Kids look at a plate full of veggies as serious business. Here are a few tips to make veggies less threatening and more fun.
There is one universal truth that all us mothers must agree upon- Veggies and kids don’t go hand in hand! We try all sorts of tricks in our books but on some days taming chimpanzee seems like a much easier task. But then there’s one true fact we mothers know; kids eat anything as long as it’s yummy. So why not use the same insight in feeding veggies to them? So, here are a few tips in making everyday boring veggies into exciting meals for your kids.
Add Vegetables to their fast food favorites
Turn fast-food favourites such as Pizza or burgers into healthy alternatives at home, by adding vegetables and cleverly covering up with a scrumptious meat topping. Try our scrambled dhal recipe cooked with different veggies for a change. Fried rice is another favourite of kids, try our special nutrition packed fried rice recipe.You can also hide the veggies under yummy and crispy batters found in recipes such as vegetable tempura, kohila cutlets (made using our Knorr Maldive Fish Powder Mix) and Savoury waffles that kids would just keep munching at!
Involve kids in the process
Get your kids to help you grow vegetables at home- it could be something as simple as bitter gourd, brinjal, ladies’ fingers etc. Your kids will take pride in their handiwork and be more enthusiastic about eating their own garden fresh produce. Playing “Farm” at the Supermarket may also help kids get more involved in picking up the veggies they like. Involving them in the cooking process is another subtle way of creating interest in kids to eat vegetables.
Make vegetables a part of playtime
Make dinner a part of their playtime so they’d enjoy the general experience of eating vegetables and ultimately acquiring a taste for it. Cut up vegetables in different shapes and designs to give the meal an exciting twist. Then, arrange them on a plate artistically or like a story. A story I like to use is pretending to be dinosaurs or giants so they can devour broccoli "trees", carrot “buildings” and potato “people”.
Mashesd potato is a known kid’s favourite regular mash potato could be converted into a “rainbow mash” with carrots, beetroot and green peas added to the mix, of course don’t forget to add some soft margarine and cheese to make everything yummy and creamy.
Differentiate using techniques
Kids tend to dislike veggies mainly because they're mushy or taste too strong. Try roasting or grilling them to get texture and flavour. Roasting or grilling makes veggies feel like French Fries- soft on the inside and crispy on the outside. It also makes the vegetables sweeter. Drizzle a little olive oil and sprinkle a bit of parmesan cheese before grilling to give it a boost in flavour. Coupling it with a fun dipping sauce could also make a difference. Good recipes to try out are Zucchini Fritters with Hot Garlic Sauce and Honey Glazed Grilled Vegetable Kebabs. Both recipes take 30 minutes or less to whip up.
Camouflage your veggies
Sometimes as mothers we have no choice but to be a little sneaky after all it’s for our kids’ own good. Especially if you have a really fussy eater you need to find a way to make sure they find it difficult to spot the veggies. A great tactic to use here would be to puree veggies into a yummy sauce which can be served topped off on creamy pasta. Here you are not only getting them to eat their veggies but also keeping the nutrition and flavor intact.
As mothers we only want what’s best for our kids. So the next time your kids make a fuss, try some of these tips and experience the difference. The extra effort that is put in would not be in vain as it makes mealtimes a fun activity for kids as well as providing them with the best nutrition.