If you struggle to get your children to eat their daily 5 serves of veggies, sometimes it can help to sneak some veggies into their meals. Why not try this recipe: Meatballs that are packed full of veggies.
A hit with kids, and adults like them too.
When it comes to serving vegetables up to toddlers, I like the approach of “hide some, show some”. This way, there is a good chance at least some vegetables will be consumed, but at the same time normalises vegetables by displaying them next to the other favourite foods. I don’t make a big song and dance about vegetables, and I also try to make sure they taste good i.e. aren’t overcooked and are well seasoned. By treating vegetables like any other food, it has helped to reduce the likelihood that Ash will realise I am emotionally invested in his eating veggies, and therefore use that against me (as toddlers are known to do). So far this has been working for me and Ash doesn’t have an aversion to vegetables. There’s a part of me that still wants to make sure I’m getting as much in as possible and I feel that I need to sneak them in to achieve this.
One of the ways I like to hide some veggies is in this variation of meatballs. It makes them a lot softer than conventional meatballs, which I think is good for young children as they can be easily broken into toddler sized mouthfuls. I then serve it in a tomato based sauce alongside some pasta, and you can add in some visible veggies such as broccoli, peas, mushroom or slices of zucchini.
If your child is exceptionally adverse to the sight of vegetables you might want to puree the vegies before mixing it in, peel the zucchini and omit the spinach.
Makes 3 meals worth
- 250g beef mince
- 1 medium carrot
- 1 medium zucchini
- 1 handful sized chunk pumpkin
- 2 handfuls baby spinach, very finely chopped
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- 4 tbsp flour
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp salt
- Grate the carrot, pumpkin and zucchini into a bowl.
- Add the mince, spices, flour, eggs and salt.
- Using gloved hands, squish the ingredients altogether until it is really well combined.
- Heat a frying pan over medium-high heat.
- Add a splash of olive oil, then cook the meatballs in batches. Because they are quite soft you won’t be able to make perfectly shaped meatballs. I find it’s easier to use my hands to get a rough golf ball shape and then put it straight into the pan. Once one side of it is browned, turn it over using a wooden spoon or tongs, until all surfaces are browned and it is cooked through (approx 4 minutes).
- Place the cooked meatballs onto paper towel to drain the excess oil whilst you cook the remaining batches.