We all know that having a nutritious and varied diet is important for helping kids grow and develop well but getting kids to eat vegetables is not always easy! Sometimes they’ll love one thing one day but hate it the next, and some veggies will be refused all together. Here we’ll share top tips for how to get kids to eat vegetables with creative ideas to make sure they at least get their five-a-day.
Six great ways of getting kids to eat vegetables
When it comes to meals including vegetables for kids, there are six quick and easy ways that you can ensure your children will not only eat them but learn to love them.
1. Start them young
The easiest way to ensure your children are eating the right amount of nutritious vegetables is to start them as young as possible. Vegetables like carrots are great to cut into batons and use as teethers on those troublesome teething days. Another great introductory veggie is broccoli, which is soft and easy for little ones to eat even before they have all their teeth.
2. Create meals exclusively containing vegetables
There are plenty of options when it comes to plant and vegetable-based recipes – from stews to casseroles that can be popped into your slow cooker and so many more, one-pot veggie dishes are a great way to cook vegetables for kids. Flora’s Mexican bean lasagne is a mouth-watering meal your little ones are likely to recognise – at least from the outside. You can crush the beans slightly to make them resemble mince a bit more
3. Get your children involved in the meal prep
Being hands-on with the meals that your children are about to eat is a great way to encourage them to eat the veggies. Involving them in the prep allows your children to use other senses such as touch, sight and smell in advance of having the vegetables on their plates and build excitement for the meal ahead. Just remind them to wash their hands properly first!
4. Present their meals in creative and exciting ways
This is such a simple idea, but it can work wonders! Turn their food into the shape of their favourite animal, or create a picture using the food. For example, green beans make fantastic grass, and cauliflower creates the perfect cloud. This can require a little extra thought and preparation time, but it is definitely worth it.
5. Include vegetables in sweet treats
If you’re after tips on how to hide vegetables in food, don’t forget about desserts. It may surprise a lot of people to know that there are some great recipes available including fruits and vegetables in puddings. Adding courgette to chocolate cake adds beautiful moisture and texture to the bake. Fruits like banana can make amazing puddings, like Flora’s banana loaf, and the best part is your kids will love them and never know they’re super healthy, too!
6. Make meals with hidden veggies
Getting toddlers to eat vegetables can be a bit harder than older children, but it is just as important. Here are a few ideas for how to hide vegetables in food:
• Change the shape: Create noodles from courgette and mix into a meal of spaghetti and meatballs or add cauliflower to mashed potato.
• Match the colours: Use vegetables that can match the sauce, such as red pepper in tomato-based sauces or peas in pesto-based recipes.
• Wrap them in something: Try adding vegetables to the filling of pasta or inside homemade meatballs.
Now you have some great tricks and recipes for getting kids to eat vegetables, you can make sure they at least get their five-a-day and have fun, too!