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Food and Nutrition Topics..

You are here : home > Food and Nutrition > Fussy Children > How to Make Them Eat Those Veggies

How to Make Them Eat Those Veggies

How to Make Them Eat Those Veggies

Without exception, children all over the globe shun vegetables. Endearing and enduring cartoon images of Dennis the Menace, Caillou and Calvin come to mind, sitting at the dinner table and making faces when made to eat greens. It is always a matter of wonder how children invariably fall prey to junk food like chips and aerated drinks, despite being given a head start with a healthy diet of fruit juices, soups and mashed veggies.

Most children are born with a sweet tooth and would rather indulge in chocolates, ice creams and desserts. Therefore, mothers have to cook up innovative dishes all the time to make their children eat healthy. There are simple ways to make children eat vegetables, though. Vegetables need to be disguised cleverly so that they do not get noticed or become passable. Baked in cheese or stuffed in breads, they will be consumed like delicacies.

Here we give you a few suggestions to disguise veggies in your child's favourite snacks and meals. Needless to say you can improvise on them.

1) Toasted sandwich

Children love bread and sandwiches. Next time you plan to put butter and cheese or marmalade, try something different. Chop vegetables like carrots, beans, onion, and capsicum and saut it till they are bite-like. Add a bit of soy sauce, salt and pepper. Use this as a filling with dollops of cheese for a delectable toasted sandwich.

2) Pizza

This is another way of disguising the veggies in cheese. You have the option of making a pizza base at home or buying it, but even if you can't go that far, use brown bread (or even white for that matter) as a substitute. If you have a toaster, toast the bread lightly, so that it doesn't go soggy soft in the oven when you put the tomato sauce and veggies on it. You can experiment with the toppings - aubergines, capsicum, carrots, spinach, mushrooms, spring onions and so on. Mix and match and try new toppings to see what your child likes or rejects.

3) Parathas

Stuffed parathas are a great way of eating vegetables. Very few children would turn up their noses at them, especially if they are accompanied by lip-smacking chutneys and sauces. While aloo paratha is a staple in North Indian households, there is no end to what stuffing you can have in your paratha. Cauliflower and peas, carrots and cabbage parathas taste really good. You can add some greens like fenugreek and spinach in the mashed potatoes to add that extra flavour in the aloo paratha.

4) Flavoured rotis

Parathas can be a little heavy on the stomach. An even more effective option would be to add veggies in the flour while making the dough or atta. Spinach, fenugreek, raw grated cabbage, dill or saunf, fenugreek or methi, mint or pudina, pumpkin and so on can be rolled into the flour itself. With a thin layer of ghee or butter, this roti can be had with cooked dal, raitas or pickles. You'll admit everyday rotis never tasted better.

5) Sweet parathas or pancakes

The gourd family of vegetables - pumpkin, cucumber and bottle gourd - is good for making sweet parathas or puris. Knead grated pumpkin in the flour. Add jaggery shavings and roll the dough in milk, instead of water. Flavour it slightly with a hint of cinnamon powder, cardamom or nutmeg. This rotis can be deep fried or even baked.

Instead of fruits like apples and bananas, try adding pumpkin or cucumber to the pancake batter for a change.

6) Chutneys

Vegetables can be used to make delicious chutneys. Coconut based ones can be made with tomatoes, onions, carrots and mint. Peanut chutney (call it butter, if you wish) and sesame spread can be flavoured with garlic.

7) Pulao and khichree

If your child particularly loves rice, give him pulao or khichree garnished with boiled vegetables. Similarly, you can flavour the suji upma he desires or daliya (broken wheat gruel) with peas and carrots or even potatoes. Children love noodles and pasta. Make them in vegetable stock, if you have some ready. Do add vegetables discreetly in these dishes, too.

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Haniyah.4 years ago
This is not very good advice to be honest. By hiding vegetables, you will never teach your child to love them. Also, to say in the first sentence that all kids don't like vegetables is simply a lie. If you want to offer advice to parents, at least make sure that it is correct and healthy!
Ayesha.5 years ago
Puree boiled vegetables and mix with some green chutney for sandwiches.
Naina.10 years ago
my daughter doesn't like vegetables. but she love pizzas, noddles and milk product. i got some good tips from my friends to mix the vegetables in noddles and pizza vegetable have lots of protiens, but she doesn't understand. she removes the vegetable and eat the rest. can any one help me???
zahirah.10 years ago
you could chop up the vegetables really finely so that she will find it a tough work to remove the vegetables.she will probably end up eating it.
aaaa.10 years ago
u can boil a few veggies, make a puree and add to soups with noodles and a little bit of cheese.
shyna.10 years ago
mix different color veggies and serve...looks good
Deepali.10 years ago
if he likes tomato sauce or curd, then anything like veg-parantha or veg-sandwich can be easily taken to his belly with these as food-companions.
Shalu.10 years ago
my daughter likes pasta. i mix all the vegetables in the gravy and a bit of mayonnaise. it really tastes good. try it!!!
sneha.10 years ago
dear naina if your daughter like tapala (ie like roti) i would give u few reciepe on it do tell me because i now it is very difficult to explain kid and i have applied this formula on my 3 year old daughter and tapala idea has worked
bobby.10 years ago
my daughter is smarter when i add vegetables in noodles, rice or pizza she selects out the vegs keeps it aside on her plate and eats the rest of the stuff
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