5 Tips to Sneak Veggies into your Teen’s Meals
By Tanishq Desai
We all know that it can be a very tough task to have your teens finish their greens, but did you know that research suggests it takes 10 to 15 years for a young adult’s taste buds to get fully acquired with a new flavour? This is why we are bringing you five tips to sneak veggies into your teen’s meals.
The first step is befriending a food processor! We’re all aware that the first sighting of anything that resembles a vegetable instantly sets your teenager into code red. But instead of serving diced-up veggies, you could be popping them into a food processor and sneaking them into tasty recipes that your teenager would never notice! Here’s how:
Sneaky Tip #1
Mac and Cheese with Sweet Potato and Peas
We have one advantage because we know our kids’ favourite choice of meals, and some good ol’ Mac and Cheese always tops this list. Boil up some sweet potato until it’s tender for 15 minutes and add it to the blender to make it into a fine puree that can be mixed well with the cheese sauce. You can choose to add the peas to the sauce and season it with salt and pepper before adding your macaroni. And voila! A healthy(ier) mac and cheese!
Sneaky Tip # 2
Zucchini Pizza Crust
Did you gasp? Relax. We know it can sound pretty scary, but there are a lot of other healthy options to change up your teen’s pizza addiction. This Zucchini Pizza Crust recipe will take only 30 minutes and could be a great way for your teen to get their veggies in! All you’ll need is almond flour, zucchini, eggs, spices and your choice of toppings.
Now, this won’t be your usual carb dripping-in-grease-kind-of pizza. The Zucchini Pizza Crust is super healthy, gluten-free and an amazing substitute for unhealthy takeout pizzas.
Follow the recipe here: Delicious Zucchini Pizza Crust Recipe.
Sneaky Tip #3
Ground Beef and Veggie Pasta
The next time you cook up this beautiful Italian delicacy for your teen, reduce the amount of ground beef and add some finely chopped mushrooms to your sloppy joes or your meat-based pasta sauce. The meaty texture of the mushrooms absorbs the sauce making it the perfect veggie to mix into your pasta. Our favourite Mocktails will be a good pair with the pasta!
Sneaky Tip #4
Meatballs à la Veggie
Meatballs are the best and the easiest way to sneak in some veggies! Just add some finely chopped mushrooms, carrots, onions or zucchini to a pan and saute them in olive oil until soft. You can then mix the veggies with your ground-up meat, shape them into meatballs, and cook them as you usually would. Serve them dripping in some marinara sauce, and your teens won’t notice a thing!
Sneaky Tip #5
Beans can constitute a very healthy diet if added to daily eating habits for teens. Canned beans can be simple to incorporate into your teen’s meals and snacks. You can research and look into creating delicious recipes with beans or lentils, but some of the tastiest dishes we recommend are using black beans in cheesy quesadillas, chickpeas in salads and or red beans in tacos! Your main ingredient here would be all about the spices and seasoning!