Of course we all want our kids to eat their vegetables readily, happily and in their “whole” form. But in truth, even for adults there are some veggies that can be a tough sell in their unadorned, steamed format (I’m looking at you, broccoli).
Its times like these that a little creativity can go a long way. In the case of long, thin veggies like carrots, asparagus and zucchini, try attacking with a vegetable peeler, shaving them into long, thin ribbons. Sprinkle with olive oil and lemon juice for a light dish or toss with a flat pasta like linguine and your kids might not even notice the veggies. For other veggies, chopping to a super-fine dice can work wonders (cauliflower loaded kiddie mac & cheese, for example).
But for me, the most foolproof method involves the blender. Almost any veggie is an easy sell in sauce or pesto form. And the options are pretty endless. I’ve tried broccoli, spinach, asparagus, once I even used some kohlrabi. Simply boil or steam your veggies til soft, drop them into the blender along with some of the reserved cooking water, add some garlic cloves, pine nuts (or walnuts or pistachios) and a bit of olive oil and blend until smooth. Toss with pasta and serve. Or, use as sauce to top baked chicken (or present it as a dip for any nuggetvores in your crowd).
The recipe below is one I originally posted on my blog years ago, long before I had children. But the basic idea is still a go-to method for getting the good stuff into little bellies.