There is a good chance that every parent may experience their child’s dislike for vegetables and the challenges of getting them to eat their vegetables. You may have tried bribing them, letting them watch you eat the veggies while saying how good they are or dipping them in any kind of sauce you can find and yet they still wont touch them. I have had a few experiences with Emily and the triplets, with Emily being the most difficult now that she can tell me how much she doesn’t like them. There will be days where she will eat broccoli raw or cooked and then the next day she will spit it out or throw it at me if I dare put it on her plate. It becomes a challenge and I then worry I’m not feeding them properly if they aren’t eating their veggies.
From the moment Emily, Jackson, Olivia and Levi tried food I was determined to feed them all of the vegetables in the world. The first food other than baby cereal that they tried was vegetables and they all seemed to like them. They would eat vegetables twice a day and since that’s what I was giving them that’s what they would eat. As they get older their tastes change, but I still want to make sure they are eating enough vegetables. I had to be creative and think of ways to make them eat their veggies, even if they didn’t know they were eating them!
I wanted to share 5 ways that I have hidden veggies into their food:
I love to make smoothies and they are so simple to throw together. You can also add whatever you like into one and even hide the veggies your kids don’t want to eat. When you have smoothies with lots of fruit, such as bananas, strawberries or blueberries you can throw in veggies like spinach or broccoli and the sweet taste from the fruit should mask the flavor of the veggies. I made a fruit smoothie with spinach for Emily and she drank every last drop!
- Scrambled Eggs
We go through a dozen eggs when we make breakfast for all 6 of us and the go to way to cook our eggs are scrambled. Scrambled eggs are perfect for adding in vegetables because they mixed in with the eggs so well. I know you can still see the pieces of vegetables when they are done, but if you cut them small enough, they blend right into the bite of egg. I have added in spinach, green peppers, tomatoes, mushrooms, broccoli and cauliflower to our scrambled eggs and every time Emily and the triplets eat them up!
I mentioned meatloaf in the last post about freezer meals and here it is again! I made meatloaf in muffin tins for Emily and secretly added a ton of veggies. I cooked up broccoli, carrots, spinach and cauliflower by roasted them in the oven and once they were cooled, I chopped them up into the smallest pieces and mixed them right into the ground beef. The pieces were so small you only saw small specs of veggies throughout the meatloaf, but with a little bit of ketchup on top you would never know they were in there.
- Tomato Sauce
One day I made a huge tray of roasted vegetables and included red and green peppers, broccoli, zucchini, mushrooms, onions, cauliflower and carrots and I thought Emily would eat them as a side on her plate with the pasta. Well I thought wrong and she wouldn’t touch them, so I took the veggies and tomato sauce and threw them all into the blender. I blended everything up and now I had roasted vegetable tomato sauce. I mixed that with the noodles and Emily ate 3 bowls after! This is a perfect way to hide veggies and a great way to enhance the taste of the store-bought sauces.
- Fruit and Vegetable Blend
This one is more for the baby just beginning to eat new foods and vegetables. Jackson and Levi would eat anything, but Olivia was a little more picky. I would make sweet potatoes, or mixed veggies and blend them up and the boys would devour them, where as Olivia would turn her head and pucker her lips to avoid eating any of it. I knew she liked fruit, so I tried to think of different fruit and vegetables that worked together. I would mix the sweet potato with blackberries or blueberries, carrots with apples and broccoli with strawberries and she would eat them no problem. Just like with the smoothies, the sweet fruit covers the taste of the vegetables. I did find that if I mixed anything with blueberries the taste of the vegetables was always covered up and they did seem to like eating the purple stuff compared to the green or orange stuff.
There are so many other fun and creative ways to hide vegetables into your children’s meals. I am always ready to try new ways and if it means they will eat their vegetables then I am a happy mom!
P.S. I realized after that peppers are a fruit, but it is one of those foods some kids may be picky with so they work in this case =D
What are some of the ways you get your children to eat their vegetables?