Some toddlers are great eaters and will happily devour every piece of fruit or odd-shaped veggie you place in front of them. Others will not. If your little one falls into the latter category, then here are eight ways to sneak vegies into their mouths.
Play with them
I was always taught not to play with my food, but, pfft, the number of rules I’ve thrown out the window from my childhood could fill a fridge. And, thus, check out these clever and cute plates that let toddlers play with their dinner. Fred Winner Dinner plates transform meal time into a board game and are perfect for thinly sliced carrot pieces, cucumbers, broccoli heads and beans.
Grate carrot, onion, zucchini and any other vegies into sauces to have with savoury mince, spaghetti, shepherds pie and other family staples. My kids have yet to uncover that there are over three different vegies in my spag bol. I’ll take this secret to the grave.
Check out Babyology’s own Nigella – the lovely Lexi’s recipe for vegie smuggling sausages.
Bake with them
Add a bagful of spinach or grate some zucchini into a batch of brownies. They won’t be able to taste the vegies and you can lose the guilt when giving them a chocolatey snack every once in a while.
Making smoothies is a fun activity for kids. Have all ingredients out on the table and ask your toddler to dump each item in, including some greens. Start by only adding a small amount of spinach or kale and then work your way up to more as they start to enjoy the taste.
Nothing is more satisfying than eating something that you grew yourself. Start a vegie garden in the backyard. My children have always hated most vegies until we started growing them ourselves. Now they love going into the garden, picking the tomatoes and carrots, washing them and then eating them raw. I never thought I would see the day…
Transform them into awesome art
There are a lot of talented mums and dads out there, like Jacob’s mum, who transforms regular foods into culinary cartoon masterpieces. What child wouldn’t love eating spinach, lentils and carrots shaped like Mr. Potato Head?
Sneak them in yoghurt
Most toddlers like yoghurt which is a godsend because it is healthy and full of calcium. Vaalia’s My First Yoghurt has a selection of fruit and veggie-infused yoghurts such as Spinach and Apple or Sweet Potato and Pear that give your children a daily dose of veg without them even realising it.
Because bacon makes everything delicious. Even zucchini.
One thing to keep in mind when it comes to your toddler is that every little one is different. Some will require five large meals a day while others will be happy to snack on a few different items throughout the day. Take a look at our visual guide for how much your toddler should be eating.