Ten sneaky ways to include more veggies in little (and big) kid's diets.
By Amy Crawford
The average Australian is lucky if they squeeze two cups of veggies into their day. Nutritionists would like us eating closer to five. Many simply don't enjoy the taste or texture of vegetables full stop (let's not even start the conversation on Brussels Sprouts, as much as I adore them). So, for those who don't crave the humble vegetables as much as others, how can we cram the goodness into their bodies (and especially our kid's bodies) every day? Simple. Hide 'em!
Here are our 10 ways to get sneaky with veggies:
1. Add cacao
Need I say more? This definitely needed to be number one on our list! Beetroot, Quinoa & Chocolate Muffins make the perfect afternoon tea healthy treat, while providing the nourishing goodness of beets AND quinoa AND superfood cacao! The addition of beets to these muffins produced spectacular results. SO moist. Spinach and sweet potato work well in baked goods too.
2. Frittata it
You say frittata, I say add sweet potato! Quinoa, Goats Cheese & Roast Vegetable Frittatas hide deliciously roasted veggies. These handy on the go muffins are a great kids lunch, complete with quality protein, fats and carbohydrates.
3. Put it in a pudding
Hiding avocado is pretty darn easy considering it is relatively flavourless. Boost the healthy fat content of your foods with the creamy addition of this superfood. I love making chocolate puddings with avocado, by simply adding cacao and your choice of sweetener. The Overnight Avocado, Coconut & Lemon Cheesecake is definitely worth tackling too. Veggies for dessert? Sure!
4. Grate 'em and bake 'em!
How about hash browns for dinner? Sweet potato, corn and onion can be hidden in there with delicious results. Zucchini fritters are another yummy suggestion. Why not bake some grated vegetables into a savoury loaf of bread?
5. Every kid likes chips.
Seriously, find me a kid that doesn't like a good chip. The thing with store bought or takeaway varieties however is how they are cooked - usually in refined vegetable oils that offer us no nutrient goodness. Swap regular white potatoes for sweet potatoes, and cook them in coconut oil for the most amazing flavour. Here's some inspiration!
6. Smooth(ie) operator
When your smoothie is pink you can't pass it up. Your little girl will love our Pretty in Pink Beetroot Smoothie. Leafy greens, avocado, and herbs from your garden are also excellent additions to your smoothie. Why not try out choc mint, or add apple to your next green smoothie? There's a whole 'Sip and a Slurp' section in the eBook A Nourishing Morning too.
7. Sneaky sauces
Your standard run of the mill tomato sauce is great, it definitely counts as one veggie! But the more veggies added, the better. Why not add capsicum, onions, or pureed carrots to your home made tomato sauce? Be wary of the refined sugar content of store bought options.
8. Substitute the staples
Swap regular bread for Cauliflower Toast. Pasta dishes now are served with Zucchini Noodles. Fried rice? No one will know that it's actually broccoli and cauliflower in there.
9. 'Ignorance is bliss' bliss balls
Grab your blender and hurl the goodness in! Raw nuts and seeds, cacao, avocado, how about some fresh mint? Or a small handful of spinach? Disguise, disguise, disguise (honesty is not the best policy in this instance).
10. Make it FUN.
Try to remove the negative association with vegetables, and get the kids involved. Make your dishes look exciting and I bet the kids (and the grown ups) are more likely to say yes. Check out our monster-like Green Pizza Omelette, nobody would know that spinach makes it green :)
Our list only has 10 suggestions, but I bet there are many more. Mums we want to hear from you too! How do you sneak veggies into your day?