I think my child could win an award for Most Picky Eater, seriously. There is very little he'll eat and it ebbs and flows as to what he'll eat when. I take every opportunity I have to hide the good foods in his tried and true favorites. Fruits are easier to convince him to eat, but vegetables?
Well, I can count on one hand how many times he's eaten a vegetable, willingly and knowingly. Here are some tips and tricks to get your child to eat vegetables.
You can hide a lot of power packed vegetables in a smoothie. Spinach, kale, carrots, beets, and cucumbers are the first several that come to mind. Hide these nutrient packed veggies in yummy delicious fruit smoothies. The secret? Don't let your child see you make the smoothie. Add a healthy fat and super food and it'll fill your child's tummy like a meal.
Cauliflower is a great starch replacement and easy to hide in your child's favorite pasta dishes. You can “rice” the cauliflower or buy it already “riced” at your local grocery store. Steam it and hide it in macaroni and cheese.
There are so many delicious kid friendly recipes that include zucchini, carrots, broccoli and even spinach. You can turn something savory into a sweet muffin for your child, all while filling them up with veggies.
The trick is to disguise the veggies by pureeing the onion, zucchini, carrot, and red bell pepper in the tomato sauce. Your kids will never know! Add the sauce to their favorite pasta dishes or personal pizzas.
Have you ever tried a sweet potato pancake? It's delicious and no syrup needed! You can get a mix at the grocery store or make your own using this sweet potato pancake recipe. Psst… it's gluten free, dairy free and nut free.
Check out this post about getting a picky baby/toddler to eat! There are some great ideas for adding spinach to chicken nuggets and baked sweet potato tater tots.
Grocery shopping with your children can be a major undertaking, however you can use it to your advantage and put them to work. Allow them to choose some of their favorite produce. Show them how to find the best vegetables, bag them up and add them to the cart. Simply including them in the experience will give them some control about what they're eating.
In addition to using them in the grocery store, put your children to work at home too! Let them help with food prep like washing the vegetables they chose, peeling, slicing and getting them ready for the week ahead. They'll enjoy the independence and be more likely to eat what they had a hand in.
Photo credit: adapted from USDAgov | Flickr