How to get your child to eat veggies

Arguably the biggest battle parents have is getting their children to eat their vegetables. When your little one looks you right in the eye, gives you a big smile and drops his broccoli over the side of his highchair, you know you're not winning the battle.


child to eat veggies

Today is a big ‘cook up’ day in our household. This means we’re cooking lunches and dinner for the next few days while I return to work. Usually these big cook ups involve big casseroles, slow cooker meals or some heavily sauced – meat recipe. This week is no different, but I am not cooking your usual meat heavy recipe – I am making a healthy choice by sneaking in some veggies too. The best thing about these recipe’s is that my 11 month old can eat them too! I just pull out some of the onion and he eats the same dinner as hubby and I!

Here are some old school meat recipes that have been turned upside down with sneaky veggies (meat and vegetable recipes). Keep an eye out for more (I also make am awesome meat/veggie lasagna from the Australian Institute of Sport)

Meat Rissoles with Sneaky Veggies


Super easy traditional rissoles turned into delicious delights by adding a few veggies. This is my mums recipe which includes a secret ingredient (home made relish – I will never tell you the recipe so stop begging!), and it’s delicious . We eat these all the time, maybe do a big cook up once a week and they last a couple of days. We eat leftovers in homemade burgers with the lot! They’re amazing! Here’s the super quick recipe

You will need:

  • 500gm beef mince
  • oil/butter for the pan
  • garlic bulb
  • 1/2 cup oats or wholemeal breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg
  • onion
  • veggies of your choice – we had grated carrot, grated sweet potato, finely chopped broccoli (but we usually have silverbeet) and some mushrooms
  • herbs of your choice – we had mint and coriander (as this is all we had this week)
  • Sauces of your choice – we always use soy sauce and sweet chilli, and usually I throw in a bit of tomato sauce or relish and Worcestershire (you can basically use whatever sauces you want)
  • 1 cup corn flour


Put all ingredients (except oil and flour) into large bowl. Mix with hand until combined. Roll into flattish balls, roll balls in flour and put in well oiled frying pan. Cook until meat is done. That is sooo easy it’s embarrassing.

For a paleo rissole option click here

Zucchini Slice with sneaky Vegetables Recipe

zucc slice 2You will need:

  • 5 eggs
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1/2 sweet potato
  • 1 carrot
  • 3/4 white onion
  • 1 garlic
  • 1 cup self raising flour (SRF) or coconut flour for paleo option
  • seasoning
  • cheese (optional but we don’t use it)


Heat oven to 180 degrees. Line slice tray or load tray with baking paper. Grate zuchini, sweet potato and carrot into a large mixing bowl. Add finely chopped onion and garlic to a fry pan and brown before adding it to the veggies. Add all eggs. Mix together. Sift in SRF and mix well. Season. Add mixture to tray and cook in oven for to-30 minutes.

Cauliflower Tabboulleh


I was pleasantly surprised when my toddler ate this meal. He LOVED it in fact!! It has cauliflower as the base with avocado, tomato, cucumber and capsicum. But I think the cumin and lemon dressing was the main reason he loved it. It really is delicious. See here for the recipe.

Traditional Spag Bol with Sneaky Veggies

spag bol

Another home favourite that we use for big cook ups. We cook spag bol as one of those ‘go to’ meals that are super easy and yummy. Plus when hubby is in the midst of triathlon training or has an event on the day before, then they’re really good. We usually cook this recipe and add a side of steamed vegetables as well.

You will need:

  • 500gm mince
  • onion
  • oil
  • garlic
  • dried herbs of your choice – we usually sprinkle some some cajun in and throw in a bay leaf
  • seasoning – salt and pepper
  • veggies of your choice – we used silverbeet or spinach, grated carrot, a small handful of finely chopped broccoli
  • Bolognaise sauce of your choice – we are lazy and don’t cook our own, so instead we buy Leggos Hidden Vegetables (yes more vegetables)
  • Tomato paste if you need it.


Cook your spag bol as you normally would, brown onion in oil, cook meat with spices and seasoning, add your grated veggies, then add sauce to simmer. I’m sure this isn’t the most Italian way to cook it but it’s super quick and easy for us. When we have more time we would cook out own sauce, but to be honest, when we have more time we usually don’t bother with a spag bol we’ll cook a traditional curry or some fancy pants salmon or something.

Traditional Meat Lasagne with Sneaky Veggies coming soon!

Do you have a sneaky veggie recipe? Please share…

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About Lauren Jackman (161 Articles)
Lauren Jackman is the author of Canberra Mummy. A self-confessed perfectionist, Lauren writes about the truth about pregnancy and parenting for perfectionist mummies. Lauren is a mum, wife, author, runner and a not a bad cook