If you were to put a group of parents in a room and ask them to raise their hand if their kids were fussy with food like vegetables, they would do the Mexican wave. While some children are not picky eaters when it comes to their 5+ a day, many are.
So, how are you supposed to make sure they’re getting all the vitamins and minerals they need? Sometimes, it can require you to go into stealth mode with recipes. Here are a few helpful tips and tricks you may not yet have tried. You won’t need to reach for that bottle of wine to manage the stress after all.
Putting slices of zucchini on your child’s plate may be met with a disgusted look – and wasted zucchini. But there are ways around it. Rather than giving your children slices of vegetables they may not like, why not grate them into your main dishes?
Zucchini, carrot, cabbage, cauliflower, and broccoli can all be “hidden” in food like mince or stuffed potatoes. While they can add colour to a bland dish, they can also add plenty of nutrition that can offer much-needed peace of mind to parents.
Many children won’t voluntarily eat spinach, kale, or similar vegetables. But would they drink them? Start the day with a delicious berry, banana, and yoghurt smoothie – but with a few “special” ingredients.
You can hide a lot in a smoothie without altering the flavour or colour of it. The kids never have to know that they’re getting a healthy dose of potassium, magnesium, iron, calcium, and folic acid from the spinach you snuck into their beverage.
You won’t find too many children who don’t love muffins and cupcakes. Fortunately, that works in your favour – because you can create some standout muffins with plenty of vegetables packed into them.
That doesn’t mean you can get away with chunks of carrot, broccoli, and zucchini, as the kids are bound to notice. However, you can cook and mash an abundance of different vegetable types, which then form the moist component of the muffin mixture.
The kids get their baked goods fix, and you get satisfaction from knowing they’re getting part of their 5+ a day.
Sometimes, ensuring kids – particularly young kids – eat the right foods isn’t about being firm with them and making sure they eat everything on their plate. It can also be about making sure the foods they struggle with are presented appealingly.
Why not create faces with fruit and vegetables? Or get them involved in the cooking process with some entertaining, child-friendly recipes? As most parents know, getting children to eat vegetables can be a losing battle. Still, it may be a lot easier if they played a part in preparing them.
Vegetables and fruit are part of a healthy, balanced diet, but children can have their own ideas. Rather than give up, get creative instead. You may not win the war, but you can at least win the dinner time battle.