By David H Urmann
Vegetarian meals are healthy nutritional supplements for your kids. Most kids prefer meats and sweets over vegetables. Experiment on cooking meatless recipes for kids for better nutritional value.
Vegetarian meals entails are meatless. It is rich in vitamins, minerals and fibers. Find ways to incorporate vegetarian meals in your children's diet to make them grow healthier and stronger..
Kids are generally picky and refuse to eat vegetables. Prepare meals with vegetables subtly included to make kids enjoy eating vegetables.
Vegetables can be cooked through stir frying, steaming, and sautéing, without losing the key nutrients. They are good sources of Vitamin A, B and C. Some minerals found in vegetables are iron, iodine, zinc, calcium and selenium. Children who regularly eat dark green vegetables and beans develop more red blood cells in their bodies.
Here are some tips when preparing vegetarian meals for kids: * Modify the kid's favorite recipe. Use soya-based meat equivalents for a meat-free meal. * Let your kids pick vegetables in your backyard and let them wash it. Getting them involved in cooking is positive reinforcement. * Have fun making designs of boiled veggies on a plate with your child. * Add vegetables to burgers. This is similar to one of the fastfood joints which provide "vegeburgers" and bean burritos. Also try making patties out of vegetables. * Cook oven-baked fries instead of fried.
Sample recipe- Veggie Burgers: Mix the following: o 1 grated carrot o ½ cup collards o 1 tbsp. sesame seeds o 1 beaten egg o ½ tsp. black pepper o 1 tsp soy sauce o 2 ½ cups of cooked rice or millet
Thoroughly mix all the ingredients. Shape it into small sized patties. Fry this until it becomes golden brown. Bake at 400 °F on a baking sheet for about 10 minutes per side.
* Use herbs, spices and seasonings to add flavor to the veggies, especially when the taste is bland * Incorporate vegetables subtly. Mince them in a food processor or blender and add to soups, sauces, or pasta. * Melt butter or olive oil into breadcrumbs and sprinkle it over steamed veggies. * Add minced vegetables in baking breads, cakes, muffins, and pizzas, along with honey and maple syrup. * Make a refreshing drink using pureed vegetables. Kids would not even know that it has veggies. * Prepare pasta salads along with diced vegetables and veggie mayo or dressing. * Grill some veggies such as mushrooms, carrots, and cucumbers.
Meal Samples: Breakfasts o Banana soy milk smoothie with almond and tahinis o Granola-type cereal with dried or fresh fruit and soy milk o Pancakes with maple syrup, walnuts and slices of
fruits o Muffins made from whole grains having honey spread, tahini and fruit juice
Lunch o Tabouli salad with hummus in pita pocket o Tofu burger with vegan mayo and whole wheat bun o Lasagna with veggies (cauliflower, carrots, olives and mushrooms)
Salads o Potato salad o Avocado salad o Bean salad o Marinated tofu salad
Dinner o Stir fried vegetables with canola or olive oil & nuts o Pasta dish of pesto sauces (made of basil leaves)
Children's repulsion to vegetables is often seen as just psychological. Find ways for children to enjoy eating vegetables. Cook meals that children normally like, and incorporate veggies without losing the meaty taste. After all, children who eat veggies are healthier and develop stronger immune systems.