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how to make vegetables for people that don't like them?

I can't seem to get my kids or my husband to eat vegetables and it makes it so much harder on myself to get them in. I feel like just giving up.

Wed. Dec 24, 5:43am

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What have you tried so far? Then, what can you do differently?

For example, there are a lot of veggies I didn't like because they were always served to me soggy, overcooked, and swimming in butter. But when I learned how to stir-fry, I discovered that I liked them.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008, 8:33 AM

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Fresh veggies, cut up with a dip is usually very welcome. That's how I got my grandchildren to love veggies. For dip, we use plain yogurt and sometimes add minced garlic and onion to flavor it savory. Or dill weed. Think of it the same as sour cream and add whatever you'd normally add to make dip out of sour cream. We also make dip by blending cooked beans with onion, garlic, black olives & a tiny bit of oil (1 tsp or less).

Also, celery or carrot sticks spread with peanut butter, almond butter, or cashew butter. Kids love this.

Or steam your veggies and eat them tender crisp. Steaming softens them just enough to make them easy for just about anybody to eat, without making them soggy or stinky. And the colors brighten up a lot with steaming. You can even do it in the microwave. Put them in a glass casserole dish with a lid and a spoonful or 2 of water. Then nuke for 2 minutes (or more if they're really fresh and hard).

Another great way to eat veggies is as rice pilaf. Make a blend of wild & brown rice and add diced carrot, bell pepper, onion & celery, sliced olives & mushrooms, then whole lima beans, edamame or peas. Season with curry, sea salt and a drizzle of olive oil. Yum!

Maybe take a look at the Moosewood Cookbook by Mollie Katzen. It's filled with veggie dishes you can serve to meat eaters as well as vegetarians. Lots of great ideas. There's another terrific book by Mollie as well. Enchanted Broccoli Forest. Look for them in the library.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008, 10:19 AM

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Try this

I've found that roasting them in the oven with olive oil a little of Ms. Dash seasoning (if you're salt conscious) or just add salt and pepper.
Cook asparagus, broccolli, brussell sprouts for 15 minutes in the oven, it taste great!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008, 9:52 PM

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Making Vegatables taste good!

I didn't eat veg or fruit for around 18 years! I used just enough potato to eat with them to stomach them. Try it, it really works! Also, adding lemon juice of fat free salad dressings are good. There is a really good range available in virtually all supermarkets! I like tart tastes, so I use white wine vinegar and can easily eat a massive bowl of salad like that, when accompanied with a little chicken breast!

Monday, January 26, 2009, 5:01 AM

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Make a stir fry with carrots, bok choy, mushrooms, snap peas, celery, broccoli... anything, really. Just be careful not to overcook the vegetables -- all they really need is a couple minutes of steaming. Because you're creating a vegetable based main dish, your family won't have any alternative. :) Also, avoid the commercial sauces -- they're death in a bottle. Instead, marinate your meat in soy and freshly ground ginger, and make your own stir fry sauce. If you want a sauce that "clings" to things, add a tbsp of cornstarch to a 1/2 cup of OXO broth, then flavour with soy, fresh garlic, etc. However, I've found that a "clingy" sauce is largely unnecessary if you add a concentrated sauce right when you're adding the veggies, and steam everything on high. The water evaporates quickly, and everything is nicely infused with flavour.


Monday, January 26, 2009, 9:13 AM

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Maybe steamed veggies w/ the "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter" spray. The spray is 0 cal and it tastes just like butter.

Monday, January 26, 2009, 1:06 PM

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My mother tells me I spit out vegetable baby food from the very first time. I grew up eating a lot of fruit and raw vegetables and salads without dressing. I hated cooked vegetables except spinach in a homemade cheddar sauce. BUT, the one place I loved cooked vegetables was in my mother's homemade vegetable soup. Go figure. When i visited my aunt and uncle there was no catering to my particular, picky tastes. I couldn't be excused from the table until I ate one Tablespoon of the vegetable. It didn't hurt me and oddly I didn't resent it, but then that was back in 1960 or so -- when parents were still in charge.

Also, I know there are a few cookbooks out there about how to sneak vegetables into kids' food -- one of them by Jerry Seinfeld's wife -- can't remember her first name.

Monday, January 26, 2009, 1:53 PM

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Here's Ms Seinfeld's book:
Deceptively Delicious: Simple Secrets to Get Your Kids Eating Good Food

If you go to that link, Amazon will point out other books in the same vein.

Good luck! I don't have kids, but I do have a picky eater partner. He enjoys steamed broccoli (tender crisp, please) with mayonnaise. He's always enjoyed salad. After many years, he will now enjoy (and voluntarily prepare) lightly sauteed kale and packages of frozen mixed vegetables topped with nutritional yeast and some sesame oil.

Monday, January 26, 2009, 2:44 PM

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Green smoothies! It's sweet and delicious and you get lots of fruits and vegetables in one serving. :)

Monday, January 26, 2009, 2:50 PM

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I really like the green smoothies and mixing veggies with potatoes option....
as for Deceptively Delicious it hasn't gotten good reviews, but I'd love to hear more from people on PT who've tried it..

