So many people who follow healthy eating plans struggle to get their whole family to eat the same meals as them. This is usually because members of the family, particularly young children, do not want any vegetables. Here are some ways of making vegetables fun for kids.
Adults can also get bored with the same vegetables and lose interest easily. I thought I would share some hints and tips on how to make your vegetables more interesting. Also, pop and see if any of my recipes help,
Why make vegetables interesting?
Everyone needs the nutrients in vegetables and fruit, these suggestions are not just for kids but for adults who don’t like vegetables too.
If children are encouraged from a young age to eat and love vegetables then there is no reason that they wouldn’t continue to eat them as adults.
Why we need vegetables for weight loss
Everyone knows vegetables are good for you, don’t they? They are healthy and filling for very few calories!
The best vegetables for weight loss are those with low-calorie density. Basically, we are talking about the healthier vegetables – potatoes don’t count but butternut squash is much healthier for example!
This means if you eat 100g of spinach, for example, it is just 23 calories and obviously, 100g of anything would fill you up significantly. On the other hand, 100g of crisps, which would be just as filling, is around 536 calories!
Find more tips about the best vegetables for weight loss.
Why kids need vegetables
Whilst, of course, children do not often need to lose weight, they do need to eat healthily. Vegetables are full of nutrients and are good for providing a lot of the vitamins and minerals children need to grow well.
If children start eating vegetables when they are young they are usually less likely to get certain illnesses as they get older and eating vegetables becomes a habit.
Spiralized vegetables for kids
Instead of normal pasta try courgette, butternut squash or carrot, you might love it. If you don’t try you won’t know! I love butternut squash spiralised and raw in a salad!
Most supermarkets have a variety of spiralised vegetables now so you don’t necessarily have to do it yourself at home!
Have you tried roasted beetroot? It tastes so different from pickled beetroot and is lovely sprinkled with a little paprika!
Other vegetables can taste so different roasted too. Try half a red onion roasted with rosemary and roast potatoes, absolutely delicious!
Two recipes using roasted vegetables you might enjoy are Roasted Mediterranean vegetables in a balsamic tomato sauce and roasted vegetable salad.
You don’t just have to mash potatoes, other veg like swede, carrot, parsnip and butternut squash can be lovely mashed too. If you are not sure try just adding a little to your normal mashed potato and see what you think.
If you hate standing for ages mashing potatoes then you should consider a Masha, it is an electric potato masher, we have one I love it.
Potatoes aren’t the only vegetable you can make into chips, swede, parsnip and carrot all make lovely chips but my favourite is definitely butternut squash.
Butternut squash chips are not as crispy but they are yummy all the same! Some supermarkets sell butternut squash waffles if you want to buy something ready-made!
Check out my chip-making guide.
Add a Sauce
Once you pour a sauce over vegetables they taste so different. How about making a gravy or a tomato-based sauce?
Some of our favourites are Mediterranean Vegetables in a Balsamic Tomato Sauce and Onion Gravy.
Puree into a Sauce or soup
Instead of eating the vegetables whole how about making them into a sauce or a soup. The onion gravy I make (recipe here) is full of onions yet a child having it on sausage and mash wouldn’t necessarily know that! I love butternut squash and red pepper soup.
I also love making a BBQ Sauce that is full of vegetables too, the recipe I make is for a chunky sauce but there is nothing stopping you from blending it down if you prefer.
Blending them in passata with herbs helps too as this can make a Bolognese-type sauce that fussy eaters or children won’t know is full of vitamins! A great way of doing these vegetables for kids in their favourite bolognese meal.
If you are making a curry then my mushy pea curry recipe can easily be blended down to make a smooth sauce.
Some vegetables taste so different stir-fried and putting lots of vegetables in a stir-fry can really be an easy way to get lots of vegetables into a meal.
Ben used to love making “Rainbow Stir Fry” which essentially was a stir fry where he put lots of different colours of the rainbow into it. He enjoyed that he could cut his favourites into various shapes and sizes. It made him so much more likely to eat it!
Stir fry made like this is a great way of doing vegetables for kids with their favourite meats or vegetarian alternatives and lots of colourful vegetables!
If you are looking for an easy stir fry sauce try adding some diet orangeade and a little passata to make a sweet and sour sauce, just cook the vegetables in that for about ten minutes and you have vegetables in an easy sweet and sour sauce!
Some people say they really don’t like this which of course is fine, but how about mixing it half and half with your normal rice and trying that?
I make a lovely cauliflower Pilau rice which is all vegetables but so tasty because you are adding the pilau rice seasoning. It could be made using normal rice if you prefer to and still adds a few extra vegetables.
Other ways of making vegetables more fun
However you make your vegetables more fun you can always add flavours to give them a different taste, we often use the Schwartz seasonings but many supermarkets do their own. Adding a fajita seasoning to them, for example, can give them a totally different taste in a really easy sprinkle!
There are so many different things you could try, even just a little sprinkle of garlic granules?
You can find all of my butternut squash tips and recipes to help you.
Don’t forget to try and add vegetables to every meal including a BBQ.
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