Monday, 13 May 2013

This week: sneaking in some spinach

Some of my favourite vegetables are in season at the moment and our veg box delivery is a particular joy when I see the likes of asparagus and spinach inside it. Unfortunately my one year old and four year old do not share my sentiments, usually turning their noses up at any green vegetable!

My mission therefore becomes how to cook with these vegetables in a way that will encourage my children to consider eating them. As I know I am not the only parent to have difficulties with getting green veggies into my children, I thought I would share the recipes that worked last week for me, all of which incorporated spinach.

First of all, I made some spinach and cheese muffins for lunch one day. It's a recipe from the The Hummingbird Bakery Cupcakes & Muffins cookbook. I found the recipe online if you fancy trying them. These looked very heavy on the spinach when I put them into the muffin cases but after baking, the spinach of course cooks down and they turned out well. The children loved them. My four-year knew they had spinach in but happily ate them.

Another day we had tostadas and I threw some of the spinach into the bean and vegetable mixture I made to top our corn tortillas with. The topping consisted of some spring onion, yellow pepper, a big handful of spinach and some black beans and pinto beans, seasoned with salt, pepper and cumin. These were quickly devoured and there was no mention of the spinach.

Pizza is not something I made this time round but because the tostadas are a similar thing with the topping and cheese sprinkled over, I'm sure you could include some spinach on a pizza and it be eaten up. I've done it with kale in the past and my son devoured it.

Finally, I made a lasagne and used up the last of my spinach. It was a bit of a different lasagne to what I normally make. It was butternut squash and leek, with the remaining spinach (loosely based on Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's butternut squash and fennel lasagne). The sweetness of the squash helped the spinach go down :-). Lasagne has always been a good dish for incorporating lots of vegetables and being a meal my children enjoy.

I hope you find the above suggestions helpful if you too struggle to get your children to eat their greens!

What are some meals you make with green vegetables that your children like to eat?
photo credit


  1. Sounds lovely, though my daughter can spot anything green that isn't broccoli from a mile away. She has the concentration of a forensic scientist when it comes to working out what's in her food, and only a few attempts at concealment have been semi-successful. But she will eat a plateful of broccoli, so I suppose that's a start.

    And we did have a breakthrough with cucumber, which of course led to 'baked cucumber' (courgette :))occasionally being acceptable, as long as I peel the skin.

    Baby steps....xx

    1. Yes, I know what you mean about the green veg radar!! I guess I don't really like to 'hide' vegetables and try to instead present them in a different way that they might be keen to try and hopefully like. That was the attempt with the muffins for sure.

      Baby steps indeed. It's right what they say about perservering with foods they dislike though and just like you had a breakthrough with cucumber, it often pays off.

      I do envy you having a child who will eat a plateful of broccoli though! As a vegetarian who eats a lot of veggies and loves green veg, it really pains me that my children tend to refuse them!! xx

  2. The muffin is a great idea! Broccoli and spinach were never an issue. I make spinach pancakes from time to time. Flour, eggs, mashed potatoes, and spinach. Yummy but green. :)

    1. Love the pancake idea, definitely one to try!


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