How to Make Veggies More Fun for Kids to Eat
Shoving down bland carrots isn’t fun for anyone, let alone kids. Luckily, you don’t need fancy recipes or hours of food prep to add pizazz to produce. Use these simple tricks to serve up veggie-packed meals throughout the school year.
Create Playful Shapes
Kids eat with their eyes first, so make veggies visually appealing, says New York City-based kids cooking expert, Cricket Azima, founder of The Creative Kitchen and the annual Kids Food Festival in NYC. Reach for a mandolin or a spiralizer to turn zucchini and eggplant into cool ribbons and circles. You can also give the dish a fun name: sweet potato swirly-curlies, anyone?
Mix It In
Soups and pastas are perfect vessels for integrating vegetables, Azima says. Pile in even more produce by using a food chopper to puree carrots or squash that you then mix into mac and cheese, meatballs, or pasta sauce. Does your kid like dip? Thought so! In only six minutes you can whip up this homemade hummus. Adjust the spice level to your kid’s palate, and watch as the carrot and celery sticks disappear in seconds.
Go Beyond Boiling
Plenty of kids who gag over boiled greens will scarf down roasted, caramelized broccoli; or sweet potatoes crisped to deliciousness in this Airfryer. In fact, exploring different cooking methods and finding a few that your child enjoys can be a game-changer, Azima suggests. Give it a shot!
Hand Over the Chef’s Hat
Instead of stealthily sneaking spinach into the pathway of your immersion hand-blender, Azima suggests letting your child create a personalized smoothie recipe—it helps build self-confidence and introduces the concept of cooking. (Next stop: Chopped Junior!). Kids love autonomy, so put them in charge of assembling their own healthy lunches and planning grocery lists. Parent-child power struggle solved.