Oh the fun of feeding a toddler (or anyone fussy really). I really do consider myself a pretty patient person, but if my family is having a particularly picky week when it comes to food, I sometimes want to say, “For the love of all that’s holy, JUST EAT IT ALREADY”. Yea, that doesn’t really work. But the mom (and nutritionist) in me really really wants Tommy to be eating lots of veggies. In a perfect world, at least ½-¾ of his meal would be veggies! But the reality is, kids will be kids, and some days they’d rather just eat their crayons instead of red, orange, or green vegetables. But what if we had a few meals that were “family friendly”... Delicious to eat with a few mysterious vegetables tossed in, yet are a very discreet part of the dish?
Here are my top 6.
Smoothies (green+fruit+healthy fat)
Smoothies are one of the most clever little tricks around to help get kids (and adults) to eat more veggies. Since green veggies are often the most difficult to get into your family’s diet, then it makes sense to add some dark, rich, leafy greens into a delicious and refreshing smoothie.. A good rule of thumb when making green smoothies is to add a fruit or two to sweeten it along with a fat. Healthy fats like avocado, flaxseed, or coconut oil ensure they are absorbing the bounty of vitamins the vegetables they contain. Here’s a chart for some ideas. Be sure to pick at least 1-2 veggies!
Click here for Tommy's favorite green smoothie recipe.
And for added inspiration, here are a few more of my favorite smoothies
Quiches & Casseroles
These make great family meals because if you run a hectic household, it’s a definite timesaver. They also make great leftovers for lunch the next day. Speaking of lunch, below is a recipe that lasts through the week in the fridge and is perfect for the lunch box. These mini rainbow quiches have eggs and cheese which many little pallets are fond of, and you can choose which veggies to add. Feel free to cut them up as small as you like.
Here is another great one for leftovers, and who doesn’t love a good meatloaf? This recipe gives you a few options on which veggies work best. Once it’s all mixed in, it’s really just….”OK, here’s some yummy meatloaf.” You don’t need to go into detail about what’s in it. I usually serve this with a salad, and potato or grain. If you already happen to have a house that’s wild about veggies, then perhaps some nice green beans or asparagus on the side.
Mac N Cheese
First off, this is definitely not your average mac & cheese. This recipe has become one of the most popular with my family and our friends because of the simple, local ingredients, but what we’re focused on here are the veggies. If you can find this pasta, there are some veggies added to it already which is nice, but this Gluten-Free Mac & Cheese gets the addition of broccoli, and included in the post are examples of other veggies you can add.
Pizza totally doesn’t have to be unhealthy. Go for a thin crust if possible (gluten-free, whole wheat). In this post, to save time, I skipped the crust and went for a crusty loaf of fresh bread then piled on those veggies.
Also check out...
6 Toddler-Friendly Recipes with Sneaky Veggies
12 tips to get your picky toddlers to eat healthier
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