I have a confession to make… my kids DO NOT love vegetables. Yep that’s right! I am a university qualified nutritionist, I eat well and I always thought my kids would just love and eat ALL the vegetables but nope not at all!
There is a grand total of 4 vegetables I know BOTH my kids will eat when in their lunchbox or on their plate:
And that’s it!
My 6 year old daughter will eat tomato, capsicum and celery with a bit of encouragement but Mr 3 – no way! No potato (not even mashed or homemade chips), no pumpkin, peas, broccoli, cauliflower, beans, sweet potato, asparagus and the list goes on.
But do you know what? They actually do eat a lot of vegetables!! I had to get creative but it works! Here are my top tips:
Smoothies – This is my number one and most favourite way to get veggies into my kids. Now not all smoothies are equal some are loaded up with fruit and are just not satisfying at all. But with the right combination of fruit, vegetables, healthy fats and protein it can be a fab meal or snack. I’ll share my smoothie base recipe in next weeks blog post so stay tuned. But for now my favourite veggies to add to smoothies are:
Cauliflower (yes frozen cauliflower “rice” is great in smoothies!)
Grated or blitzed vegetables – I add blitzed up vegetables into ALL my savoury dishes. Big chunks of vegetables in anything I know my kids will pick out. So the smaller I can make them the better chance I have of them going unnoticed. Into bolognese or any evening meal with a sauce type component, I add loads of blitzed up vegetables – carrot, zucchini, celery, broccoli, mushrooms etc etc and no one is any the wiser!
Mashed or pureed vegetables – My kids do not like mash. For them it is the texture they are not a fan of but I do add mashed or pureed pumpkin or sweet potato into many things. Curries are great, the mash thickens the sauce and adds a touch of natural sweetness! I also added mashed/pureed pumpkin or sweet potato to baked savoury goods – pumpkin scones, savoury muffins etc.
Savoury baked goods – I add vegetables to all my savoury baking. Things like scrolls, pizza dough, bread, savoury muffins etc are all perfect to add some grated vegetables. Grated carrot and grated zucchini are my two favourite (just make sure to squeeze any water out of the grated vegetables first).
Sweet baking – Yes! I often add vegetables to my sweet baking too. Carrot is my favourite for this. Grated carrots to biscuits or bliss balls are great!
Frozen spinach cubes – I love using these. They are so easy and can be added to so many things. Drop a frozen spinach cube into any savoury sauce – bolognese, casseroles, pasta bakes etc are perfect for this! I also add a bit of frozen spinach cube to scrambled eggs and my eggy pizza!
Veggie “rice” – You can now buy cauliflower rice, broccoli rice and sweet potato rice all ready to go in the frozen section of the supermarket. My most used is cauliflower as it is unrecognizable mixed through plain rice and as I mentioned before – great to add to smoothies!
If you have a child averse to veggies like me, it is totally normal and there are ways you can ensure they are still getting the important nutrients they need from vegetables. Just make sure that you still present visible vegetables to them, kids need to become familiar with them over time.