My boys are pretty good and reliable vegetable eaters because I have given them vegetables since the first time they each tried solids. However, there is no denying that they would eat exclusively fruit for every meal if I served it. There is also no denying that Rowan is becoming a bit pickier with age (he is currently 2 years and 4 months old). So he doesn’t always jump to reach for every vegetables on his plate. Both my boys devour orange vegetables – sweet potatoes, carrots, butternut squash – but they (particularly Rowan at his age) can be a a bit hot and cold with green vegetables.
I do lots of things to up their vegetable intake throughout the day (see below for a few quick things I do) but I also have 3 super easy, yummy recipes I make my kids weekly or every other week that are full of vegetables and absolute crowd favorites in our house. And I wanted to share them here because I always get a lot of food-related questions when I share a photo of my kids that includes what they are eating. I also talk to my fellow mom friends a lot about meal ideas. So it is always helpful to share and always top of mind for me! Sometimes, I just hit a wall and run out of ideas. If you are nodding your head yes, then this post with my 3 simple vegetable recipes I make my kids regularly is for you.
For a few more food ideas for littles, take a peak back at this post on what we fed Rowan from 6-9 months (the items in it are good for past 9 months too).
3 Simple Vegetable Recipes I Make My Kids Regularly
4 Ingredient Spinach Pancakes
My boys LOVE these pancakes so much! I make these every single week and serve them at breakfast and as a side at lunch. They are easy, delicious, packed with leafy greens, and mess-free for kids to eat. I can’t recommend these pancakes enough. I got the recipe from my bestie a few years ago and have been whipping them up ever since. These will keep in the fridge for a couple days.
1 large handful of spinach (sometimes I substitute in baby kale)
1 mashed ripe banana
1/4 cup of organic oats
1. Mix all four ingredients in a blender or a food processor to make a pancake batter
2. Add coconut oil to a pan or griddle
3. Pour batter onto pan or griddle and cook on medium-low heat until lightly browned or golden brown on one side and then flip and cook the other side
4. Feel free to add cinnamon, blueberries, or chia seeds to your taste/liking
Veggie Egg Muffins
My boys are egg lovers so I try to prepare eggs for them in a number of different ways to keep things interesting. Other than scrambling or poaching eggs, my other favorite way to prepare them is to make veggie egg muffins. Egg muffins are quick and easy to make and a great way to get my boys eating all kind of different vegetables. I usually make a vegetable medley for the filling and will use a combination of whatever vegetables I have in the fridge including broccoli, mushrooms, bell peppers, spinach, baby kale, zucchini, or asparagus. These are pretty mess-free for kids to eat too, which is a win and great for breakfasts when we are crunched for time. These will keep in the fridge for a couple days.
7 large eggs (so many recipes say 6 eggs but I always find that one extra egg makes the perfect amount)
2 tbsp of milk (whatever your milk preference is works)
½ cup finely chopped veggies (Whatever combination of veggies you like will work or you can do just one vegetable, like broccoli. You can also add in protein like cooked and finely chopped bacon, sausage, or ground turkey)
¼ cup shredded cheese
Optional: salt and pepper to taste
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
2. Grease muffin tin with cooking spray
3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and milk until they are combined (plus the salt and pepper if you choose to add)
4. In a small bowl, combine veggie combination and cheese
5. Evenly distribute the veggie cheese combination to each muffin tin cup
6. Evenly pour the egg mixture into each muffin tin cup until each cup is about 2/3s of the way full
7. Place the muffin tin in the oven and bake for 20 minutes or until egg muffins have firmed and the tops are golden in color
Like I imagine all children are, Rowan is a smoothie lover. Smoothies are delicious for all ages and the yummiest food source here in Charleston in the summer months. I definitely make smoothies more in the warm months but I don’t add a bunch of ice so my smoothies aren’t super cold and can be enjoyed year round. Smoothies are such an incredibly easy way to get spinach into your kids’ systems so why not give this recipe a try?
1/4 cup blueberries (you can use any berries but I go for blueberries because of their high dosage of antioxidants, vitamin c, and vitamin k – adding in other berries too will make your smoothie a bit sweeter)
1 tbsp nut butter (I like almond butter or cashew butter)
1 handful of spinach
1 tbsp chia seeds
1.5 – 2 scoops vanilla protein (protein powder can be optional if it’s not your thing)
1-2 cups unsweetened almond milk
Optional: a few cubes of ice (or you can use frozen blueberries or a frozen banana)
I honestly eyeball a lot of this but these measurements help you get the idea
1. Place all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth
2. Pour and drink up!
A Few Clever Ways to Up Veggie Intake for Children
In addition to the 3 simple vegetable recipes I make my kids regularly that I included above and in addition to just serving my boys straight up raw, steamed, or roasted vegetables (which, despite how this post may make it sound, happens every single day), I also have a few tricks up my sleeve for upping their veggie intake…
I finely chop spinach or baby kale to add to scrambled eggs – my boys are used to eating eggs this way now (pesto ups the green color too and is a tasty addition)
I bulk up pasta sauces with lots of grated or chopped up sautéed vegetables
I serve vegetables (bell peppers and cucumbers) with a dip – usually humus or guacamole – so the veggies are more fun
I make meals like chili that are loaded with vegetables – Rowan thinks it is fun to find and point out the vegetables he sees in his chili
I add vegetables to honestly anything – quesadillas, cooked ground meats, etc.
I sometimes give Rowan the option between two vegetables for meals so he gets to pick which he wants and he feels some autonomy
Great recipes and tips for treating the eye and the palate! Cheers,mimi
Thank you!! Only yummy veggie foods 🙂