Tips for eating more vegetables
Eating vegetables is fundamental for having a healthy and balanced diet, but sometimes vegetables get the better of us. The lack of time, the routine of cooking them and the fact that children are not receptive to vegetables means that we eat less vegetables than we should.
Fruit and vegetables should be present in our everyday diet. The nutrients provided by these foods which are rich in vitamins, minerals and fibre are essential for maintaining a good diet. The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends eating five pieces of fruit and vegetables each day, although some research increases this to seven. In spite of the experts’ advice, few people abide by it. To achieve the objective, or at least get close to the amount recommended by nutritionists, we can use some tips, almost without realising, that will increase our consumption of vegetables.
CHILDREN AND VEGETABLES
Vegetables are probably the food that children find most challenging to eat. They don’t usually like their flavour or texture, but they are essential for their growth. That’s why we must insist and come up with original ways so little ones receive all of the vitamins, minerals and fibre they contain. Using our imagination, we can make more fun dishes.
- Decorate their dishes. You can use broccoli to look like a tree or make a face with different vegetables. They will be distracted while they eat.
- Make burgers at home and add small pieces of pepper, carrot, leeks or asparagus.
- Sprinkle cheese or tomato on top of vegetables. Try to make sure the cheese is low in fat and the tomato is as healthy as possible.
- Be patient. New flavours are always challenging to introduce, but we should insist, without forcing, and they will get used to them little by little.
IDEAS FOR CHILDREN'S VEGETABLE RECIPES
Although the best option is always to eat them raw, steamed or roasted, we offer you some recipes so you can introduce this type of food to children who resist them.
- 200 g of broccoli
- 250 g of boliled potatoes
- 70 g of fresh cheese
- 2 tablespoons of powdered cheese
- 2 tablespoons of chopped parsley
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- •Olive oil for frying
For the bechamel:
- 200 ml of milf
- 25 g of flour
- 40 g of butter
- Salt, pepper and nutmeg
- Cook the broccoli in salted water for three or four minutes. Then, drain it, mash it with a fork and mix in a bowl with the egg yolk, tablespoon of oil, mashed potato, fresh cheese, powdered cheese and parsley.
- Then prepare the bechamel. To do so, melt the butter in a frying pan, add the flour and lightly brown it, mixing with a hand whisk. When it changes colour, add the warm milk and continue mixing. Add salt and pepper, nutmeg and leave to cook for a few minutes, stirring continuously, until the bechamel thickens.
- Next, add the broccoli mixture and stir until it is all mixed together. Cover with clingfilm and, when it has cooled, leave in the fridge for a few hours or, even better, until the following day.
- When you are going to make them, remove the film, take portions of the mixture and shape them with your hands; you can brush them with oil so they don’t stick. First, dip them in the flour, then the egg and finally, in breadcrumbs.
- Finally, fry them like normal croquettes.
- 4 large aubergines
- 1 jar of passata tomato sauce, or homemade passata sauce
- 2 cups of grated mozzarella cheese
- Peperoni, cooked ham, serrano ham or bacon
- Freshly chopped parsley
- Oil and salt
- Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC.
- Cut the aubergines lengthways and remove the insides.
- Next, using a frying pan on a medium heat, heat a little olive oil and cook the aubergine boats for approximately 8 minutes.
- Once the boats are ready, add the passata to them, place them on an oven tray and place mozzarella and the main ingredient you have chosen on top, along with the inside of the aubergine you have removed.
- Bake them for around 15 minutes, until the aubergine is cooked and the cheese is golden. When you remove them, decorate with chopped parsley.
Courgette spaghetti with their favourite sauce
This recipe can be combined with children’s favourite sauce: Bolognese, carbonara, topped with cheese, with passata tomato sauce... All of the options are good. The only thing that changes is the main ingredient: in this case, traditional pasta is swapped for courgette.
To do so, you just need to get some good courgettes and peel them properly. Then, to cut them, you can use a mandolin or a vegetable spiralizer. If you don’t have either, you can cut them into thin vertical slices with a knife and then make them into spaghetti shape.
In this case, make the sauce as normal and, in terms of the courgette spaghetti, you have various options of cooking them: you can sauté them in a frying pan with some oil until they are ‘al dente’, or cook them using a microwavable dish for 3-4 minutes, depending on the preferred texture. In both cases, drain them, since courgette releases a lot of water, and serve with your favourite sauce.