your refrigerator for at least 3-6 months. Here is what you can do with veggies powder, for example- rice porridge with veggies.
In Asian culture, rice porridge is a common meal for not only kids but adults and the elderly too. You can prepare porridge with various choice of vegetable powders. Porridge can be a savory meal if you add some minced meat (chicken, beef, or fish) and some seasoning. You can even replace rice with oat, quinoa, millet, barley or buckwheat for much healthier choices and for extra fullness too.
Here is an example of rice porridge with hidden veggies -chicken and veggies rice porridge. Even babies who are already started solid food enjoy eating this, cook longer time if you want the rice porridge to become really soft and creamy. Here is the recipe:
- a bowl of rice, washed
- chicken, minced (can be beef or fish fillet)
- onion, diced
- chicken broth
- carrot, grated
- spinach, kale or broccoli ( chopped or powder)
- mushroom powder
- olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste ( add fish sauce, if any)
Method of cooking:
- Heat up the pot, add olive oil and onion, cook until onions are soft.
- Place the minced chicken, fry until fragrant
- Add in the rice and the rest of the vegetables
- Add in chicken broth and let it simmer for 20-30 minutes
- Finally, add some salt or pepper to taste
There are too many possibilities to add vegetables in porridge, try to cut the vegetables in small sizes, grated or use veggies puree or powder, add them into the porridge, I am sure your child will definitely enjoy it. Try it out!
I am sharing with you my 4 workable methods that not only make my kid eating veggies but adults too. I am sure there are many other ways you can incorporate veggies into your kids meal, share with us in the comment box below.
Read more ” Babies best foods for brain health“, “Baby led weaning food ideas“