10 Ways To Get Kids Eating More Veg
Getting veg off plates and into the tummies of kids is the plight of plenty a parent. The bitterness of leaves and greens just don’t work for taste buds that crave sweet things!
It’s part of the reason we’ve developed 10 new recipes with all kinds of families in mind. They’ve been tried and tested, getting the seal of approval from parents and kids all over the country.
They’re called Everyday Favourites, and in them, we’ve found different ways of getting veg on the plates of sceptical kids. Here are a few ways you can do the same.
Grate n’ shred
Veg is easily recognised when it’s sliced and boiled. But how about when it’s grated or spiralised? Mix grated carrot with an egg and some cooked quinoa to make burger patties or add courgetti to a spag bol to boost its vitamin count.
Keep an eye on the time
Serving steamed-out carrots is enough to get anyone craving pizza! Make sure you know the difference between parboiling and overboiling before subjecting little ones to veg horror.
Soften the flavours
Scientifically it’s the bitterness of veg that kids hate. It’s why an appreciation for coffee and dark chocolate comes later in life – because our taste buds learn to love them.
If telling a child they’ll love cabbage when they’re older doesn’t work, soften your recipes with a knob of butter. We do it in our Ready to Roast Chicken recipe to create smooth tasting veg.
Hide veg by making it disappear completely! Blending it into a sauce and serving with spaghetti or rice. The fun sloppiness of a bolognese can absorb a handful of extra mushrooms, or throw some butternut squash into the sauce of a mild curry.
Lasagne and cottage pie are family favourites that are veg gold mines. How many of your 5-a-day can you fit underneath a layer of appealingly cheesy topping? Try a different variety per lasagne layer!
Our pal Joe Wicks is famous for calling broccoli ‘midget trees’. It puts the fun into cooking them! Can you get little ones coming up with some names of their own? Getting to know what’s on their plate could be a fast pass to 5-a-day.
Appeal to sweet teeth
Kids are known for their sweet teeth, so incorporate these flavours where you can. Adding coconut milk to a curry with aubergine and peanut is an easy win, as is adding sultanas to rice – like we’ve done in our Everyday Favourites Easy Chicken Curry.
Let them loose
Let kids be independent. Wholewheat wraps with bowls of bright veg will encourage them to build their own meals and get to know what they like on their own terms. Our Fiesta Chicken Fajitas are a perfect place to start.
Attack the snacks
Notching up 5-a-day doesn’t just happen at dinner. Replace fall back snacks like sugary store-bought offerings with fun sticks n’ dips. Celery, carrot and baked sweet potato batons can be dipped in fresh tomato salsas and cucumber raitas for healthy, veg powered snacking.
If all else fails…add cheese
If getting veg off the plate isn’t happening, a cheesy get out of jail free card might be a saviour. Think outside the box though! Cheddar’s an easy fallback but it’s full of fat. Try celery with a spoon of soft cheese, or create a fresh dip for baked halloumi.
Let us know your tips in the comments below!