For example, roasting brings out the natural sugars in vegetables and often makes them more appealing to kids (try my roasted green beans). Frying makes vegetables like zucchini and Brussels sprouts almost irresistible. And covering with cheese sauce is an age-old tactic used by parents for generations.
What tips and tricks do you have for making vegetables more palatable to kids? Do they work? Share your solutions!
Put them into pasta or risotto
- Vegetable sauces for pasta and risotto are almost always popular, especially if they contain tomato. Another option that almost always works is tomato and eggplant -- pasta alla norma or eggplant parmesan.
Try Veggies in a Tagine
- In some cuisines, veggies are often incorporated into the main dish, where they can absorb the flavors of sauces and seasoning. Try making a tagine with the kids. My own children have always enjoyed vegetables this way and it's fun eating - everything gets scooped up with bread!
- —Guest Christine
Mix Them into Dishes
- Salad is always on the dinner table at our house, so we add shredded cabbage and spinach leaves, as well as veggies before tossing. I also like to add a bit of spinach or shredded carrots to spaghetti sauce and lasagna. Mixed in, the kids don't realize they are eating the same veggies they complain about when steamed and served by themselves.
- —Guest Lisa
Definately Cheese Sauce
- For all ages, cheese sauce is king. If calories are a big deal, a teaspoon of butter on steamed vegetables goes a long way.
- —Guest Jen
Raw or Roasted
- My kids prefer their vegetables raw, usually with a dip of some kind, but they've recently acquired a taste for some roasted vegetables, as they lend a nutty, sweet taste to them. They're still suspicious of some vegetables, but I figure they'll move on to those at some point in their lives, just as many of us do.
- —Guest mamalama1
- I use baby vegetables! Baby carrots, baby pattypan squash and little veggies like sugar snap peas are great with any dip made with yogurt. I myself used to hate Brussels sprouts until I roasted them until they're dark brown. They then get crisp and kind of salty. Some kids will eat them!
- —Guest Linda