Not all children like the notion of eating their vegetables, with some kids downright refusing to eat their greens. As parents, we know it's vital for kids to get a good daily intake of fruit and veggies, and so one tactic that can be employed to ensure that this happens, particularly fussy eaters, is to smuggle veggies into food, or cook them in such a way that kids might not discern that vegetables are lurking in their meals.
Photo: Dana Payne, Wikimedia Commons
Often, once kids have gotten used to vegetables in one format, they are then quite happy to eat them in many other forms, so this is something often just used to get round initial disinterest.
Here's 5 easy ways to smuggle vegetables into meals:
1. Home Made Pasta sauce - the internet is full of recipes for home made pasta sauce and it's an easy one to hide several vegetables in. I make a really easy one which is a tomato base, but also includes onion, garlic, carrot, capsicum and zuccini. Whatever you can get away with, blend it all in.
2. Add to burgers and meatballs. When I make home made burgers and meatballs I will regularly add in onion, garlic and often also spinach. It works really well with beef and chicken (although beef disguises its colour more), and it's a vital source of iron for little bodies. With chicken burgers, grated carrot is a great addition that also keeps the burgers nice and moist.
3. Add to muffins. You can consider savoury and sweet options here. For mini savoury bites consider cheese and ham muffins and toss in a little onion and grated carrot. If you're feeling brave go for sweet corn too. For sweet muffins, think of moist apple and carrot or blueberry and zuccini muffins. They will honestly never know. Carrot cake to me definitely doesn't taste of carrot.
4. Smoothies. If you're making a banana or mixed fruit strawberry, this is the perfect vehicle to blend some extra vegetables into. Think of sweet root type vegetables such as beetroot or carrot.
5. Finally, if your kids are pizza fans, consider adding some grated vegetables into the pizza topppings. Carrot, onion and capsicum are easy choices, but home made spinach pesto is a good addition too. Plenty of tomato sauce and cheese will help you pull off a cunning disguise.
Do you have any other ways to sneak vegetables into kids foods?