Life is unfair! I am damn serious. Why do all the things we like have to be harmful to us? Let’s take food. Fast food is delicious. But no! We can’t have that because it is unhealthy. Instead, what are we supposed to have? Green vegetables! And why do children always have to hate it? And, why always you as their parent have to make them eat it? Raising children is already a mean feat, but we had to go and add ‘healthy eating’ to the to-do list. Great job, considerate parents!
But, we will overcome this challenge too. I will have my cake and make it healthy too. Here is how you can slip in green vegetables in your child’s food without them even realizing the trickery, for their own good, of course.
1. Veg cutlets
Veg cutlets are an opportunity for you to load their food with greens. Just add in all the finely chopped veggies, and cook them. And, what do we serve the cutlets with? They are served with fresh salad. The way I see it, this dish is ninety percent veggies. It is a golden opportunity.
2. Everything is good with potatoes.
Potato is a boon for every parent who is trying to get their child to eat healthy food. It goes well with almost every green colored vegetable. The thing is, whatever you do, the potato will make it delicious. You can mash up the potatoes and add peas to it, or mix it with the puree of any green vegetable, or bake it. So basically, add them in every potato dish, and you will not go wrong.
3. Stuffed paratha
Another way to get in a good amount of greens in your children is, stuffing them inside a paratha (so that they can’t see it). Surprisingly, the combination is a hit. Children are always in a hurry. Serve it with their favorite side dish, and they won’t even notice. Don’t overdo it here, though. If they see greens outside as well as inside, they are not going to give in easily.
4. Grilled sandwich
Why grill it? Because the entire idea is to hide the greens. And we are going for the literal meaning of it here. Also, grilling green vegetables really makes it delicious. It is like a whole different vegetable. You can add in as many greens as you want here and hide it with a cheese slice, or mayo, or whatever it is they like.
5. Mix veg paratha
It is your chance to go big. You can mix all the veggies that you want in the dough. This way, children will not be able to separate it out. They will have to eat everything. Add things that they like on top of it. Children like to eat what interests them. The main dish is fine, but what makes it interesting is the sides. They snazz up the entire dish and make it appetizing.
6. Pasta and veggies
Children love pasta. And, pasta loves veggies. Now, you may think it is unhealthy. It is not. The sauces that come with it are responsible for its wrong image. When you add vegetables to pasta, it actually becomes quite delicious. But, keep in mind that not all greens go with pasta. You will find many recipes on the internet to make pasta a healthy option. You can go the extra step and use multigrain pasta.
7. Veg noodles
Now, the term ‘veg noodles’ is ambiguous. It can either mean that you are making noodles with vegetables, or you are making noodles out of vegetables. Green veggies are not that appealing. However, colored noodles are entirely different. Children will be excited by the vibrant colors in the food and dive in straightaway.
Soups are comfort food. A hot bowl of soup on a cold wintery morning is irresistible, even if it is green in color (and taste). The green veggies have a certain earthy taste, which makes it tough for children to accommodate it in their palate. Balance the earthiness in the stock. When you boil something for a long time, the flavor intensifies. So, don’t overdo it here. It may become all too strong for your child.
9. Baked puffs
Any kind of puff is simply delish. And when you make it at home, you can customize it according to your requirements. Whatever you do, remember to amp up the coating. Your children will not even notice what is in it. It cannot be something that you have every day. But it is not a bad option once a week.
10. Homemade burgers
Burgers are quintessentially junk food for us. So, how can they be here? Let us review. What are the contents of a burger? The bread, the patty, and some veggies. So, where does it become unhealthy? The patty is extremely rich in fats. And then what do we have as sides? Fries and a cold drink. All of this gives it the reputation of ‘junk’ food.
But, things are going to be different when we make it at home. We can tweak the patty and change the slides completely to give it a new dimension. Stuff green vegetables in the patty, and on top of it we already have the salad. The sides are optional here. But you could have baked vegetable chips with it.
11. Green rice
It is something my mother did to make me eat green vegetables. She made a gravy with green veggies and mixed it with rice. To this day, I love having it. To make it even more interesting, she made different colored rice every day so, I never noticed when she tricked me into eating leafy vegetables as well as normal ones (I guess I was pretty gullible).
12. Baked veg cheese balls
The dish has cheese in its name. What is not there to love? I personally love the corn spinach cheese balls. Baking them in the oven makes it a healthier option than frying them. It does not harm the crunch or taste in any way.
13. Roasted vegetables
It is almost like barbecuing the veggies. Roasting the vegetables gives them a new look as well as flavor. And when you add exciting garnishing, it is a whole different story.
14. Paneer plus green vegetables
Paneer is high in protein. And just like pasta, it is misunderstood. There are many evergreen (pun intended) combos involving paneer and greens which you can modify and tweak wherever necessary to make it your own.
The entire point of wraps is that you cover something up in a tasty outer layer. And it fits well in the entire ‘hide the greens’ game. Now, wraps can go either way, depends on what is inside. If you fill it with unhealthy stuff, it is junk. But when you fill it with green vegetables and other healthy options, suddenly it becomes something that you can feed your children every day without a worry.