Sometimes getting your family to eat vegetables can be hard. Here at our house, I typically make meals that are either for my husband and myself, my husband, son and myself, or for three kids all 2 years or under. When asked which one is the hardest to cook for…..my response is almost always the three of us….my husband, son and myself. Shocking right? I bet you would have thought the three kids. Here is why I respond the way I do.
For one, my son is not a vegetable eater!!! Even though he grew up having to try whatever the veggie was that night for dinner, he is not a veggie eater. I think this may happen to all teenagers and then they don’t venture back to vegetables until later in life maybe. Who knows, all I know is he is too old now, at 22 years old, for me to say he HAS to try the vegetable of the night. However, that is not to say he still does not get them in his diet when he eats at home. It a guarantee, if mom is cooking there is a veggie mixed in the meal somewhere that is very difficult to pick out or eat around.
My husband on the other hand, likes some vegetable and some he will not touch….okra for instance. So in this instance I can work around this much easier…..we just don’t have okra or I save a vegetable I know he dislikes for when he is traveling or not going to be home.
Here are a few tricks I have found that have made getting my family to eat vegetables a bit easier. One, mix them into casseroles. Cooked spinach can be mixed into almost any casserole or soup and is nearly impossible to pick out.
Roasting a vegetable adds a whole different spin on flavor than boiling does. Boiling vegetables is very unexciting and bland in my opinion. Take for instance broccoli…..roasted with whole garlic cloves and a bit of salt…. it is fabulous and even my little kiddos eat the florets up like they are candy.
Sauce them up. My son loves chicken curry and I used to serve this with mixed veggies on the side. Now, I add the vegetables right to the chicken and add the curry sauce to the entire dish. He eats them and admits they are good this way. Win for mom!!!!
Add them to breakfast egg cups….no one thinks to have veggies at breakfast but it sure is easy to add them in where they least expect it. My daycare kiddos love these veggie egg cups and oftentimes we will make them together.
Instead of meat marinara over pasta, try veggie or meat and veggie marinara. The pickier they are when it comes to vegetables, the smaller you should cut the pieces of vegetable to ensure they can not pick around them. Add some cheese to the top before serving and I would bet they will all try it if not gobble it all up.
Try adding vegetables to sandwiches….like beef with pepperocini peppers
or our favorite here is turkey reuben sandwiches.
Don’t be afraid to try different things. We fell in love with lemon shrimp with capers and spinach. It was enjoyed by all of us even the spinach haters in my house.
Sometimes even letting your children help prepare the meals will encourage them to try what they made. And one word of advice…..if you make a face at something you don’t like they are almost always going to agree. So if at all possible, try your veggies without expression and let them decided for themselves whether it is good or bad.