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Sneaky servings

Q. My kids don’t eat enough vegetables. Are there any kid-approved dishes that are easy to sneak in an extra serving — Ashley, Greenville

036-CJ-veggiesA. Ashley, this question has been around since I was a kid (which has suddenly become a long time ago). I can remember seeing advertisements on television (although my mother never bought them) for tater tots with vegetables either pureed or minced and cleverly hidden inside of them.

I’ve also heard this concern brought up about spouses — particularly husbands — who don’t eat enough fruits or vegetables. As you suspected, the most successful ways to hide or introduce veggies to the non-veggie eater is to incorporate them into other dishes.

I’ve had the most success with side dishes like rices and pastas where the flavor of the vegetable can be somewhat hidden by the flavor of the sauce. For example, rice pilaf, fettuccine Alfredo and good ole’ macaroni and cheese can certainly take on a variety of vegetables including onions, celery, carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, asparagus, kohlrabi and a host of others.

Soups and stews are other ways to sneak the veggies past the guard. Pizza is another idea, but I would suggest putting the veggies next to the sauce and then topping the pizza with cheese to shroud the veggies instead of putting the veggies on top of the cheese. Many a parent shares in your struggle, Ashley, and I hope I’ve given you a few ideas you can use!

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