Tuesday, January 27, 2009, 2:09 AM

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When I looked at the recipes in Decelptively Delicious, I realized that a person wouldn't really be consuming that much in the way of veggies in each serving, say if you made a batch of brownies. Still, a valid strategy in some ways to get kids to eat them, if you have lots of time. You can fold pureed veggies in to some things like meatloaf. A friend hides cauliflower (pureed) in mashed potatoes and they are delicious, if doesn't taste like cauliflower.

As for the OP, I wouldn't worry so much about your husband and kids - focus on getting veggies for you!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009, 6:32 AM

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I've made a few things from Decep. Del. and they were quite good. Like any new endeavor, it would take some time to get into the groove of doing all the prep work. And, like the pp pointed out - the amount in some of the recipes are minimal, but I think even the author stated - it was a way to get *something* into her family and then she always made sure to serve a vegetable at meals (so her kids didn't think they never had to eat them.)

Just keep trying, OP. And get that husband on board with you! You two are the greatest role models for the kids!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009, 7:58 AM

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My mother used to cook and mash carrots and potatoes together. You cant taste the carrots but it makes for pink potatoes. Fun.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009, 6:06 PM

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Try making a big pot of vegetable soup.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009, 8:35 PM

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What's a green smoothie?

Mssage is too short but that's all I have to say

Thursday, January 29, 2009, 2:22 PM

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I appreciate all the info about sneaking veggies in for kids...but I am curious about some just plain tasty side-dish veggie recipes (such as the rice pilaf...) My boyfriend isn't a big veggie eater, but is willing to try anything I make...however, I have found it difficult to vary our veggie side, since so far he only seems to like salad, green beans and if people have some ways to make broccoli, etc. (besides cooking technique...I always steam or stir-fry) tastier it would be appreciated!

Thursday, January 29, 2009, 6:24 PM

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6:24 - I've taken to preparing a package of the Lipton's (or Knorr's) Broccoli, Rice and Cheese and adding a bunch of fresh broccoli while it's cooking. The packaged rice mix isn't exactly ideal when it comes to nutrition, but it's an easy way to add a lot of broccoli to a dish.

You can do similar add-ins with cous-cous and rice pilaf (like you mentioned).

Thursday, January 29, 2009, 7:19 PM

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I used to be ok eating vegetables, but I have found that as I get older the less tolerant of them I am. I much prefer them raw to their cooked state. I can munch on raw veggies all day long, but when they get soggy they get gross. If I do eat them cooked I try to undercook them a little to keep the crunch.

Thursday, January 29, 2009, 8:15 PM

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I just got this thing in the tip of the day today! I thought there were some really good ideas here. I put strawberry jam on everything, not sure if that's really kosher but I like it.


Thursday, January 29, 2009, 8:39 PM

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use cookie cutter to make forms out of veggies like red and green peppers, cucumber, etc. kids love it and you can always put the outer edges into your won salad

Thursday, January 29, 2009, 8:58 PM

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Getting Veggies In

How about the all-veggie soup. Everything goes in--carrots, celery, onion, cabbage, green bean, brocoli...whatever vegetable you have. Season with Mrs. Dash or any seasoning. Use a big can of v8 for the soup base. I like to make basmati rice and have it to put on top of the soup if you don't mind using your starch exchange for this.

Friday, January 30, 2009, 12:36 AM

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How to make vegetable your kids will eat

When my son was little he used to say he was deathly allergic to vegetables and then pretend to die everytime he saw them on his plate. He won't eat anything that has vegetable in it even if it's something he likes. He will eat roasted vegetable mixes that I spray with butter cooking spray and seasoning. Another way I address this is to blend vegetables and add them to sauces - for example I blend mixed vegetables and add them to tomato sauce for spagetti, pizza sauce, etc. I blend cauliflower with milk or low fat soup to add to pasta or rice or in casseroles or shepherds pie, etc. My friend makes a cauliflower/skim milk/low fat cheese sauce for mac and cheese. She once served when she had friends over and the other mother mistakenly mentioned in front of the children what was in the sauce. My friend's daughter thought this was a funny joke and to this day still doesn't believe that her mother puts cauliflower in her maceroni and cheese. I also blend fruits for smoothies or milkshakes. I put applesauce or bananas in pancakes or other baked goods, glaze meats with fruit purees or juice - apple sauce over pork or ham, orange juice, cranberries or plums over chicken. Even if fruits and veggies they love I sometimes will add things just to ensure they are eating lots - serve fruit with honey, chocolate syrup (just little and once in a while, peanut butter, or cinnamin and a little sugar (again once in a while for a "treat"). This way they will eat more than one serving in one sitting because they "taste so good". My son has created his own concoction of peanut butter and cereal that he mixes together and then dips apples into. I make homemade unsweetened applesauce - my kids like to help. Sometimes I'll freeze applesauce or blended berries and they'll eat it like a slushie or sorbet. I grew up eating apple sauce this way and still love it. I also freeze berries and grapes in the summer. Some times I'll baked apples or "fry" up bananas with butter spray, cinnamin, honey, nuts, rasins etc. to put over ice cream, panakes, etc. They don't look at it as eating fruit since it's dessert. Sometimes I find that kids will surprise you. Their tastes keep changing. Once in a while I'll check in with them about their current likes and dislikes and how they prefer to have stuff prepared and then get them to help pick out the fruits and veggies at the grocery store and to help prepare them for meals. For example my son requested clemintines at Christmas time this year but says he doesn't like oranges. My daughter asked if she could start taking soups, salads, and fruit with yoghurt in her school lunches. Thanks everyone for your ideas too because I'll certainly be adding them to my sneaky way to feed my kids veggies and fruits and btw last week my son ate three servings of spagetti with a sauce that I had pureed veggies into and he's alive. lol

