Vegetable Recipes Kids Will Love

Sherri Granato By Sherri Granato, 28th Jul 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Recipes>Cooking Tips

A few simple additions to ordinary vegetables can change a dull, tasteless dish into a meal that pops and can even encourage kids to love the healthy addition to the dinner table that they may have once considered taboo to their sensitive taste buds.

Kid Appeal: Easy, Cheesy, Fun & Interesting

Let's face it, kids can be a bit fussy when it comes to vegetables, especially the green or bland tasting variety; but when a burst of flavor has been added to them it can change their whole perspective about these questionable foods that are good for them. Vegetables are not only packed full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants; they are an excellent food source for intestinal functioning due to their nature of possessing roughage properties that aid in digestion. Allowing children to assist with preparing the food that they will be eating opens up their minds to trying something new that might not look kid friendly.

A few simple additions to ordinary vegetables can change a dull, tasteless dish into a meal that pops and can even encourage kids to love the healthy addition to the dinner table that they may have once considered taboo to their sensitive taste buds. A few clever, but simple touches like cheese, seasonings and herbs can convince even the most stubborn child to reconsider the forbidden food.

When kids see a bowl of hot steamy peas, cauliflower or carrots their immediate reaction is to submit both openly and honestly, the "ooh" factor and completely snub the offensive bowl of yuck. Fortunately there are a few ideas that will counter attack the most stubborn child and his delicate palate into actually enjoying fresh vegetables once they discover that they do in fact carry flavor.

Parmesan cheese is another one of those necessary food staples if you have children. This simple yet tasty ingredient adds a salty, creamy and savory flavor to pasta, salads, and just about any vegetable served hot or cold. From adding it to creamy sauces or just sprinkling it onto broiled vegetables you can't go wrong with this easy addition.

Betty Crocker offers kid friendly meals that challenge even the pickiest of eaters, and the Nick jr. web site offers a few recipes packed with vitamin rich vegetables that kids can help make with easy to follow instructions for children of all ages that includes recipes for beginners to the more advanced stuffed pizza recipe. Wubbzy's Rock star smoothie and Diego's Jungle Fruit Salsa are also included in the list of favorites for kids to try out.

Cheesy Roasted Cauliflower

6 cups of fresh cauliflower florets
1/3 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons lemon juice
¼ teaspoon each of salt & cracked pepper
½ cup parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Spread cauliflower onto a baking sheet into a single layer. Mix the oil, lemon juice and salt & pepper together and distribute evenly over the cauliflower. Sprinkle the parmesan cheese over the top. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until slightly golden, stirring occasionally for even cooking time. The creaminess from the cheese fights off the temptation for kids to say "ooh" and inspires them to at least sample this hearty dish.

Veggie Pizza Bites

1 can refrigerated pizza dough
1 jar prepared pizza sauce
½ cup broccoli florets cut in half
¼ cup mushrooms, sliced
¼ cup black olives, sliced
¼ cup red or green peppers, sliced into thin strips
1 cup mozzarella cheese
1 tablespoon olive oil
2" round cookie cutter or use the top of a glass

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Have your child help roll out dough to ½ inch thickness, and cut out 2" rounds of dough. Transfer rounds to a lightly greased baking sheet. Lightly brush dough rounds with olive oil and prick each with a fork. Place the dough rounds into the oven for 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow your kids to spoon the pizza sauce onto the cooked dough rounds, and then add the cheese and the remaining ingredients onto the cooked dough rounds. Place the mini pizzas back into the oven for 5 minutes. Cool and eat.

Cheesy Roasted Asparagus

1 large bunch fresh asparagus, cleaned and hard ends cut & removed
¼ cup olive oil
1 clove garlic minced fine
1 teaspoon lemon juice
¼ teaspoon each of salt & cracked pepper
¼ cup fresh parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Spread asparagus into single layer on a baking sheet. Mix the oil, lemon juice, garlic and salt and pepper and distribute evenly over the asparagus. Sprinkle the parmesan cheese completely over the asparagus. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until fork tender. Serve hot or cold.

Pasta Salad with Kid Appeal

1 16-ounce box bow-tie pasta, cooked, drained and cooled
1 cup red and yellow peppers sliced thin
½ broccoli florets
½ cup cherry tomatoes sliced in half
1 small cucumber sliced thin
1 carrot peeled and diced
1 stalk celery diced
½ cup frozen peas
2 green onions diced
6 tablespoons red wine vinegar
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh parsley
1 tablespoon fresh basil
1 teaspoon each salt & cracked black pepper
½ cup parmesan cheese

In a large bowl toss the pasta and vegetables gently. Mix oil, vinegar, parsley, basil salt and pepper together and distribute over pasta and veggies. Top with parmesan cheese and serve.

Carrot Cupcakes

2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon salt
1 ¼ cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 large eggs
½ cup applesauce
¼ cup orange juice
¼ teaspoon orange zest
1 ½ cups grated carrots
¼ cup raisins
¼ cup chunk pineapples
1/8 cup finely chopped walnuts
1 can cream cheese frosting

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cupcake pan with 18-24 paper liners. Combine all of the dry ingredients in one bowl. Combine all of the wet ingredients in a separate bowl gradually add the wet ingredients to the dry. Scoop cupcake batter equally into liners and bake for 24 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center of muffin comes out clean. Cool and decorate with frosting.

Fun Facts

Substitute applesauce for vegetable oil, one for one. For example, if you recipe calls for 1/2 cup of oil, substitute 1/2 cup applesauce in its place.

Sneak Attack: : Sweet vegetables like carrots have been used for sweetening cakes and other dishes since the 5th century during which time other more popular sweeteners were scarce and expensive. The carrot only stands in line behind the sugar beet when it comes to the sweetest vegetables readily available for cooking at the most affordable prices versus higher costing sugars.

The United States Department of Agriculture offers a government site that includes a pyramid of healthy food choices for children of all ages. Kids can look up a food or ask questions about various concerns regarding health, weight plans and menus. All of this and more can be found at: http://www.mypyramid.gov/

Tags

Antioxidants, Applesauce, Betty Crocker, Carrots, Children, Cupcakes, Department Of Agriculture, Diegos Fruit Salsa, Kid Friendly, Minerals, Nick Jr, Nickelodeon, Pizza, United States, Vitamins

Meet the author

author avatar Sherri Granato
Sherri has lived in several haunted properties, including a morgue turned basement apartment. Instead of fearing the paranormal, she has opted to embrace, investigate and understand it.

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Comments

author avatar Nancy Czerwinski
29th Jul 2014 (#)

Sherri, thanks for the great ideas for my little ones. Carrots are our favorite vegetable. I'm going to try all the recipes.

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author avatar SilverPlatinum
18th Feb 2015 (#)

A really enjoyable article to read, coupled with delicious recipes to try out. Thanks very much, Sherri.

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