Picky eaters are members of almost every family. Some kids enjoy trying new foods while others simply don't. It's important for parents to introduce healthy eating habits to their kids while they are still young. This will make adding more vegetables to their diet as they grow less stressful.
However, we understand that some kids simply hate green things! So how do we get them to eat more vegetables? Let's start out by not trying to convince them that green vegetables are simply for their health, which we know it is, lol. We must employ some mental manipulation when it comes to this topic. I have seen kids throw their entire plate of food away simply because it contained some form of vegetable. There are some kids who prefer to not see the vegetables and rather not know that they are eating vegetables, but to simply enjoy a delicious meal. This is when it really comes down to how the vegetables are being cooked and the flavor profile of the dish.
Kids love good food. Who doesn't? Therefore, we as parents, chefs, and cooks should put the flavor back into our vegetable dishes. I myself am not a great big fan of salads, but a salad with the correct components and packed with flavor will satisfy me just fine every day of the week. Let's explore some ways we can spice up our vegetables to make our kids want to enjoy them without forcing it down their throats.
Mix vegetables into your dishes. Let's say you're making omelets or frittatas for breakfast. Try cutting up mushrooms, zucchini, onions, bell peppers, spinach, and any other vegetables very small. Next, sauté the vegetables separately and season them with garlic powder, salt, and black pepper. When you're making your omelets, sprinkle some vegetables on top just before folding your omelet. If you're a meat-eater, small dice chicken or turkey sausage and add it to the vegetable stir fry. Try adding salsa, guacamole, or even some shredded cheese to top it off. This always works for me, unless your kids don't eat eggs.
2. Grill your vegetables. Grilled vegetables have a very earthy flavor profile. Adding a little dry rub seasoning, butter, garlic, or even fresh pesto to your vegetable before grilling or after can also give grilled vegetables much more flavor. Some veggies that are perfect for grilling are portabella mushrooms, zucchini, yellow squash, corn on the cob, asparagus, even grilled cabbage can be delicious.
3. Try roasting or battering your vegetables. Kids love crunchy, fried foods. Even though we are seeking a healthier diet, sometimes we must take baby steps to get there. Recipes such as fried zucchinis, mushrooms, or pickles paired with a dipping sauce or made as a sandwich are great choices. Next time you are tempted to boil your mixed vegetables, try roasting them with olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and herbs. Roasted vegetables can be added to salads, dipped in sauces, and ate as a side with the main entree.
There are adults who still struggle with eating vegetables every day. These simple techniques can change the way many of us eat vegetables. Many of our eating habits start from adolescence, let's teach our children to make better food choices by finding creative ways to introduce them to more green options!
For more kid-friendly recipes be sure to download your copy of 30 Meat-Less Recipes For Kids a cookbook written by Chef S. Nichole, owner of Gorgeous Green Chef. https://books.apple.com/us/book/30-meat-less-recipes-for-kids/id1519086796