My first child at her vegetables from her first solid feeding. She loved them. She thought strawberries were God’s gift to toddlers. Obviously, this was my phenomenal parenting shining through.
My second and third children loathe vegetables. I could starve them for a week and they’d still choose rocks over carrots. Don’t worry, I haven’t actually tried it.
What I have tried is to sneak vegetables in any way possible. Whether they like it or not, their bodies crave the nutrients only fresh vegetables can provide.
Here are my three favorite tricks to get veggies in little tummies.
1. Ground Beef Masterpieces:
Ground beef is quite possibly the EASIEST way to get vegetables in. Use a food processor (I use THIS ONE) and grind it down to veggie slush to the best of your ability. As you brown your meat it’ll blend right in and cook down into an untraceable nutrient jack pot. I’ve had great luck with zucchini, onions, spinach, and kale in almost any dish.
Piggy-backing on that, try “chicken tacos.” I make chicken fajitas, filled with peppers and onions, and grind them down to what looks like light-colored taco meat. Add a little cheese and they’ll never know!
2. Sneaky Smoothies
Who doesn’t love the taste of a sweet smoothie? It’s a delicious way to get in the nutrition kids need without complaint. Try adding a handful of kale or spinach to any smoothie. To avoid sugary syrup-filled additives, stick with fresh fruits and veggies, and frozen fruit. Bananas and blueberries are an overpowering sweet flavor, so almost every smoothie we make has both.
If you’d like to add a tougher veggie like broccoli or carrots you’ll need a 1400 watt or higher blender. Those can be pretty pricey. I’ve had great luck with mine, (THIS ONE), and it’s a price tag I can afford – especially for what I get out of it!
3. Change the Shape
Butternut squash can be cut up to look just like french fries. Bake them in the oven with some olive oil and salt, and you have fries. Add a little ketchup and they likely won’t even question it. I add a bit of cooked spaghetti squash in with our spaghetti noodles, too. With the sauce (also containing veggies) over the squash and noodles, they’ve never noticed.
Hopefully they’ll someday crave the most colorful veggies in the garden, but for now – I’ll take as many tips as I can get. If you have a great solution, send it my way!