It’s an age-old problem – children who refuse point-blank to eat vegetables. You as the parent want to pull out your hair with frustration. You know how important it is for your child to eat vegetables, but no matter what you say, the green beans, carrots, broccoli are always left uneaten.
You can try to make them feel guilty by telling them about the millions of starving children in the world, but you probably know by now that this has no effect on your child, and anyway, it’s not healthy to cultivate feelings of guilt in your children.
Here are some ideas to get them to eat vegetables:
Fruit instead of vegetables:
You may find that the child, who hates vegetables, loves fruit. Make sure that you always stock up on fresh fruit and that they are easily accessible to your children.
Children, who prefer fruit to vegetables, usually love raw carrots. Encourage them to eat as many as they want. Another idea with carrots is to peel them and then cut into julienne strips. Serve as is, or with a small tub of plain yogurt.
This is one of the few vegetables that children really like. Once the gem squash is cooked, place a blob of butter in each gem squash half and serve. Or place a tablespoon of peas in each gem squash half.
Fresh and pure vegetable juice can be bought at most supermarkets and most children love them. It’s one of the easiest ways to get them to take in vegetables.
Chinese Stir Fry:
Use cabbage, carrots, bean sprouts, celery, and baby marrows. Wash and cut the vegetables into strips. Heat a tiny bit of oil in a wok or a large saucepan. Add the vegetables, except for the bean sprouts and stir-fry for about 7 minutes. Add the bean sprouts and stir-fry for another 3 – 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add Soy sauce to taste. Serve and let the children use chopsticks to eat their vegetable stir-fry.
This could easily be your best-kept secret – the sauce that goes over the pasta is made from vegetables. Take any vegetables, cook them. Put all the vegetables into a blender, add tomato paste or raw tomatoes and blend till a paste is formed and more importantly, there are NO traces of vegetables. Heat on the stove and when ready, pour over the pasta. Try carrots, green beans, in fact, any vegetable that your child will not normally eat.
This is a difficult one – a few children like eating cabbage. Try grating raw cabbage and adding mashed guava and finely grated carrots. Add 1 teaspoon of sugar (use brown sugar if preferred) and mix. Stir in a small about of mayonnaise and place in the fridge until required. Optional: stir in chopped nuts and raisins into the salad just before serving.
The best method I know is to use cooked spinach and blend it. Make pasta (flour, eggs, salt, and milk) and before rolling out the dough to form pasta strips, stir in the blended spinach – instant and cheap lasagne.
Potatoes have to be the most popular of vegetables. Children will eat potatoes in most forms – from French fries, to roast potatoes to mash. A hugely popular dish is to peel and chop up an onion. Brown the onion over low heat in a tiny bit of oil. Peel and thinly slice your potatoes. Place the browned onions at the bottom of a casserole dish. Place a layer of potatoes on top, followed by a layer of gravy powder, and then dot with small pieces of butter. Place another layer of potatoes, followed by gravy powder and butter. Continue doing this until all the potatoes are finished. Grate about ½ cup of cheese and sprinkle over the top. Place in a moderate oven and bake for about 1 hour.
Tomatoes and cucumbers
Peel and slice tomatoes and cucumbers. Boil eggs. Place the eggs, tomatoes, cucumbers and about a small amount of mayonnaise into a food processor. Blend until finely chopped. Serve this mixture on bread or toast.
The best way to serve broccoli to children is in a white sauce and over a baked potato – simply the most delicious way to eat baked potatoes.
I hope that the above ideas will inspire you to devise new ways to get your children to eat those pesky vegetables.