Is your child fussy about his food choices? Do they prefer only chicken nuggets or muffins throughout the day? Is your child so engrossed in playing that he skips mealtime? Trying to get your fussy eater to finish his plate of food can feel like a daunting task.
Picky eaters can be a big concern for parents, especially when it comes to providing complete nutrition. But cleverly adding fibre-rich veggies can make the food nutritious and colourful. Vegetables like broccoli fulfils the daily requirement of vitamin K and vitamin C, while peas are rich in vitamin A, and C. Children also love carrots that have abundant vitamin A; whereas tomatoes and onions are good for vitamin C.
The easier option would be to give in to his demand and feed him that chicken nugget. But, if you decide to go the creative route, there are many picky eater recipes that mums can try out incorporating all these vegetables in your little one’s diet. Recipes that are not only tasty but immunity-boosting as well especially in the post-pandemic era.
Here are five picky eater recipes that mums should try at home:
5 Picky Eater Recipes You Must Try
Sweet potato fries bring the crispiness of fast food that kids love with the wholesome goodness of sweet potatoes. It’s quick to make as well in the kitchen without you having to worry about unnecessary calories.
Ingredients (4 Servings):
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/8 teaspoon sugar
- 1 cup cornstarch
- 3/4 cup club soda, cold
- 2 pounds sweet potatoes
Step 1: Slice sweet potatoes into 1/2-inch-wide sticks or 1/4-inch sticks
Step 2: Toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme (or any other fresh/dried herb of your choice), and 1/4 teaspoon salt.
Step 3: Add 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
Step 3: Bake at 400 degrees F for 15 to 20 minutes, or until soft, on a parchment paper-lined pan.
Step 4: Serve with homemade sauce or dips
There’s nothing more wholesome than the good old egg fried rice. Not just for children but this is whole food for adults as well. It’s also a great way to get your child to eat a heap of vegetables without him noticing.
The best part is that it can be whipped up quickly in the kitchen with some leftover rice, veggies and eggs. You can also keep adding different choices of meat, veggies and more to make more interesting picky eater recipes/combinations.
Ingredients (4 Servings):
- 250g long grain rice
- 3 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 onion, carrot, bell pepper, finely chopped
- 4 eggs, beaten
- 2 spring onions, sliced, to serve
- chicken/pork/prawns (optional)
Step 1: Cook the rice as per instructions and spread it out to steam-dry.
Step 2: Add two tablespoon of oil in a large wok over high heat. Add onion and fry until the colour changes to light brown.
Step 3: Add all the other veggies to the wok and saute for a few seconds
Step 4: Add the cooked rice, stir and toast for about three minutes. Move the rice to the side of the pan.
Step 5: Add the remaining two tablespoons of oil and then add the egg mixture. Add the meat pieces if you want to and mix in with the rice. Stir constantly to coat the grains with the egg.
Step 6: Serve in a bowl with chopped spring onions scattered on top
This is one of the most super fun and healthy picky eater recipes. And since there’s no heat involved, you can involve your toddler in the making. The rice paper rolls are filling, nutritious, and quick to prepare.
Ingredients (8 Servings):
- 2 ounces rice vermicelli
- 8 rice wrappers (8.5 inch diameter)
- 8 large cooked shrimp – peeled, deveined and cut in half
- 1 ⅓ tablespoons chopped fresh Thai basil
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- 2 leaves lettuce, chopped
- 4 teaspoons fish sauce
- ¼ cup water
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons white sugar
- ½ teaspoon garlic chili sauce
- 3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped peanuts
Step 1: Boil rice vermicelli for three to five minutes until al dente, and drain.
Step 2: Fill a large bowl with warm water. Dip one wrapper into the hot water for one second to soften. Lay the wrapper flat.
Step 3: Place two shrimp halves, a handful of vermicelli, basil, mint, cilantro and lettuce in a row on the wrapper. Leave 2-inch uncovered on each side.
Step 4: Fold the uncovered sides inward and then lightly roll the paper, beginning at the end with the lettuce.
Step 5: Mix the fish sauce, water, lime juice, garlic, sugar and chili sauce in a small bowl
Step 6: Mix hoisin sauce and peanuts in another small bowl
Step 7: Serve the Vietnamese spring rolls with the fish sauce and hoisin sauce mixtures
Another sure-shot way to sneak in veggies in your kid’s diet are homemade noodles. It’s easy to pack in the lunchbox and it’s a guaranteed success when your child is too fussy about food.
Ingredients (2 Servings):
- 200g fine rice vermicelli (or beehoon), soaked to soften, then drained
- 100g lean pork, cut into thin strips
- 2 tablespoon Canola oil
- 1/2 of a small onion, peeled and finely sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely minced
- 50g French beans, thinly sliced
- 30g carrot, cut into thin strips
- 100g bean sprouts
- Salt and ground white pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon vegetarian mushroom sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
- Salt to taste
Step 1: Boil water in a large pot and place rice vermicelli in to cook for two to three minutes. Drain the rice vermicelli and rinse it with cold water and drain again. Set aside.
Step 2: Combine ingredients for marinade in a bowl. Add pork and mix well.
Step 3: Heat oil in a wok and stir-fry onion and garlic until fragrant. Add the marinated pork and cook until done.
Step 4: Add the veggies including french beans, carrot and bean sprouts, and cook for about two minutes until all vegetables are tender but crisp.
Step 5: Add rice vermicelli and mix well. Season with salt and pepper, and continue to stir fry until done.
Step 6: Serve hot.
Spaghetti bolognese! It has all the right ingredients to tantalise your little one’s taste buds. From the tangy tomato sauce to the chunky beef and lots of veggies to keep the nutrition level in check. Spaghetti bolognese also looks colourful on the plate, which makes eye candy for your kid, who’ll waste no time in chomping down the whole bowl.
The next time your child fusses about food, try this Spaghetti Bolognese recipe:
Ingredients (8 Servings):
- 500g ground beef
- 2 medium-sized carrots
- 1 large onion
- 2 sticks of celery
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 4 bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
- 500g canned tomatoes
- 250g fresh, ripe tomatoes
- 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- 700g spaghetti
Step 1: Finely chop the carrots, onion, celery, and garlic
Step 2: Chop the canned and fresh tomatoes separately in a food processor
Step 3: Heat extra virgin olive oil in a large pot. Add all the finely chopped veggies including carrots, onion, celery, garlic, rosemary, and sage. Fry the vegetables until they turn slightly soft.
Step 4: Continue frying vegetables in olive oil till they turn fully soft
Step 5: Add beef and fry until browned and water has evaporated from the pot, leaving just the oil.
Step 6: Add the canned and fresh tomatoes, and bay leaves, and stir into the vegetable/beef mixture.
Step 7: Cook on low heat for about three hours until the sauce has thickened and is brown in colour
Step 8: Boil about five litres of water in a separate pot with two tablespoons of salt. Once the water reaches its boiling point, add the spaghetti and cook till al dente. Follow the instructions on the pack for the right cooking time.
Step 9: Once cooked, strain the spaghetti
Step 10: Heat a large pan (without any oil), put the cooked spaghetti and sauce. Toss (or stir) until the sauce sticks to the spaghetti.
Serve immediately and your child is bound to ask for more servings.
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