So maybe your little one isn’t the biggest fan of vegetables. You’ve put different options in front of them a time or two and you’re still being met with crossed arms and a closed mouth. Don’t worry, this is pretty common. In fact, experts say it can take a kid being presented with a new vegetable as many as 20 times before he or she will actually try it — but even then, there’s still no guarantee he or she will like it.
However, there’s a chance that if you present the veggies in a fun way, they might be more inclined to give something new a try. Ready to give it a shot? Here are four ways to cook vegetables that your kids will actually want to eat.
General Tso’s Cauliflower
What better way to spice up an otherwise strange-looking vegetable than to smother it in sweet and savory flavors. General Tso’s Cauliflower provides a fun deep-fried (or baked) crunch that kids will absolutely love. Not only can this dish be fun finger food for little ones, but it’ll save you time with a quick prep time of under 30 minutes! Pair this dish with some fun noodles or fried rice, and you’ll have a vegetarian-friendly meal and a happy kid who actually enjoys eating vegetables.
Just Add Cheese
If macaroni and cheese is already an unofficial staple of your child’s diet, why not kick up the interest a notch and add some roasted vegetables? While this particular recipe calls for spice, you can leave it out of your child’s portion (but still add it to yours if you should so desire) and still have a delicious meal that will introduce your child to veggies in a completely different way. Plus, the colorful medley of roasted red pepper, squash, broccoli, and carrots will also create a rainbow of deliciousness. This dish will please their sense of sight, taste, and smell all at once!
Turn Mushrooms into Popcorn
Most kids love popcorn, and this option puts a fun (and healthy) spin on a tried and true favorite. While not technically a vegetable (they are fungi), the trick is to choose a mushroom that isn’t too “mushroomy” in flavor in order to help your child avoid his or her hesitancy. If you need some inspiration, check out all the options available with Instacart’s fresh produce and vegetable delivery service. Once you choose the perfect mushroom and your produce is delivered, cut the mushrooms into pieces and then coat with soy sauce, honey, and olive oil before roasting in the oven at 175 degrees for 10 minutes. Once roasted, remove them from the oven and coat them with crunchy panko crumbs and seasonings of your choice. For an added bit of fun, serve your mushroom popcorn in a popcorn box and enjoy!
When All Else Fails, Hide the Veggies
If you’ve tried everything and your little discerning diner still won’t give in, hide those veggies in a delicious fruit and vegetable smoothie. With so many varieties to choose from you’re sure to find one that is the perfect combination of natural sweetness and healthy goodness for your little one to love. These smoothies can be a quick breakfast or even a fun snack a few times a week. Top it off with a cute straw and your child’s arms will quickly become uncrossed as he or she (unknowingly) drink his or her veggies — putting a smile on both of your faces.
If your child is a picky eater, no worries. All you need to do is have a little patience and get creative. These four ways to cook veggies your kids will actually eat should get your selective child enjoying veggies of all varieties in no time at all.