Do you wonder if your kids are getting enough nutrients in their diet? I often do because our sweet, precocious Little Diva only has eyes for certain eats: pasta, fruit, chicken, pasta, rice and more pasta. She does eat different proteins, which I am not complaining about, but it started effecting her in more ways then one (mostly going #2, sorry for the TMI) and I had to do something to get her eating more veggies, fruits and less starchy meals. I can’t fully cut out the pasta just yet because I am Italian and well, lets face it, we love our pasta and eat it at least once a week.
We have been focusing on adding some veggies to her favorite dishes. I have been doing researching on how to get nutrients in her meals, and decided to try out hiding them in her favorite meals. I know there are pros and cons to every thing, and many feel by disguising veggies to children, that they will never learn to eat veggies on their own. I completely understand why some feel this way, but I am also a huge advocate in doing what works best for your family. Somethings may work better for others than the rest of us.
I decided to add cooked/steamed veggies to her favorite dishes to ease into the process and I have to say, it’s been a really great transition. I started by adding pureed veggies and chopped veggies to sauces for pasta. It’s super easy and doesn’t take too longer to prepare either. I’ve used finely grated carrots, squash and zucchini and added them to tomato sauce for pasta. I even made turkey meat balls with the same 3 veggies and they tasted delish.
Mac & Cheese is a huge staple in the house, as it is for many. I decided to try adding pureed cauliflower to my homemade mac & cheese. It actually tasted pretty good! My little one couldn’t tell the difference, although I could taste one. So every time I have made mac & cheese, whether it be homemade or Annie’s Organic, I add a pureed veggie! Here’s what you need to do:
Veggie Packed Mac & Cheese
- 1 box of Mac & Cheese (Annie’s Organic preferably)
- 1/2 cup pureed Cauliflower
Simply steam the cauliflower till it is soft. Test it out by sticking a fork in it, if it goes in easily and cuts, it’s ready. Remove the florets and reserve some of the liquid. Puree the steamed cauliflower in a blender, immersion blender or food processor. If the puree is too thick, slowly add some of the liquid till you get the consistency you desire. If you make a head of cauliflower, you should get about 3 to 4 half cup portions.
Cook the Mac & Cheese according to the box. If you make your own cheese sauce, it works too! After adding cheese sauce to cooked pasta, add 1/2 cup of pureed cauliflower. Mix well and serve! The cauliflower actually makes the mac and cheese creamier. My husband and I actually love eating it with the cauliflower mixed in! I will be 100% honest with you, you can slightly taste cauliflower, but it is not that bad. Little Diva is an extremely picky eater and she gobbles it up.
AntiMomBlog Tip: If you feel your child will reject eating it due to the slight cauliflower taste, I would slowly work up to add the 1/2 cup of cauliflower puree. Start with 1/4 cup or 1/3 cup and each time you make it add a little bit more.
I hope this helps you as much as it helped us! Keep an eye out for some more Kiddie Eats installments coming in the future.