Is every meal with your toddler a battle in your household? If so, you’re not alone; many parents struggle with fussy toddlers, especially when it comes to dinner time. To help you make sure the meals your little ones do eat are healthy, nutritious and choc-full of vegies, try these quick and easy recipes.
There are a few things you can do to try and make meal times more bearable, such as:
- Feed your kids earlier in the evening
- Eat at the table together
- Stop giving your little ones snacks after 2 p.m.
- Allow them to choose their own plate/bowl and cutlery
And to ensure your kids are ingesting at least a few mouthfuls of vegetables every day, try these sneaky vegie-ful recipes on for size.
Spaghetti Bolognese with hidden vegies
Pan-fry 250 grams of mince until brown, then set aside. In the still-hot pan, sauté some onions and garlic, then add grated carrot, sweet potato and zucchini, with finely chopped mushrooms and capsicum. Once cooked (10 minutes or so), add a jar of tomato pasta sauce and the meat and simmer on a low heat for an hour. Serve over spaghetti and watch as your little one devours a bowl full of delicious vegies — without evening realising it.
Some kids prefer foods with softer consistencies, so try mashing some potato, sweet potato and pumpkin together. Serve as three separate spoonfuls on one plate, top with a squirt of tomato sauce and call them “mashie mountains”.
Little homemade pizzas made on English muffins are easy to assemble and relatively healthy. Smear one muffin half with BBQ or tomato sauce, then top with diced pineapple, ham, mushrooms and tomato. Smother with cheese and grill until melted and bubbly. Delish!
Slide a range of different meats and vegies on a stick and call them rocket ships! You can stack a row of colourful fruit cubes, chicken pieces, meatballs, sausages and roast vegies on each food stick; this is a great “end of week” option when the fridge is looking a little bare, as any combination of foods will work.
Make a chunky mashed dish with as many different vegies as you can think of — think potato, carrot, pumpkin, zucchini, cauliflower, peas and corn, to name a few. Mix through some grated cheese, a cup of browned mince and a splash of tomato sauce. Tell your kids it’s made of mashed monster and let them at it.