15 ways to sneak more veggies into your meals

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Parents often talk about sneaking vegetables into their kids' meals in a ton of different ways. I've even seen a chocolate cake recipe that called for beets! I am not a big fan of making this the only way that your kids get their veggies, though. I think that kids should learn to enjoy vegetables and know what to choose to eat when they are making their own choices. If you are working on getting more veggies into your own diet, however, I do think it is OK to "sneak" veggies in, at first. If you are doing this because you don't like vegetables, I strongly encourage you to try different ways of preparing foods (see #15, below) to find some things that you do like. In the meantime, here are 15 sneaky ways to get more veggies into your meals!

  1. Add a handful of fresh spinach, romaine lettuce, or other leafy green (iceberg lettuce doesn't count!) to a smoothie.
  2. Add grated carrots or zucchini or pureed red bell peppers (or other veggies) to your pasta or pizza sauce.
  3. Puree steamed cauliflower in with your mashed potatoes.
  4. Replace 1/2 of the oil in a baked goods recipe with pureed carrots, pumpkin, or sweet potatoes/yams.
  5. Mix the liquid portion of your pancake batter in a blender and add raw zucchini or carrots or cooked sweet potatoes/yams before blending.
  6. Include grated veggies in baked goods: try zucchini or carrot muffins.
  7. Add finely chopped greens or broccoli to your soup. If you don't like the "chunks" (as my kids say), try pureeing veggies and adding them to the broth.
  8. Add sliced veggies (like red bell pepper) to a sandwich, wrap, or quesadilla.
  9. Replace french fries with a side of baked sweet potato "fries".
  10. Add broccoli, zucchini, or spinach to lasagna or enchiladas.
  11. Make homemade veggie burgers and include red bell peppers, broccoli, carrots, zucchini, or other veggies in the mix.
  12. Replace spaghetti noodles with zucchini that has been sliced with a vegetable peeler. Top with your favorite pasta sauce.
  13. Add your finely chopped veggies to rice or grain dishes.
  14. Make roasted red pepper dip or add pureed veggies to hummus.
  15. Try preparing your veggies in a way that you haven't tried before. E.g. if you hate steamed brussels sprouts, try roasting them. Roasting veggies brings out their natural sweetness and they taste great!

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