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You get off work, collect the kids and cook them a delicious and nutritious meal — then what happens? They turn up their noses because it has a certain veggie or ingredient they just can’t stand. It’s frustrating to try to win an argument with a toddler, but you’re not alone in this battle for a healthier mealtime. Most parents have to deal with the particular tastes of their precious little pumpkins at some point, so it’s best to be prepared.
We’ll walk you through a few common offenders and offer ways to convince your kiddos that they’re actually a tasty treat. And if you’ve got a picky partner, these should work for them too.
With tomatoes, it’s usually the texture that throws kids off. That squishy, nearly explosive nature takes some getting used to — so why not make it easier? Start them out with an approachable, creamy and low-sodium tomato soup so they still get that vitamin C without the unwanted texture.
Greens come in all shapes and sizes, but sometimes it can seem like children have a natural inclination to avoid them at all costs — and green beans are no different. But you know what makes everything better? Making it crispy. Whipping up tempura batter is surprisingly easy, and it’ll make your toddler have a whole new take on green beans.
Bell peppers have an advantage over some veggies because they’re naturally sweet and crunchy. Leave them raw and cut them into fun shapes like hearts or stars (a small cookie cutter works perfectly). If there’s still resistance, try adding a side of healthy dipping sauce to really entice your little one.
Celery is divisive even for adults, so it can be a real challenge for kids. But have no fear! There’s always the age-old ants on a log recipe to make celery a vehicle for fun snacking. If you’re looking for a low-sugar version, try using low-fat cream cheese, ricotta or hummus instead of peanut butter, and black olives instead of raisins.
This albino veggie is an archnemesis to countless youngsters. And in their defense, it’s not the most attractive food. But the health benefits make it worth a second look. Plus, this cruciferous crusader is great at blending into a dish in an unobtrusive manner. One fun example is a cauliflower crust pizza — it’s a healthy and tasty dish that’s universally loved by kids and crime-fighting turtles alike!
You’ve probably noticed that children are very tactile and love using their hands — so why not give them finger food? Slice zucchini into strips and make them into a plateful of delicious zucchini fries to share! This baked version only takes about 40 minutes total, most of which is the baking itself. If your little one is itching to dip, pair it with a chipotle dipping sauce you’re also sure to enjoy.
Even though it’s a staple in our diets these days, kids take a little longer to love avocado. Luckily, there are a number of ways to ease them into their eventual love for this fine fruit. Our recent post about avocados has a number of recipes at the bottom to get you started, but we’ll leave you with two words: avocado milkshake.
We hope this will be a helpful guide the next time you want to introduce your kids to a new type of food! What other kinds of food do you have difficulty incorporating into meals? Have you found other ways to share new foods with your family? Let us know in the comments!