Thursday, February 05, 2009, 11:12 AM

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Kids who refuse veg

Very helpful ideas. I have an 8 year old who refuses most veg irrationally. And he hates sauces, so forget dipping. He will eat: steamed broccoli, green beans and zucchini. That's it. He will eat spinach tortelli, but no spinach in any other fashion and he refuses green salad, carrots, tomatoes, etc. Of course he loves pizza, so that and spaghetti sauce provide his tomatoes. I will continue to try some of these ideas and see if I can expand his horizons a bit.


Sunday, March 08, 2009, 4:38 PM

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I shred everything

I've gotten so tired of steamed, lately I've just been shredding cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots (you can buy ready shredded veggies) and I stir fry them with lite soy sauce, hot red pepper flakes, edamame, mushrooms, bean sprouts and then I saute a small piece of fish to have as a condiment to my veggies...I'm actually craving this all day long because it's so delicious...I just had a bowl of it and you feel very satisfied and can also stirfry shrimp but be careful if you have high cholesterol....I'm thrilled to have found a way to get my veggies in...when you shred them they actually become sweeter and exude a lot of water in the pan so it cooks things nicely

Saturday, June 06, 2009, 3:21 PM

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Does anyone have a good soup base recipe for this vegetable soup?


Saturday, June 06, 2009, 11:55 PM

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soup base

For chicken vegetable:
Of course you can buy some very good chicken broth (Trader Joe, Kitchen Basics, etc), but I prefer to make my own even though it's a lot of work.
Start with a rotisierie chicken (ask for it with the back included if possible - Boston Mkt will do this) - as you eat it skinless for how many ever meals, don't worry about getting ALL the meat. Don't toss any bones or skin, save in freezer with some meat.

For the broth,
•Break larger bones in one or two places with a cleaver to expose marrow (for flavor and nutrition).
•Reserve any larger pieces of meat and simmer everything else including any organ meats (which I leave in) for an hour or two. Strain through a colander.
•Let solids cool enough to handle
•Now the hard work: separate as much of the remaining meat from the other stuff as you can (Let personal tolerance for tedious labor rule)
•Refrigerate - when very cool, skim any fat off the top - NOTE: This will make a very rich, nutritious, and GELATINOUS broth. It will become liquid again when heated, of course, but it can be thinned with water if you prefer.

•I brown onions, leeks, or shallots separately but otherwise just add the veggies I want (yam OR routabaga OR kolrabi OR potato, celery, carrot, etc.
•Any frozen veggies like baby limas or peas save til the very end, spinach at the end but some other greens will take a little more time.
•You could thicken if desired (I don't) to make it stew-like.

For larger quantity, wait til you have 2 chickens worth.

Sunday, August 30, 2009, 1:07 PM

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and don't forget to re-add the reserved meat. : ))

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Sunday, August 30, 2009, 1:09 PM

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Don't forget their favorite condiments!! My new fav is wasabi with lemon. It tastes good on everything, especially broccoli.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009, 8:59 AM

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Teaching babies/children to like vegetables

I received great advice before starting my first child on baby food: Don't start with the fruits! Instead, start with the vegetables, gr beans, peas, your way to sweeter carrots, then apples, pears & banana.

When my kids were toddlers, I'd invite them to come taste what Mommy's making for dinner & tell me if it needs a pinch of salt. I'd let them sprinkle the pinch. When dinner was served & they start to balk at the appearance of it, I'd proudly announce that they had helped add just the right seasoning & this is going to be yummy!


Tuesday, January 18, 2011, 8:20 AM

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There is a great broccoli salad that has bacon, sunflower seeds & raisins. It you google these ingredients, I think you'll find it.

Don't make it with raw broccoli, but instead cut up the florets and drop in boiling water for 30 seconds. Drain & dump in bowl of ice water to stop cooking. Blanching like this takes some of the raw edge off but it is still crisp.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011, 8:25 AM

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Oh this brought back so many memories. My mom used to mix cooked turnip and potatoes together. They were sooooooooooo good. Thanks for the memories.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011, 9:12 AM

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