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Effective Tips to Get Your Kids to Eat Their Veggies
“Mom! I WANT pizza!” A common story of every other house. Children usually don’t understand nutrition and health – the only thing on which they focus is junk food. They stick to their words, and we have to agree with them.
Now, any meal or junk food can be ordered any time from the comfort of our home. We also used to like junk food as kids, but we didn’t eat it in place of our daily meals. There are some children who want no onions or coriander leaves in their meals, and don’t like green vegetables. My daughter is one such child! After food preparations would be complete, then suddenly it would hit my mind – “What will she eat? She won’t agree to eat anything I’ve made today!” And so, I’d have to make sandwiches, pasta, or instant noodles. I was depressed, because she wasn’t getting any of the nutrients that a kid gets through proper meals. I tried my best to help her understand, in every way, the importance of eating vegetables and different foods, but ALAS! I failed, because I don’t believe in forcing a kid to eat.
So, I experimented with some recipes, which ultimately solved the problem! I am now giving her vegetables in different ways and recipes.
- In a bowl, take moong dal with rice, or small quantities of all pulses. Pour in some water, and keep overnight. The next morning, grind the mixture into a smooth paste. Add spices and salt as per taste, and some water if required. Then, spread a small quantity of the mixture on a tava, and make a dosa or chilla out of it! Children will enjoy this dal chilla with ketchup.
- Fill half a bowl with sooji, 1 spoon of curd, and 2 spoons of oats. Pour in some water, and keep for 1 hour to become soft. Then, put in 1/2 tablespoon of coriander leaves, finely grated onions, garlic, ginger, red chilli, green chilli, cumin powder, coriander powder, a pinch of black pepper, a pinch of turmeric, and salt as per taste. Mix well to make a smooth paste. Make chillas out of this mixture, and serve with chutney or ketchup.
- If your child eats simple or plain yellow rice (like in a pulao), then make tiny pieces of cauliflower, green coriander leaves, carrot, and capsicum, which can’t be distinguished in the rice. Saute the chopped veggies in some oil until golden in colour, then add spices and salt as per taste. Then, add water and rice, and cook while covered. Serve this multi-coloured rice with curd.
- Tiny pieces of veggies like carrot, cauliflower, capsicum, cucumber, and onion can be added to sandwiches.
- If your child loves pasta, you can add the veggies in the same way.
You can also try making lauki ka halwa (bottle gourd). Cook grated lauki with ghee on medium flame till it is golden in colour, and thickens after losing moisture. Then, add thick boiled milk as needed, stir well, and add sugar as needed and some grated dry fruits. (Make sure the bottle gourd is not sour or bitter, as that is dangerous to eat.)