How to get your child to eat more veggies?

As a mum I know how challenging it can be at times to get your child to eat veggies. Here are some of my tips to make it easier to increase the veggies in your child’s diet.

Sauce

It’s easy to sneak all kinds of veggies into a tomato sauce that you can use in pasta or rice dishes or even on pizza. You can use anything from mushrooms to broccoli, carrots or spinach. Blending them first will make sure they don’t get spotted even by really picky eaters! Tomato isn’t your only option though. You can also use cauliflower or red capsicums as a based. Check out my recipe page for some ides. If you freeze sauce in portions you will have some on hand when you need it.

Pizza

Pizzas have lots of possibilities for including veggies. There’s the toppings (obviously), the sauce (that you froze earlier) AND the base! You can even include veggies in the base, cauliflower makes a great base. I love this recipe from Minimalist Baker for a cauliflower pizza crust. Or you could even make a base from sweet potato and add some garlic, carrot and zucchini.

Tofu

Veggies can easily be blended into tofu to make quiche, omelettes or slice. Pretty much anything goes with this one but a few options include spinach, tomato, zucchini, capsicums/bell peppers, onions, fresh herbs and spinach. You can even grate some carrot into the mixture or use pureed sweet potato or squash. 

Sweets

This is one sneaky trick that kids will never see coming! Hiding veggies in sweet treats such as cookies, muffins and brownies. To really hide the evidence, blitz the veggies in a food processor so that there are no visible signs of anything healthy. Great choices include carrot, sweet potato, squash, zucchini and even spinach. And don’t worry that it’ll be off putting or unappetising as it won’t change the taste at all. I like to keep some snacks in the freezer so I have something on hand for a quick snack or breakfast.

Smoothies

Green smoothies are one of my favourite ways to sneak more vegetables into your child's diet. Just grab some fruit (e.g. bananas, oranges, berries, avocado) + veggies (e.g. kale, baby spinach, cucumber, carrot, beetroot) + liquid (e.g. orange juice, water, plant based milk, coconut water) + nutrient boosters (e.g. hemp seeds, spirulina, nuts and seeds) blend it all together and share it with your child.  I try to include a green smoothie every day.

Noodles

Make veggies the star of the meal by using them as the noodles. Zucchini and carrots work great as noodles, just use a spiraliser or grater to make into thin noodle strips.

Grating

You can grate veggies and add them to your meal. Carrot or zucchini can be hidden in most dishes and your child won’t even know.

Bite Size Portions

Using veggies in a meal and making it into bite size portions seems to make them more enjoyable for kids. Check out one of my daughters favourites, my Spirulina and Pea Fritters.

Nutrient Boosters

Another easy way to include more veggies is by adding Spirulina powder into your child’s diet. I like to add a teaspoon to our smoothies, water or orange juice and Airlie loves it!

Snack on Veggies

Veggies make a great snack and are a great alternative to crackers and a healthier option. Raw zucchini, cucumber, red capsicum/pepper and carrots (steamed, not raw for children under 3) or baked potato or sweet potato chips are great for dipping. You can even add some veggies to your dip, beetroot and sweet potato hummus are delicious!

Pre-packaged Options

As much as I prefer nutritious home cooked food, I’m a busy mum too and I like to have snacks when we are out and about. Macro Lentil Bite chips from Woolworths are a good option as they contain carrot, beetroot or pumpkin with lentils.