Do you have trouble getting your kids to eat their vegetables? I certainly do.
My daughter used to be great about trying and eating whatever ... and then she turned 2 ½. Now it is almost impossible to get him to eat anything other than corn when it comes to vegetables. So I had to come up with some fun and sometimes sneaky way to get some veggies in him. Here are some of my favorites.
1) Make a big pot of vegetable soup, and then add some fun noodle shapes. You can use the alphabet noodles or looking for some fun novelty shapes. You may find some cartoon characters, toys and sports forms etc. I even saw a pumpkin and Christmas tree shapes. With any luck your children will be too busy spelling words, or identifying forms of attention to all the vegetables they eat in the soup.
2) If you cannot make them eat them, make them drink it. Pour some vegetable juice ice and add a straw, or from celery cocktail umbrella and watch them drink up. Your children may not get as much fiber as eating whole vegetables, but get them to drink their vegetables is better than not getting any vegetables in their system.
3) Are you trying to offer them some raw vegetables with some ranch dressing to dip them in? Many children who do not care much for cooked vegetables will eat them if they are able to dip. Just grab a bag of baby carrots and cut some red and yellow peppers and cucumbers few. Arrange them on a plate with a little ranch dressing or your favorite vegetable sauce on the side.
4) Take even one step further and let them create artwork from their vegetables. Offering raw vegetables in various colors and shapes and encourage them to make a collage of vegetables on their plates. You can easily create a face using cucumber slices for eyes, nose and baby carrots as red pepper slices as the mouth. You can use watercress or shredded carrots or even some cheese as hair. Before you know it, you'll find they taste their "art supplies".
5) To get them to eat more vegetables at dinner try a little salad bar. Put out some lettuce, some sliced or chopped tomatoes, sliced cucumbers, shredded carrots, sliced red and yellow peppers, small broccoli flowerets and anything else you can think of. You can also offer them some choices when it comes to salad dressings. A favorite in our house are Ranch, Italian, Catalina and France. Above all set out a few croutons and shredded cheese.
6) Get the kid’s together and making cold vegetable pizza. Can start with crescent rolls. Unroll the dough, but do not pull apart triangular shape. Instead of pushing the seams together on a baking sheet and bake as directed on package. Let the dough sheet cool completely, then spread with cheese crème (we like the taste of the vegetables or herbs) and top with a few slices of raw vegetables. Cut into squares and serve.
7) Engage them in the kitchen, especially when it comes to cooking. Ask them to wash the vegetables, if they had enough to let them cut vegetables (under your supervision of course), let them help you stir, or whatever you can think of that would be the appropriate age. You will be amazed at how proud they are of their finished products. Believe me, they will try anything if they succeed.
8) If all else fails, hide vegetables in other foods. My mother used to make us some special orange mashed potatoes. We thought it was very luxurious, but all he did to cook some carrots with mashed potatoes and they were right there. You can also include broccoli with tomato sauce or cheese. Think of your child's plate really enjoy and sneak some vegetables there.
Give some of these ideas a try and see which one works best for your children. Keep at it and sooner or later they will begin to develop a taste for vegetables.