Generally, I try to feed my family well, but it doesn’t always work out that way. I hashtag #healthyfoodforbusyfamilies all over instagram then feel like a fraud when they are fed unhealthy food even when when we have all imitated sloths and desperately needed some greenery in our guts. I mean, last week after a sausage sizzle at the school’s meet and greet I took them for Dominoes, so…you know? I do the best we can, and in the wise words of Elmo, “It’s a sometimes food”. The concept of healthy food really depends on how organised I am, and sometimes I’m not. Note to self: Deal with it!
Sometimes I am surprised at the things my kids will eat, and not always in a bad way. We’ve tried to raise them by the rule of “At least try it, if you don’t like it you don’t have to eat it”, but this does not always work because at the end of the day, the person who owns the mouth is the boss of what goes in it. With that in mind, here is a list of vegetables my children will happily eat, unless Dominoes is on the cards.
- A big plate of raw, cut up carrots, celery, capsicum and cucumber; hopefully with some sort of dip like hummus and a few crackers.
- Tinned corn kernels, in anything. An easy dinner is cooked and cooled pasta, mixed with corn kernels, grated cheese, cucumber, lettuce and a tin of tuna or cooked, cold chicken.
- Corn on the cob is a big winner, even cold the next day.
- Brussels Sprouts stir fried with bacon. I was surprised that the fussiest child begs for this, and because of the current cost of brussels sprouts it’s actually a special treat, which maintains it’s desirability.
- Broccoli. Lightly steamed and served alongside anything, stir fried with pine nuts, and also baked in a cheese sauce.
- Cauliflower in white sauce is a favourite, but add some leeks into the sauce and they apparently elevate this dish to Rock Star Status. Who knew?
- Lettuce, but it must be iceberg lettuce. Definitely not that fancy stuff Dad grows in the garden, Mum. Yuk!
- One child will eat cherry tomatoes but not larger tomatoes at all, the other will eat larger tomatoes cut into slices or chopped into pico de gallo, but not in a salad and no cherry tomatoes ever.
- Fresh salad for the fussy one, not a lot of salad at all for the other.
- Spring onions, but only if they are cooked. Do not scatter uncooked spring onions on top of a dish as this is unacceptable. While you are at it, step away from the parsley as well.
- One child will happily eat onions of any type, cooked any way, anyhow; one will pick diced white onion out of steamed rice.
- Pea. Cooked is OK but frozen is much better.
- Roast potato, but it’s more desirable cut into wedge shapes and referred to as ‘wedges’. Regular baked potatoes are a bit meh, unless you cut a chasm in it and fill it with butter, in which case it becomes ‘Buttatatoes’ and is an absolute delicacy.
- Roast pumpkin for one child, roast sweet potato for the other. Both like roast carrots.
- Beetroot on a home made burger OMG yes, duh! Roast beetroot – forget it.
- Mashed potatoes are a deal breaker for the fussy eater, unless they are turned into a fritter, and then I need to jump in and referee. Pretty much anything in a fritter is devoured by everyone, especially zucchinis. #fritterthatbitch
- Kale, roasted with a little bit of olive oil, sprinkled with sesame oil when it comes out of the oven. I was shocked too!
- Red cabbage cooked in butter with red onion is a favourite of one, but guess what! Poison to the fussiest one.
- Any vegetable with legumes in a minestrone, and for the fussy one? You got it! Neither soup or legumes of any kind.
- The only thing I will say about mushrooms is that the child that loves them also eats kiwifruit with the skin on, like a barbarian.
Do you have a fussy eater? What, if any, vegetables do they eat and how do you prepare them?