Fruits and vegetables include a diverse group of plant foods that vary greatly in content of energy and nutrients. Additionally, fruits and vegetables supply dietary fiber, and fiber intake is linked to lower incidence of cardiovascular disease and obesity. Fruits and vegetables also supply vitamins and minerals to the diet and are sources of phytochemicals that function as antioxidants, phytoestrogens, and anti-inflammatory agents and through other protective mechanisms. In short, they keep us alive, they help us fight disease, they keep our bowel movements constant and they provide a large quantity of our water content needed on a daily basis.
You know all this, though right???? Yet the kids do not care and will not eat them regardless of the story you’re telling them. Here are 3 little tricks that just may save you… From one parent to another GOOD LUCK 😊
- Hide Them
If they can’t see it then it wasn’t there right? One of the best things to do is to create foods where the vegetables cannot be seen. I’ve personally found that it isn’t as much about the taste as it is their appearance. For some reason I frequently get the “that’s gross mum” response when I serve up a cauliflower or broccoli with a side of protein. But if I hide it in a spaghetti bolognaise or a muffin of sorts then they think it’s the best dish they’ve ever had. We have a juicer at home, so I will pick some vegetables like carrot, broccoli, beetroot and kale and will juice them with an apple. I take all of the pulp (the fiber) and place it in my spaghetti sauce and then serve them the fresh juice as a drink. That way they get the best of both worlds and they both taste delicious.
- Coat Them
Sometimes vegetables just need a little something else on top just to make them a little bit more appealing. Yes, the taste of the vegetable will still be there, but it will be softened by it’s complimentary coat. For example, I often coat carrots, zucchini, cauliflower, sweet potato, eggplant and capsicum in egg, almond meal and some herbs and spices. Think of it like the way you make a chicken schnitzel only that this time you’re making crumbed vegetables. Bake them in the oven with a little olive oil and then it’s like a whole range of vegetable chips. Another option is to drizzle with the tiniest bit of honey just to sweeten them up and take away the bitterness but personally my children still think they look like vegetables and we are back to the “that’s gross” speech.
- Mash Them
Have you ever met a child that doesn’t like mashed potatoes? Boil your usual potatoes only this time add some other vegetables to the mix like pumpkin, broccoli, cauliflower (there are so many combinations you could use so be creative). As long as the majority vegetable is still potato then the other vegetables won’t overpower in flavour. Add some nut or coconut milk and a tiny bit of ghee and mash away. With any luck they’ll be asking for seconds. Each time you make a mash you can decrease the potato and increase the other vegetables and it will become like second nature.