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Jun 2, 2011 08:20 AM

Give me your veggie recipes that....

your kids love. I need to up the veggie intake of my kids. Help. They don't like raw veggies so salad is out.

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  1. I'll give you two caveats - 1) I don't have kids, but I used to be one 2) my Mother is an old school, eat-what-you're-given-or-starve, I worked all day and then put this on the table type mum, but we actually really liked vegetables (her meat skills were, at the time, interesting).

    Things I loved making/eating with mum for more vegetables:

    Brocolli with ginger and soy sauce
    Vegetable croquettes with mashed taters, sweetcorn, peas, diced carrots
    Sweet potatoes and yams, roasted
    Ratatouille with eggplant, courgette, red onions - my mum talked about this like an exotic treat, so it felt like one when we ate it.
    Maybe mild asian noodle soups, with grated carrot, bok choy, sugar snap peas etc?

    And while not technically vegetables and very much raw, how are they with a little bit of salsa or avocado?

    3 Replies
    1. re: ultimatepotato

      " Mother is an old school, eat-what-you're-given-or-starve, I worked all day and then put this on the table type mum..."


      I love your mother.


      1. re: DougRisk

        we really need a "like" button! We grew up with a mom like that and she added that our taste buds changee as we grow up and if we hadn't tasted something in six months we had to try it again. There is virtually nothing I won't eat

        1. re: DougRisk

          My mom is a milder version of that, as in, "If you don't want to eat this, you must not be hungry." There was no grabbing other food, because clearly, lack of hunger would be the only acceptable reason for refusing a home-cooked meal.

      2. Oven roasted anything. Broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, beets, brussel sprouts. Anything. Salt and pepper them heavily, toss in olive oil, and roast at 400F 'till done. 8 minutes for asparagus, 45 for sprouts, everything else somewhere between. :)

        They also love steamed artichokes. I think that's more the getting to dip and then throw the leaves into the garbage bowl at the center of the table though. ;)

        2 Replies
        1. re: tzurriz

          I second both suggestions. My kids fight over brussel sprout chips

          We've also done todao's suggestion of cooking down vegetables and pureeing them for soup/sauce. And, there's always cheese sauce. As they ate it, they slowly got used to the taste of the vegetables.

          1. re: tzurriz

            Yes. Absolutely. Roasted cauliflower, squash, and brussels sprouts were a revelation to me as an adult. On the same note (dry heat) -- a mesh grill pan makes all those doable on the BBQ. Almost nothing in the world is better than A) grilled asparagus and B) grilled aloo gobi.

          2. Soups, graveys, etc. My kids always liked soups (especially if they could dunk bread) and graveys (what kid doesn't like mashed potatoes) so we typically made it a habit to liquify veggies and include them in those. Hidden veggies work well in other foods too. Sometimes it's difficult to hide strong vegetables (broccoli, asparagus, cauliflower, etc.) but others are fairly easy. Remember, corn and peas are not vegetables, they are starches. So if those are an issue you'll need to consider their overall dietary value in meal planning.

            1. I have one chowkid and one who hates everything. I despair of him. But he will eat steamed broccoli (it has to be the kind with larger, more open leaves or whatever they're called. The tighter, bluish ones are bitter.) He will also eat baked sweet potatoes with butter and cinnamon. These are actually very nutritious.

              Other simple ideas: make mac and cheese your usual way, but bake in some cauliflower or carrots that you have previously steamed until tender. The cheese really compliments the veggies and their tender texture helps them blend well with the macaroni. My kids love this and have since they were very little.

              Replace the liquid in breads or cakes with steamed pureed zucchini. This is delicious in cornbread, They won't get a large portion of veggies this way, but if they like the bread, you can tell them the flavor is due to zucchini, so you're absolutely *sure* they will enjoy it on its own.

              If they are old enough, have them help you prepare veggies. If they've helped, they'll take pride in their work and may want to try what they've made.

              Make a simple vegetable soup without a lot of seasonings (you can add garlic, vinegar, cayenne or whatever to the adults' portions later.) Puree the soup with some cooked rice and serve it as a dip for croutons. Kids usually love dipping stuff.

              Cut up all their cooked veggies into bite size pieces and put them on frilly toothpicks. (My mother did this with me and called all veggies "hors d'oeuvres" to make them sound fancier. This didn't work with my son, but you might have better luck.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Isolda

                Oh, another idea with the mac n' cheese. I always add a can of pumpkin to my baked mac n' cheese. It's delicious and adds a ton of nutrition to an otherwise not-so-great meal. And it makes it more "orange" colored, which my kids and husband really like.

              2. Shredded zucchini and carrots, steamed or sauteed and tossed with a little butter, salt and pepper.
                Diced corn, diced zucchini, cooked black beans, diced tomatoes if the kids will eat them, sauteed - call it confetti.
                Pea soup
                Vegetable noodle soup (read: minestrone, classic veg. soup, etc - fun to vary these with pasta shapes, etc.)
                On the same track, "Penny soup", coins of carrot, zucchini, small potato, etc., steamed and floated in stock, or just cooked in soup.
                Baby carrots; steamed or roasted, with a touch of butter and orange juice to glaze them.
                Zucchini fritters, corn fritters
                Sauteed noodles tossed w/ diced veg and/or mushrooms
                Pasta sauce, with any veg. shredded in and slowcooked. They will virtually melt.
                Believe it or not, pearl onions, peeled and steamed and dressed with butter and a bit of salt. They're very mild and sweet-flavored, and kids really dig pressing them with their fork or spoon and watching "baby onions being born." Like a nesting onion Matreshka doll.
                Cobbettes of corn. Unintimidating.
                Any kind of veg, kabobbed and grilled.
                If it's strongly-flavored veg. that your kiddos object to, it's okay to avoid them and just use the ones they're all right with. Different methods of prep., like the shredding or the kabobs, can frequently be the key to acceptance. And don't ever forget applesauce, esp. sugar-free and homemade. Of course it's not a veg. but it stands in just fine as a healthy part of any meal. You can make sauce of stone fruits, too, and mix with applesauce.