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How To Get Kids To Eat Their Vegetables

Updated on August 20, 2010

Picky Eaters

Dealing with finicky eaters, especially those of the short type, is like pulling teeth.Getting kids to eat and enjoy vegetables is the more difficult issues that face at-home cooks. So I have made it my mission to research and develop several edible vegetable dishes, perfect for your picky eaters.

Broccoli Mac 'N Cheese

This delicious and easy twist on an American classic will have your family begging for more!

Ingredients:

  • 1 box Kraft Deluxe Macaroni and Cheese
  • 2 cups diced chicken (cooked)
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen broccoli florets
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 4 deli slices of Muenster cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups Cheddar cheese (shredded)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Cut the broccoli into smaller, bite-size pieces. Large florets are usually intimidating to the picky eaters.
  3. Prepare the boxed Macaroni and Cheese as directed on the box, then remain on low.
  4. Add the 4 slices of Muenster cheese and the milk into the Macaroni. Stir until thoroughly combined. Then add the chicken and broccoli.
  5. Pour mixture into an appropriately sized baking dish. Cover the top with the shredded cheddar and bake for 20 minutes, or until lightly browned.

Chicken Pot Pie

What could be better on a cold day than a nice plate of warm and hearty chicken pot pie?

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb chicken, cooked and diced
  • 2 cups frozen mixed vegetables
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup chopped onion
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 3/4 cups chicken broth
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 2 (9 inch) unbaked pie crusts

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. In a saucepan, combine chicken and mixed vegetables. Add water to cover and boil for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, drain and set aside.
  3. In the saucepan over medium heat, cook onions in butter until soft and translucent. Stir in flour, salt, and pepper. Slowly stir in chicken broth and milk and simmer over medium-low heat until thick.
  4. Place the chicken mixture in bottom pie crust and pour hot liquid mixture over. Cover with top crust, seal edges, and cut away excess dough. Make several small steam slits in the top.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Spinach Lasagna

Pair this tasty spinach lasagna with a light salad and bread for a delicious and healthy Italian feast.

Ingredients:

  • 1 box lasagna noodles
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onions, chopped
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 30 oz fat-free ricotta cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella
  • 2 large egg whites, lightly beaten
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
  • 32 oz Marinara sauce, store-bought
  • 20 oz chopped frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a large, deep lasagna pan with cooking spray.
  2. Heat oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add onion and ground beef. Cook until no longer pink. Add marinara sauce to the pan and stir until well combined.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together ricotta cheese, egg whites, garlic powder and Italian seasoning.
  4. To assemble lasagna, cover the bottom of the dish with a small amount of sauce. Layer with 3 noodles, 1/3 of ricotta mixture, 1/3 of spinach, 1/3 of mozzarella cheese and 1/3 of sauce mixture; repeat with remaining ingredients.
  5. Cover lasagna with aluminum foil. Bake for 20 minutes.

Honey Almond Carrots

I prefer using baby carrots for this recipe because you don't need to peel them.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups baby carrots
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons corn syrup
  • 1 tablespoon slivered almonds

Directions:

  1. Wash, drain, and steam the baby carrots.
  2. In a small saucepan, combine the corn syrup and brown sugar. Stir over low until sugar is dissolved.
  3. Pour the syrup over the steamed carrots. Coat carrots and drain excess liquid.
  4. Add the slivered almonds and gently toss them in with the carrots and enjoy.

Phyllo Asparagus Spears

Perfect as both a side dish and h'orderves, these tasty asparagus spears will have your kids' mouths watering!

Ingredients:

  • 2 dozen asparagus spears
  • 6 sheets thawed phyllo dough
  • 4 tablespoons melted butter
  • 12 thin slices prosciutto, cut in half crosswise
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Steam asparagus for about 2 minutes. Blanch them under cold water and transfer to a colander to cool.
  3. Brush each sheet of phyllo lightly with butter. Cut into 4 rectangular pieces. Cut the asparagus spears down to 4 inch lengths.
  4. Place 1 piece of prosciutto on each phyllo rectangle. Arrange an asparagus spear over the prosciutto, letting the tip lay beyond the top edge of the phyllo. Sprinkle with Parmesan. Roll up and secure the edge of the phyllo with butter, if necessary.
  5. Bake until phyllo is golden brown, about 5 minutes.

Cajun Sweet Potato Fries

This spicy-sweet appetizer can be served with any flavored mayonnaise, such as this spicy chili mayo.

Ingredients:

  • 3 small sweet potatoes (unpeeled)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp Cajun seasoning
  • 1/2 cup low-fat mayonnaise
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard

Directions:

  1. Cut potatoes in half lengthwise; cut each half into 4 to 6 “fingers.”
  2. Place in large bowl and toss with oil and Cajun seasoning to coat evenly.
  3. Bake on baking sheet in 400 degrees F oven for 30 to 35 minutes, turning once, or until tender and beginning to brown.
  4. Meanwhile, in small bowl, combine mayonnaise, lemon juice, chili sauce and mustard. Serve as dip for potato “fingers”.

Comments

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    • Shawn Scarborough profile image

      Shawn Scarborough 7 years ago from The Lone Star State

      This is a great hub! My 7 year old daughter can be quite a picky eater. You have given me some excellent recipes to try. Thanks for sharing this.

    • wannabwestern profile image

      Carolyn Augustine 7 years ago from Iowa

      I just ate my dinner and the pictures in this hub are still making my mouth water. I am not sure my children would eat these dishes (except, perhaps the mac and cheese one), but they are extremely finicky. We find we have to introduce them to the same dishes over and over and over. These look very very healthy, chock full of veggies! Loved the photos!

    • lauralolita profile image
      Author

      lauralolita 7 years ago from Florida

      It is a shame, but everyone’s known one of those kids that just says NO! and turns their head! At the very least it gets them to take in the nutrients that vegetables have. There is a downside to having the sugar and cheese, but it doesn’t diminish the nutritional value of the vegetables, especially if you moderate the additions.

    • Simple Tim profile image

      Simple Tim 7 years ago

      I love Broccoli..cant imagine why so many dont like it. Awesome hub-good layout and useful recipes lauralolita. Just a pity that we have to sugar coat and smother veggies in cheese and pastry just to get kids to eat them! doesnt this defeat the point of eating veggies in the first place? for its nutritional benefit.

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