We know we’re all supposed to eat about a bazillion veggies every day. We are also encouraged to coerce our children into consuming said vegetables. Even I, a self-proclaimed veggie lover, struggle to eat enough because they seem to take so much time and effort to prepare.
What tips can you offer for making this process a little less painful for all concerned? How do you conceal these healthful morsels or make them more appealing to your family members? How do you get down your 3-5 servings each day?
A couple of ideas:
Orange or Green Mashed Potatoes – My aunt taught me to boil carrots or spinach within an inch of their lives in a small amount of water, just barely to cover. When they are super-mushy, add the whole pot (water and all) to the potatoes you’re mashing for dinner. This becomes a novelty food – green or orange mashed potatoes.
For young toddlers who can’t chew carrot sticks yet – Every few days I boil several carrot sticks and then stick them in the fridge. When Laylee wants a snack, I hand her a couple of carrot sticks “just like mommy eats” and she loves them.
Now I want your tips. Gimme, gimme, gimme!
Don’t underestimate the frozen.
There is no way we eat nearly enough veg. In fact, my mother, who dines here weekly, can often be heard muttering “something green????” whilst staring at her plate.
BUT. I have managed to slip frozen peas into dishes that we eat with regularity and a frozen veg side from Whole Foods may be seen from time to time.
My kids like raw carrots and cukes – so that helps.
I try to sneak in peas to Mac and cheese so they will eat them. My kids like raw veggies with dip sometimes.
I do try to make my own sauce with veggies in it and they I puree it & serve over macaroni, and they are none the wiser.
Sadly, my four children are very picky when it comes to vegetables. I like to serve a variety, knowing what each of their favorites are, and hope that at least they’ll eat a bit of something vegetable-like.
Veggies-hmmm- why is-can anyone tell me- that I love salad-will eat just buckets full-if someone eles makes it-I don’t like eat them if I make it…what is that?
I’ve made a big deal out of how fun it is to eat carrots, which I call “bunny carrots.” At the grocery store we’ll sometimes let her eat a big carrot while we shop, and then pay for it with the rest of the groceries. She’ll usually eat the whole thing! We also will give carrots for the just before bed, right after teeth have been brushed snack if she says she’s hungry.
I have just found that the more often YOU eat them, the more often they will want them.
E and S from young young youngness, have learned to love broccoli (E at 16 mos called all vegetables bropli) because it is a staple at our house.
Frozen is good. Canned is good. Try to serve some with every meal.
I need more ideas too.
Snack on them.
Sugar Snap peas from Costco (or from anywhere). They are delicious raw, not so great overcooked.
If kids are into dipping, make hummus (or buy it) or some other bean dip that isn’t full of fat and then let them dip the veggies.
Mine loves the idea that she can eat a ‘flower’…cauliflower that is…I bought the carrot, broccoli cauliflower tray at Costco…saves cutting.
And I say Amen to Stephanie who said that the more she eats, the more mine eats…’just like mommy’ right Daring?
Since it just happens to be Recipe of the Week Day on Morceaux de Fromage, today, I’ve posted a pile of Veggie recipes from a class I taught about simple ways to use vegetables. 🙂 It’s a Veggie Fiesta
Everyone eats spaghetti here.. so cook down the ol’ spinach, puree and hide in the sauce! No one is the wiser except Dadguy (he of the bionic nose), and chow down! I haven’t done this trick in a while…hmmmmmmmm.
serve more pumpkin pie?
Um, do french fries count? With ketchup?
I also grate zuchinni and slip it in lasagne or spagetti sauce. When the garden is going crazy with the stuff, I will grate & freeze it for later vegetable subterfuge (Just don’t forget to drain it.)
three tried and trusted tactics in our house:
1. disguising veggies: by adding pureed/mashed/grated veggies into sauces, dips, sandwich fillings and curries, or by smothering them in a cheese sauce or creamy dressing
2. serving them as snacks – I try to always have on hand (in car, on outings, in fridge) a selection of cut veggies and fruits to nibble on when hungry, and often hand these round when the inevitable hunger pangs before dinner set in.
3. being enthusiastic about veggies (along the lines of: oooh brocolli, how yummy!), and making them a part of every meal.
Squishy Burrito says
I have been waiting to write a comment on veggies since the inauguration of Tip Tuesday. I actually had one, no two and I was SOOOO excited to contribute. I turn on my computer, eagerly anticipate reading the post, race to click on the comment icon only to discover that the first 2 comments made were mine. Ugh!!! I am not a vegetable guru. Its not fair. I wanted to be first.
So I thought hard all day and came up with:
Tip#1: corn with mac N cheese is easier if your kids are super picky because it blends in with the cheese. (just dim the lights and they’ll never know)
Tip #2: a variation on the Tuesday girl is to puree food (I just used my homemade babyfood) and add it to spaghetti sauce.
Tip #3: my babe is into drinking from a measuring cup. she thinks it the greatest. weird child. But I put pureed vegetables in the measuring cup and she slurps it down.
I made these nifty mashed sweet potato patty things?
and Youngest ACTUALLY GAGGED.
When my sister came back from Switzerland, we all started eating a vegetable dish she frequently had there. We would open a can of green beans, a can of beats, cook and strain some corn and slice up tomatoes. Then we would arrange them prettily on a platter so that we had dark red, green, yellow and bright red strips of yummy vegies. The best part is that you can dish up you favorites and avoid the gross ones!
My kids eat more vegetables than I do. My 4yo requests broccoli and cauliflower as a snack.
Having a garden really helps. They love to pick baby tomatoes, corn, string beans, and peas right off the vine. Everything’s fresher and sweeter. Fyi if you’re cloth diapering — raw peas don’t digest so well.
They won’t touch yams, though, which happen to be among MY favorite.
Btw, I LOVE your site! Thanks for stopping by mine.
the other grandma says
For corn, if you pick the corn fresh and young, and blanch and freeze it immediately, there is no child on earth (who is old enough to eat cut corn:)) that will not immediately love it, and any variation forever after. Lots of work and old school, but sooo good. If you knew the biochemistry of those fruits and bright colored veggies, you’d have 5 times as much of them, every meal. We lived on a farm and my mom was a Home Ec major, so we had plenty of variety and fresh stuff, most at it’s prime. Modeling matters, for sure! Pick ones with lots of flavinoids and polyphenols. 🙂 Not overcooking them, and a little salt and butter go a long way.
I’m a firm believer in reclassification. For example, think of doughnuts as a vegetable. Or chocolate. The possibilities are endless!