Is your child a picky eater and you find yourself worrying that they are not getting enough nutrients and vitamins? Below are 10 tried-and-true methods (with great success 9 out of 10 times) of “hiding” vegetables in foods that children find more palatable.
1. Pancakes – If pancakes are already part of your diet, just add a little something extra! Pureed cooked vegetables such as pumpkin and sweet potato will work, as will shredded vegetables such as zucchini and carrots. The texture will be just a tad different, but the taste is similar to that of a regular pancake. Get a whole grain and zucchini pancake recipe here or vegetable pancake recipe here.
2. Muffins – Similar to pancakes, muffins are great for hiding shredded vegetables. They’re also easy for toddlers to eat. Try this recipe with zucchini, carrot and apple.
3. Lasagne – The trick to disguising the vegetables in this “Hush-Hush Lasagna” recipe is to puree onion, zucchini, carrot, and red bell pepper in the tomato sauce. Smart! Or try a creamy Alfredo-cauliflower recipe for a different kind of pasta dish.
4. Mashed potatoes – Kids who love buttery mashed potatoes will probably not taste any added vegetables. We’re tried pureed cauliflower and pumpkin to great success. You can also use leftovers to make potato pancakes (also with added veggies).
5. Mock potatoes – Mashed cauliflower itself tastes good, too.
6. Smoothies – A few fun and fruity twists make vegetable-based smoothies much more palatable. The secret is to balance sweet, somewhat mild vegetables like carrots, beets, or spinach with a range of fruits like bananas, blueberries, pears, and oranges. Play with texture and sweetness to achieve a balanced, kid-friendly concoction such as these three recipes.
7. Fried rice – A Thai favourite, this versatile dish can be enhanced with any kind of vegetable, such as peas, carrots, baby corn, tomato, bell pepper, broccoli and cucumber. You can also make Thai pineapple fried rice, a dish with pineapples, raisins and cashews. For very picky eaters, it helps to chop the veggies into tiny pieces.
8. Dips – Guacamole broccoli dip is a favourite, and there’s hardly any variation in taste from regular guacamole!
9. Meatballs – Add spinach, other chopped veggies or quinoa to meatballs. Try this recipe, this one, or tweak your own.
10. Congee – An Asian breakfast staple (and baby/toddler food), congee can be made with leftover rice overnight in a crock pot. Instead of adding green onions and ginger, try adding corn and other small vegetable bits.
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Above image from http://foodblogga.blogspot.com.