Updated: Nov 2, 2020
Simple ways to win the veggie game with ease, and maybe even a little bit of fun!
“Sitting at the Doctors office anxiously awaiting what they are about to ask my child...."What's your favorite food for dinner?" We've all been there. We know the question is coming. What will my child say? Please don't say french fries! Potatoes are a vegetable right?
If you have been there too, I hope these tips help you! Here are some things we have started doing that really have helped up our toddler's veggies intake.
1. Sneaky Smoothies
Our go-to is what my son calls a "chocolate smoothie". 1/2 a banana, a handful of spinach, almond milk, a tiny bit of honey and some cocoa powder and he is in chocolate heaven. The cocoa hides any green colour and you can barely taste the spinach. Go ahead and smile as they gulp down a serving of spinach.
2. Sneaky Sauce
Any kind of sauce is a veggie opportunity. Pasta Sauce is the easiest for us. I bulk it up with shredded zucchini and cauliflower. We also use spaghetti squash for "noodles". I put that in the instant pot while I brown the meat and whip up the sauce and dinner served quickly and easily.
Unbound Wellness has a recipe for sweet potato chicken poppers. Which when put under the broiler looks like a chicken nugget but is really chicken and sweet potato. It's quick and easy and my toddler loved them!
4. The Not So Sneaky Approach
Put it out there and see what happens! Turns out our little man loves cooked broccoli, sweet potato and carrots! We know we are lucky, but sometimes I try to hide things before I even give him a chance to try it. Sometimes he won't touch it, but sometimes he surprises me (Like the time he drank half my bottle of green juice!).
5. Involve Them in Food Prep
I know it takes more time, results in more mess, and is not always an option. When I let me little man help cook a new recipe he will at least try a bite because he is so excited to try what he made. He may take a few bites, or just pick at it, but he's really proud and easily tries that first bite, which is not always the case with unfamiliar foods.
6. Play with Texture.... and Food
If our meal of chicken and veggies goes untouched by the little man, I'll change the texture. Usually, this means blending it up. I did this a lot when he was younger and made them into pouches. Now I just blend it in a high power blender, save it in a mason jar, and he calls it soup. He usually loves it! I'm not sure if it's texture, or letting him help me "Make soup", or just that it looks like something different, but it works for us and is a great way minimize wasting leftovers. Speaking of playing, let them play with foods sometimes! Exploring the way it feels or smells or looks or tastes with other foods we would never pair them with may even peak their interest.
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