If You Want to Get Your Kids to Eat More Veggies, This Is What You Need to Do
Getting kids to eat veggies is often a challenge. Pasta, rice, and bread are easy, but lots of kids shy away from the more complex — and healthy — stuff. I’ve been lucky with my girls: They mostly eat their vegetables (sometimes even with gusto!). Still, if they had a choice between cheese and crackers or spinach? Yeah, they’re going for the crackers.
There are two reliable ways I’ve found to get in extra veggies with no complaint — and to my surprise, both involve buying frozen veggies.
One of the best things you can do when it comes to getting kids to eat more veggies: Stock up on the frozen stuff.
Then, try these methods.
1. Add frozen vegetables to soups, sauces, and more.
See, frozen veggies weren’t really on my radar pre-kids, but I started buying them when my oldest began eating her first real solids. It was an easy way to have just the right amount of pre-cut, often pre-cooked veggies to round out her dinner. As she got older, the frozen stuff stayed in the rotation, although now they’re more supplements to food she and her younger sister love.
For example, my girls love canned chicken soup. Like, really love it! The kids’ versions are reasonably healthy, but if I toss in a handful of frozen veggies, the girls can get their full dinner serving and I don’t even have to break out another dish. It works well with pasta sauce, too: Sometimes I’ll toss a handful of frozen kale into a marinara to make it just a bit more healthy (even for myself!). Just about any soup, sauce, or stir-fry can easily take a handful of veggies without changing the flavor.
What I love most about this little trick (aside from the fact that it doesn’t upset anyone!) is that I can always throw something nutritious together. I don’t have to worry about the fact that I haven’t had time to run to the store. I have frozen vegetables, which stay good in the freezer for a long time, so I always have something on hand. I can reach into a bag, pull out a handful, and nothing goes to waste.
2. Serve frozen vegetables when they’re still, um, frozen.
I discovered my other way to use frozen veggies through laziness. I randomly realized that my kids are just as interested in certain vegetables — like peas, edamame, and carrots — when the veggies are still frozen. Actually, I think my kids might even be more interested in them when they’re frozen.
They think frozen vegetables are delicious and hilarious, and they think they’re getting away with being naughty because they’re stealing food before I can cook it. So I just started giving it to them frozen. It seems like a treat but it keeps things interesting, so they gobble them up. (It works with fruit, too, especially for breakfast.)
And again, I can stash stuff in the freezer and let my kids at their own pace, instead of worrying that the fresh stuff is going to go bad before they eat it.
This post originally ran on Kitchn. See it there: If You Want to Get Your Kids to Eat More Veggies, This Is What You Need to Do