Sneaking vegetables into children’s food can be a creative way to ensure they get the nutrients they need. Here are ten ideas:
Puree and hide: Puree vegetables like carrots, spinach, or zucchini, and mix them into sauces, soups, or stews. The vibrant colours can easily blend with the dish.
Veggie-packed smoothies: Blend fruits with leafy greens like spinach or kale and add some yogurt or nut butter to create a tasty and nutritious smoothie.
Grated veggies: Grate vegetables like carrots or zucchini and add them to dishes such as meatballs, burgers, or pasta sauces. They’ll be less noticeable but add a nutritional boost.
Vegetable noodles: Use a spiralizer or a julienne peeler to create vegetable noodles from zucchini, carrots, or sweet potatoes. Mix them with regular pasta or serve as a standalone dish.
Sneaky sandwiches: Add thin slices of cucumber, tomato, or lettuce to sandwiches or wraps. The crunch and flavour can complement the other ingredients.
Hidden veggie pizza: Puree vegetables like cauliflower or spinach and use them as a sauce base for homemade pizza. Top with cheese and other favourite toppings.
Vegetable pancakes: Grate vegetables like carrots, zucchini, or sweet potatoes into pancake batter. Kids won’t even realize they’re eating vegetables.
Veggie chips: Make homemade veggie chips by thinly slicing vegetables like kale, sweet potatoes, or beets, and baking them until crispy. Kids might mistake them for regular chips.
Stuffed vegetables: Hollow out vegetables like bell peppers or zucchini and stuff them with a mixture of diced veggies, lean protein, and cheese. Bake until tender and delicious.
Vegetable popsicles: Blend fruits with vegetables like spinach or beets, and freeze them into popsicle moulds. Kids will enjoy a cool treat while getting some hidden veggies.
Remember, while sneaking vegetables into their food is a useful strategy, it’s also important to gradually introduce and encourage children to eat vegetables openly to develop healthy eating habits.