For children to not only get enough vegetables, but also learn to appreciate and enjoy them, they need to experience eating vegetables many times a day. Being creative with vegetables and offering them as snacks will ensure children get enough of their vegies.
Here are some creative vegetable snacks that can be included in the centre menu or suggested to parents as lunchbox ideas:
Carrot*, zucchini, capsicum, cucumber, baby corn or celery * sticks (*crunchy vegetables can be softened by steaming for very young children).
Try these: hummus, mashed avocado and creamed corn, carrot and chickpea, beetroot, blended white bean and tuna.
Add creamed corn; spring onions; grated zucchini, carrot and cheese to the usual pikelet mix.
Fillings can include spinach and feta; baked beans; mashed potato and cheese; pumpkin and ricotta.
Fillings can include creamed corn; cheesy pumpkin; broccoli and cheese; chilli baked beans.
Cut into chips or wedges - parsnips, potatoes, carrots, sweet potato, beetroot and zucchini. Drizzle with olive oil and a little garlic powder before cooking.
Bubble and Squeak Patties
Mash up some pumpkin, potato, sweet potato, frozen pea and corn mix and grated cheese. Shape into patties and bake in oven for 10 minutes.
Serve individual portions in little cups with forks.
Try pumpkin, spinach and ricotta in filo pastry.
Vegie rice paper rolls
Wrap finely cut cucumber, carrot, bean sprouts and rice noodles in rice paper wrappers. Serve with sweet chilli dip.
Top toast, English muffins or small rolls cut in half with tomato paste (or blended baked beans) diced vegies, sprinkle with low fat cheese then grill for quick mini pizzas.
Cob of corn
Stick them on an icecream stick to make them fun.
Ants on a log
Fill sticks of celery with cottage cheese and sultanas.
Cup of home-made vegetable soup
Any vegie soup will do. Add croutons on top to make them interesting and fun.
Bread sushi rolls
Use wraps or plain bread with crusts cut off. Spread with cream cheese and a mix of grated carrot, chopped cucumber, lettuce and capsicum. You can also use vegie dips as a base spread.
Wrap asparagus spear in small strip of reduced fat pastry. Sprinkle with parmesan and bake for 15 minutes.
Coat florets in olive oil then sprinkle paprika and breadcrumbs. Bake for 20-30 min (turning once).
Cheese and grated vegetable mix spread on a tortilla which is then folded and toasted. Some great veg fillings can include: baked beans and cheese; grated zucchini, carrot and cheese, spinach and ricotta, hummus grated carrot and cheese; creamed corn, zucchini and cheese.
Add grated zucchini and carrot to meatball mix and serve as a snack.
Mixed Vegetable Kebabs
Try Sweet corn, capsicum, zucchini, mushroom, cherry tomatoes. Drizzle with olive oil and grill or BBQ. For safety’s sake use ice-cream sticks instead of skewers.
Vegie Noughts and Crosses
Cut bread into squares, spread with cream cheese and top cucumber or baby tomato circles on half of the squares and capsicum or cucumber strips on the other half of the squares. Use a mixture of white, wholemeal and dark rye breads to make them even more interesting.