Finding new ways to fix vegetables that the whole family will eat can be a challenge. Are veggies frequently an afterthought at your dinner table? Steaming a bag of frozen broccoli or peas is an easy and healthy way to go, but if you find yourself or your family getting bored with the standard offerings it may be time to expand your repertoire. Preparing veggies in new ways that add in flavor without sacrificing nutrition can also lead to children eating more veggies. Children taste bitter flavors more strongly than adults. This is why children typically choose fruit instead of veggies, which are more bitter.
Here are some ideas:
This is one of my favorites! Simply place pieces of chopped sweet potatoes, eggplant, broccoli, cauliflower, onions, beets, carrots, Brussels sprouts or other sturdy veggies in a single layer on a cooking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt and/or herbs and roast in a 400° oven for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until browned. Roasting veggies creates a slightly sweet, caramelized flavor.
A homemade cheese sauce can make even the most challenging veggies more palatable, particularly to children. Plus you get the added benefit of adding calcium and protein. Here’s a recipe for a simple cheese sauce.
Spice up your salads by adding things like dried cranberries or cherries, sliced almonds, sections of orange, tangerine or grapefruit, thinly sliced apples or pears. Try adding in fresh herbs, such as basil leaves, cilantro or parsley. Go easy on things like croutons and shredded cheese which can add lots of calories and fat.
Making a big pot of soup is a fantastic way to use up odds and ends. You can use fresh and frozen veggies, some canned tomatoes and low-sodium chicken broth as a base. Season with your favorite herbs and spices, add in some whole grain pasta, barley or rice. You can even make it in a slow-cooker. Here are some recipes to get you started.