Vegetable hide and seek

What vegetables do you hide in bolognaise or slow-cooked meals?  Do you go for the same ones each time?  Do you leave some slightly chopped (eg carrot, mushroom) so your children will just notice them or do you whizz them all?
Along with zucchini, carrot and mushroom, I have also included some grated beetroot (yes they notice the colour but the flavour isn’t dramatically affected), brussel sprouts and even kale.

Don’t be shy of trying new vegetables!  These might be the ones you completely hide or for kale/spinach, I slice finely and then chop so there aren’t big, long ‘scary’ bits.  If the boys notice it, I don’t pretend it’s not there and I don’t make a big deal.  I might say ‘oh that’s just kale…gosh you’re doing a great job eating your dinner tonight’ or if they look terribly worried….well, at first I did say ‘it’s basil!’ as I know they eat that no worries. Once they were happy to eat it, the next time I was more confident to label it kale. The dark, leafy greens have so many health benefits…

Will you buy a bunch at your next shop to try?  Or get some brussel sprouts to finely slice?

My wee goes purple?!!

Tonight’s challenge for Master 3 – try the beetroot/carrot/coriander salad…’Negative first reaction’ took hold so I helped him by:
– modelling eating it
– showing my ‘cool purple’ tongue (by this stage he’s reaching for the spoon)
– and then I went for it knowing he was about to have a first taste – ‘did you know that if you eat enough beetroot, you can have purple wee?’ (and he took MOUTHFULS!)

We then discussed how the purple goes all the way through our body and comes out through the bladder/penis. A little bit of science for a lot of beetroot! Hooray!
ps – the water was to encourage some purple wee..

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We are at Facebook too – I raise my kids… 🙂 Heidi

Interactive eating – rice wraps

[18 months +]

They always say, the more a child is involved in the process of preparing food, the more likely they will be to eat it.  Well, I proved it with this fun meal!  Call them what you like – rice wraps, vietnamese spring rolls or just spring rolls, they are guaranteed to get your kids eating raw vegetables (which is my constant aim) and even trying new foods (even better!).

Rice wraps

How to get the kids hooked!

1. Allow them to help prepare the veges – pick some veges or herbs from your garden, cut omelette or cucumber with a rounded-end knife, scoop avocado out etc.

2. Put out a range of items so they feel like they are choosing what they are eating. We put out chicken cooked with garlic, avocado, grated carrot and beetroot, omelette cut up, basil.  Don’t forget things like bean sprouts, snow pea sprouts, grated cabbage, baby spinach or capsicum and cucumber cut into sticks.  Finding these organic for the boys can be tricky.  The adults also had red onion.  We avoid the vermicelli that is sometimes used as it is really only ‘fodder’ and if the boys can fill up with veges/protein/good fats instead, I am happy!

3. Get them involved in first watching and learning how one is made and then helping the next time.  We needed one on one for this activity but I’m sure they will soon get better with it.

you get to pick what you will wrap up!

you get to pick what you will wrap up!

4. Ease them into it slowly if needed.  We explained the rice wrapping was just like rice noodles which the boys love.  This allowed their brain to cope with the texture and flavour, knowing it was something they had already experienced.  After the first round, we suggested they try something new wrapped up, such as grated beetroot.  Wow, they agreed to it!

wrap it up, let Daddy help

wrap it up, let Daddy help

now you roll.....

now you roll…..

5. Provide a sauce – the ‘dip dip’ is half the fun (and might disguise some of the new flavours!).  We used sesame oil due to the boys’ soy intolerance, but you could also bring out kecap manis (sweet soy sauce) which sticks to the rice well, tamari or sweet chilli sauce or even tahini (super healthy).  Or make your own!

6. Always remember to confirm that they liked these (as long as they did) and keep talking about them until you make them again, to avoid the ‘yuck/I don’t like these’ next time!