Most parents will have experienced a fussy eating phase at least once with their kids. Ollie has been through a fair few in his 2 1/2 years already. My stepson is a little less fussy, but still isn’t the biggest veg fan.
So I’ve had to be inventive and come up with a few ways to get the kids to eat more vegetables:
Everyone in our house loves smoothies, and as I make my own, I know exactly what is going into them. They are a great way to get the kids to eat more vegetables (or drink them) without even realising it! Most of the smoothies I make have at least 2 vegetables in them. I have a Nutribullet which I LOVE and use most days and it blends it all up so smoothly that no-one can tell what’s inside!
Homemade Sauces With Hidden Veg
One of Ollie’s biggest issues when it comes to food is the texture. He doesn’t like lumpy food and there are certain textures he just can’t stand – like cooked mushrooms. So every month when I do my batch cooking, I make a ton of veggie sauce, blend it and freeze it into toddler size portions. Then I can just pull it out and reheat it to add to pasta, or even on homemade pizzas.
I use tomatoes, carrots, onion, garlic, spinach and celery. There’s not a chance he would eat all of these things on their own but he adores his special pasta sauce and I know he’s getting some serious nutrients in.
Get Them Involved With The Cooking
Ollie loves helping out in the kitchen. We started by baking together but when I joined Slimming World we stopped baking as much because my willpower isn’t strong enough to resist! Ollie still wanted to get involved so one day I let him help me cook chilli. He rinsed the vegetables, and scooped the beans into the pan. He absolutely loved it and couldn’t wait to taste what we’d made – even though it’s something he would normally avoid.
Make It Fun
Homemade pizzas are a big hit in our house. They’re easy to make, and a great way to get the kids to eat more vegetables. You can make your own pizza dough, buy ready made ones or use a cheat’s version like me. Pitta breads and wraps make great bases and only take a few minutes to cook.
I put all the ingredients out on the table and let the kids make their own. I’ll put a few vegetables out as toppings, like peppers and tomatoes. I also give them a bowl of hidden veg sauce to use instead of tomato puree. They love the fact that they can choose what goes on it, and it always gets eaten!
Cover It In Something Tasty
Ok I know this might be a bit controversial to some, but one of the ways I got Ollie to try new vegetables was to cover it in something I knew he liked. I’m not talking chocolate or sugar; I used marmite, peanut butter and Philadelphia. All of them have their own nutritional benefits and he loves them all. I used a tiny bit as a dip to encourage him to taste celery and after a few goes he even ate the celery on its own!
Grow Your Own
If you have the space in your garden, or have an allotment, why not try growing your own vegetables? The fact that the kids can be involved and watch them grow just might be enough to get them to taste some of their produce. If you’re limited for space, trying growing things like tomatoes or peppers which you can grow in patio pots.
Do you have any other ways you get your kids to eat more vegetables? I would love to hear them and try some out for myself!
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