It can be challenging to find ways to get your kids to eat more veggies and fit those extra nutrients into your children’s meals, especially if you’re challenged with a fussy eater. Sometimes it means being a little creative! Here are some easy ways to sneak veggies into kid’s food and lunchboxes, without them even realising.
As an aside, these tips work just as well for adults too and are a wonderful way to pack an extra nutritional punch into recipes in general.
Add frozen vegetables into smoothies
We all know how to freeze our favourite fruits to add to the blender at a later date, so why not do the same with veggies? Chop zucchinis and cucumbers into rough chunks and keep them stored in your freezer. When adding these into your child’s smoothies, start small and pair them with sweeter fruits such as bananas and berries. This smoothie guide is a great cheat sheet for making balanced blends with veggies inside and is a great way to get your kids to eat more veggies!
Keep veggie sticks in the fridge
Chop vegetable sticks and keep them in the fridge, ready to be packed for snacks and dipped into yummy condiments such as hummus, pesto, ricotta, peanut butter or guacamole. Bored of carrot sticks? Mix it up with capsicum, green beans, cucumber, celery and cherry tomatoes. Create a plate and allow children to choose which vegetable sticks and condiments they would like to try. Adding some sultanas to sprinkle onto veggies with nut butters is a good way to ease kids with a sweeter tooth into it.
Bulk up your bolognese
If you are making a bolognese, a pot of chilli con carne, lasagne or pasta sauce, add in some extra veg! A good tip is to invest in a food processor and use it to blitz onions, carrots, mushrooms, zucchini, sweet potato and pumpkin. These chopped veggies can be ‘hidden’ in your pasta bakes and sauces. They will never know the difference taste-wise, but their bodies will be loving the extra nutrients.
Make friends with “zoodles”
Pasta can have a place in a healthy diet, but we can increase our veggie intake by having half pasta and half zoodles or carrot noodles. If you don’t have a spiralizer kitchen utensil, simply use a vegetable peeler to peel your vegetables into long strips to mimic pasta.
Combine with tip 3 and try our Bolognese Zoodles!
Mix up your mash
When making mashed potato, try using half potato and half cauliflower. Another tip is to add some butter beans or white beans to your potato mash to increase the fibre content. These additions are all the same colour and mash into the exact same consistency, so the kiddies will be none the wiser, and it’s a clever way to increase the variety of veggies consumed.
Make savoury muffins or frittatas
A great way to boost your child’s veggie intake is by making egg and veggie muffins. You can add in a variety of veggies including peas, zucchini, mushrooms, pumpkin and spinach, along with your kids favourite flavours, to create a veg-packed meal they will love. These are also great for packing into school lunches! For some inspiration, try our 5 Ingredient Egg Muffins.
Looking for extra support?
Try the JSHealth Vitamins Kid’s Multi+