Do your children stick up their nose to the steamed broccoli you prepared for dinner? Don’t be discouraged- this is a normal response. On average, it takes 10-15 different exposures to a food for a child to start to accept it. Research has shown that introducing a new food (like a veggie) with a food that your child already loves will increase the chance of your child trying and learning to like the food. You can also introduce the foods in stages to show your children different ways vegetables can look and taste. Below are some ideas on how to do this:
• Cook vegetables using different methods. For example, if your child doesn’t like steamed broccoli, try roasted broccoli.
• Serve vegetables with a variety of dips or sauces.
• Puree vegetables into soups, and then slowly add more whole vegetables into the soups.
• Add chopped up vegetables, such as mushrooms or peppers, into tomato sauces over pasta. Slowly decrease the amount of sauce and increase the amount of vegetables.
The recipes below are great examples of incorporating veggies into your kid’s favorite dishes.
Entrée Idea: Hidden Veggie Mac and Cheese
1 ½ cups uncooked macaroni pasta
1 tbsp. butter, unsalted
1tbsp. flour, all-purpose
½ cup milk
½ medium summer squash
1 tbsp. cream cheese
1 tsp. salt
½ cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1. Puree summer squash. You will need 1/2 cup.
2. Cook elbow noodles according to package directions and drain.
3. In a large skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of butter. Add 1 tablespoon of flour and mix until thick and bubbly (but not burned!).
4. Add 1/2 cup of milk and stir till it begins to bubble again.
5. Add 1/2 cup summer squash puree, and stir till fully smooth and mixed in. Add cream cheese and mix until smooth. Add salt. Add the cooked macaroni to your thickened cheese sauce.
Top with shredded cheddar!
Dessert Idea: Zucchini Brownies
2 tbsp. butter
1 3/4 c. semisweet chocolate chips
1 c. sugar
1 egg plus 1 egg yolk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 c. grated zucchini (from 1 medium zucchini)
1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
3 tbsp. whole milk
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a small saucepan over low heat, melt butter and 1 cup chocolate chips.
2. Remove saucepan from heat and stir in sugar, egg and egg yolk, and vanilla. Fold in grated zucchini.
3. In a bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Add wet ingredients to dry and stir until totally combined. Pour mixture into a parchment-lined or greased 8-x-8″ baking dish or pan.
4. Bake until moist crumbs cling to toothpick, about 25 minutes. Let cool 1 hour.
5. Make frosting: In a small saucepan over low heat, heat milk just until it bubbles. Add remaining 3/4 cup chocolate chips to a bowl and pour over milk. Let sit 5 minutes, then whisk until completely melted and no chocolate chunks remain. (Microwave on low for 30 seconds if chunks do remain.) Pour ganache over brownies and spread with a spatula to create an even layer.
6. Refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes. Slice into brownies and serve.
Blog written by: Sammie RD in training