Vitamin-rich recipes kids will actually want to eat

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1. Tomato based sauces are your secret weapon

With a tin of tomatoes or passata, the possibilities are ENDLESS. The only limit is how many vegetables you can blend into it.

'Red' sauce

"Serve with brown basmati rice or wholewheat pasta."

Secret sauce

pasta sauce

"This recipe makes loads - I freeze portions get out and whip up a quick after school tea."

Homemade chilli

"I always pack it full of finely chopped or grated veggies and it can be made as mild or spicy as you like."

Bean stew

"Serve with plenty of lightly-spiced couscous."

Speedy sausage casserole

“My son adores sausages, so I try and make them healthy. Cook sausages with onion, then add a tin of tomatoes, some chopped butternut squash, a pint of stock and a tin of green lentils. Simmer on hob for half an hour, and wilt some spinach into it at the end. Delicious!"
 

2. Blended soups are a smooth way to get veg into them

"I make soup using whatever vegetables I have and need to use up. Usually something like carrots, leeks, celery, cabbage greens, courgettes. I add pulses - peas, chickpeas or lentils to bulk it up."

"Minestrone is popular with my two. I have one veg refuser who didn't really like mixed food so this started off as a smooth tomato-based veg soup with spaghetti and cheese on top and over time the chunks of veg have grown and I've added in beans (cannellini or haricot) to ring the changes."
 

3. Sneak fruit and veg into sweet treats

Rhubarb crumble

"My son will happily wolf down rhubarb crumble or apple pie. I'll often add some nuts in for extra nutrition."

Vegetable and fruit bakes

"When I bake, I try to incorporate fruit and veg - things like carrot cake, blueberry muffins, chocolate banana loaf, flapjacks with chopped apricots and sunflower seeds." 

Chocolate tofu pudding

"Blend tofu, a ripe banana and peanut butter in a blender with some cocoa powder. You can add honey or soft brown sugar if not sweet enough. It's also nice with cinnamon or nuts sprinkled on top."

Fruit bars 

"Blend dates, cashews, raisins and cocoa together to make 'chocolate' bars." 

Coconut and mango lollies

"Blend a half a litre of coconut water with coconut and frozen mango chunks. Add two tablespoons of malt syrup and two or three big tablespoons of natural unsweetened greek yoghurt. Pour into lolly moulds and away you go."


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4. Smoothies are quick, healthy AND taste pretty great

Spinach smoothie

"Take half a banana, teaspoon of chia seeds, small handful of spinach, half an apple, some frozen berries, nuts or seeds to whizz in for extra protein and any other fruit or veg you have lying about. Whizz together and serve. Kids won't notice the spinach mixed in with everything else."

Saturday morning smoothies

berry smoothies

"In a blender put ice, one of two bananas, loads of berries (fresh or frozen), Greek yogurt or low fat fromage frais, and squeezed apple and/or pineapple juice. Blitz!"
 

4. Faux fast food is the way to go

Kale Crisps

"Boiled in water, kale is yuck and kids won't eat it. Tell them they're having 'healthy' crisps though and they love it. Spread kale leaves on baking tray and bake for around 15 mins until black but not burned. Sprinkle with olive oil, smoked paprika, even a tiny bit of sugar."

Chicken burgers

"Mince the chicken breasts in the blender. Combine chicken mince with a grated carrot and grated courgette in a bowl, add 1 egg, 100g sweetcorn, 30g breadcrumbs and some parsley and mix together. Shape into burgers, fry 5 minutes each side or until cooked through."

Homemade pizza

"We load ours with pepper, sweetcorn, tomatoes, pineapple, red onion... the list is endless."

Veggie Fritters

Vary the veg and spices according to what's in your cupboard - any root veg, potatoes, leeks, onions, peppers all work.
 

5. Get the kids to help with these recipes

Easy Fish Cakes

"Combine fish with mashed potato and some peas or chopped green beans. Then dip in flour, beaten egg, then breadcrumbs. Spray with fry-light spray (or similar) and place on baking tray in oven for around 20 minutes or so until golden and crispy and piping hot throughout."

Chicken fajitas

"I find the way to get my kids to eat veggies is to let them help me. So we make chicken fajitas together, adding in onion, courgettes, aubergines, mushrooms, sweetcorn, broad beans..."
 

6. Pasta and sneaky veg - the perfect double act

Verde lasagne

"In a cheese sauce I wilt spinach, pine nuts, broccoli, and any other green veg I have lying about. I layer up lasange sheets and sauce - put grated cheese over the top and bake in the oven."

Spinach ricotta pasta

"Spinach is full of vitamins and iron, so I make a really easy spinach and ricotta sauce for pasta: fry finely chopped onions. Add spinach to wilt. Stir in ricotta, loosen up with cream or milk as needed."

Secret veg mac and cheese

"Yummy and comforting like regular macaroni cheese - but with added veggies."

Pea pasta

"Fry some garlic with butter and cook a load of peas. Whizz up half of the peas with the garlic, some parmesan, and some parsley or mint, then mix through cooked pasta with a spoonful of cooking water and the unwhizzed peas."
 

7. Don't forget breakfast

'Everything you need in one bowl' porridge

"Blitz porridge oats with chia seeds to make a smooth porridge. Add ground almonds for Vitamin E, fat and protein, coconut oil for those healthy fats and yummy coconut taste, 1 tbsp honey, enough milk to thin (lots more lovely calcium) and a handful of whatever fruit you have. Delicious and healthy."
 

8. And for a SUPER quick vitamin fix...

"Add lemon juice, olive oil, raw garlic and extra tahini to the supermarket hummus. This gives extra vitamin C, omega 6 and calcium.



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Last updated: 3 months ago