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How to sneak vegetables in your recipes for fussy eaters

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Learn how to perpetrate the ultimate dinnertime deception with these NEFF recipe tweaks.

Every parent knows how difficult it can be to get their children to consume the recommended intake of five vegetables per day. Rather than present a plate full of leafy greens, perhaps you should take a more subtle approach.

We’ve put together a list of four ways to sneak vegetables into your child’s dinner and make sure they are getting all the nutrients they need, without a dinner time showdown. These dishes are so tasty that fussy eaters will never know that you have snuck vegetables into their favourite meals.

Give them the cheesy goodness they want

As these cold, wintery days start creeping into the weather forecast, it’s time to start preparing hearty meals to share with the family. And when it comes to winter warmers, it’s hard to go past a delicious dish of macaroni cheese. The baked dish is full of cheesy goodness, and its distinctive creamy colour, makes it perfect for camouflaging starchy winter vegetables.

For the truly tricky eaters, cauliflower blends perfectly with the pasta for the ultimate camoflauge. Or try adding pureed pumpkin to your mozzarella and cheddar cheese to make the tasty meal more nutritious.Here is a recipe for our three cheese macaroni, that you can prepare in one dish using your FullSteam Oven – how you add more vegetables is up to you.

Roll them up

A quintessentially Australian dish, sausage rolls are always a crowd pleaser. While it’s convenient to buy them from a supermarket freezer, and chuck them in an oven, nothing beats a homemade version, sprinkled with sesame seeds on top. These rich and flaky baked treats are perfect for vegetable smuggling as the flavour of the mince will overpower the vegetables. Finely grated carrot, zucchini and fennel will fly right under your child’s veggie radar while providing them with the valuable vitamins and minerals they need to thrive, even if they’re smothering them in tomato sauce. Click here for our simple sausage rolls recipe to use as a base.

Pizza night works a treat

Pizza really is a dish that is loved by people both young and old. While you will likely have no trouble convincing your children to eat a margarita pizza, you may have less luck serving a base full of mushrooms, capsicums, zucchinis and other roasted vegetables.

So why not put these wholesome foods in a food processor and blitz them until they become a thick paste that you can mix with tomato paste and cover in mozzarella cheese? Full of fibre, and good for the gut they’ll make your kids happy and healthy while not resembling vegetables in any way. Don’t worry, your secret is safe with us. Click here for our own pizza recipe.

Make dinner fun with meatballs

Have you got a little vegetable dodger on your hands? Don’t despair, meatballs will completely transform dinner time. They’re easy to make, pack nicely in lunch boxes and pair with so many sides making them a triple threat when it comes to feeding the kids. But what makes this dish truly incredible is how easy it is to hide veggies. Yep, get your trusty blender out of the cupboard and blend handfuls of carrot, zucchini and spinach.

The trick is choosing veggies without intense flavours so that your meatball still tastes like a real meatball. Serving them with twirly spaghetti and smoothing them in a rich sauce will also help your kids forget that there’s even a possibility of vegetables. Click here for our meatball recipe.

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