Tuesday, March 1, 2011

How I trick my kids (and even adults) into eating extra veggies

  1. Shredding veggies and adding them to spaghetti sauce or foods they already like - Veggies that work with this are mushrooms, eggplant, carrots, summer squash and winter squash. Finely chopped veggies in meatloaf. Creamy blended soups and chunky chili. Scalloped potatoes and additional sliced veggie layers. Macaroni and cheese with yellow crookneck squash. Ideas are endless!
  2. Calzone - homemade Hot Pockets filled with veggies, ground turkey and a little shredded mozzarella and ricotta cheese. You can make the crust with Trader Joe's whole wheat pizza dough!
  3. Yummy dips - tzatziki sauce is made of grated cucumbers (squeeze out all the juice and drink that), crushed garlic and salt, blended with strained plain Greek yogurt. Also, baba ganouj, which is roasted whole eggplant, peeled then blended with a red onion, garlic, tahini, parsley, lemon juice and salt. Can also do the same with roasted peppers.
  4. Mini veggie frittata "muffins" - eggs and milk blended with Parmesan cheese and any variety of finely chopped veggies. Bake them in greased muffin tins.
  5. Grilled or roasted veggies - sliced eggplant or zucchini, asparagus, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli, peppers, endive, radicchio, corn, fennel, mushrooms, cabbage, onions, and baby artichokes.
  6. Colorful layered salads - soft, tender butterleaf lettuce cups filled with layers of dressed shredded raw beets and carrots, marinated artichoke hearts, olives, chopped fresh green beans. Roll up the salad inside the lettuce leaf and eat it with your hands.
  7. This one's my favorite!!! Baby spinach tossed with chopped fresh garlic, chopped Canadian bacon, some chunks of feta cheese and shaved Parmesan and topped with a little olive oil. Place a single whole wheat pita in a pie dish, pile the spinach mix on top of the pita and bake at 350-degrees until the spinach has wilted down. You can make this sort of pizza with anything!
You have to understand that sneaking veggies into food they already like is a great way to get veggies into their bodies, but if they don't recognize that they're eating the veggies, then when they encounter them in real life, they won't know they've already been eating them. Mixing veggies they aren't accustomed to eating with veggies or foods they like, so that they can see the veggies, is a way of getting them to see they already eat the veggies. After about nine times of actually eating something, they will start accepting it more readily, and may even admit they like it!

Except for okra. No one should like okra. That's just sick! If you have to deep fry it in batter just to make it palatable, it's wrong!

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