We understand that children can be fussy eaters at times. The sight of a vegetable can create a battle we don’t want or need.

With that in mind, we’ve crawled the healthy food pages (so you don’t have to), tested the suggestions and put together our favourite techniques that we found work!

Tip 1: Blend and hide!

Blending steamed or boiled veg with a hand blender or food processor and then mix it with mashed potato, add a little butter with a little salt and pepper and you’re good to go. The best veg to hide in this clever mash is – cauliflower, turnips, swede or parsnips. These veggies are easier to hide in the mashed potato and provide a great vitamin and mineral boost to your child’s dinner. However, experiment with different veggies and see how you get on; you never know broccoli mash might be a winner, especially around Halloween – slime, monster mash or frog mash – you really can have a lot of fun with it.

Try mashing carrot on Bonfire night for a fiery looking potato bonfire on the plate. Stick in a sausage as Guy Faulkes.

Spaghetti bolognese – we’re yet to meet a child that doesn’t like spaghetti bolognese, it’s a perfect dish to hide a variety of vegetables in. A great tip is to cook the vegetables, so they’re soft enough to blend. Then use a hand blender or food processer and mix the blended veg into the bolognese sauce and cook with the other ingredients as normal. You can also use a potato masher if you don’t have a blender.  You can use as many different types of veg as you like. Our mums in the office have tried and tested this tech

Tip 2: Add a dip!

Who doesn’t like to dip a raw carrot stick or a slice of pepper?

A great healthy and fun after school snack, you can use shop-bought dips or make your own healthy version that is inexpensive and easy.

We found some tasty recipes on these websites for dips and tried them out ourselves, and they’re delicious. Why not give them a try and let us know how you got on, we’d love to see pictures of your creations and hear about your experiences.

Child-friendly hummus| myfussyeater.com
Salsa Recipes | pbs.org
Guacamole| skinnytaste.com

For a healthy treat try this chocolate dip for pudding and serve with apple and banana slices and strawberries.

Avocado Chocolate Dip| fitmittenkitchen.com

Tip 3: Smoothies, smoothies, smoothies!

The thing we love about smoothies is – you chuck all the ingredients in, whizz for a couple of minutes and you have health in a glass! Can you get any easier? We love that you can hide veggies in with fruit and the kids don’t know any different.

Try blending blueberries with spinach and banana add milk or any nut milk or any dairy-free milk and whizz it all up. Easy!

A two-coloured smoothie is fun, and we found a recipe on damndelicious.net for this tasty strawberry and kale smoothie (sounds like it would be gross right? But it’s delicious!).

Find the recipe here:

Strawberry, pineapple & kale smoothie| damndelicious.net

An apple, carrot and celery smoothie looks vibrant and fun but also provides a lot of minerals and vitamins and counts towards your five a day. Place a chopped apple, chopped and peeled carrot and half a celery stalk into a blender, throw in some ice and water and blend for 1-2 mins, a yummy refreshing drink in the summer months.

The best thing about smoothies is you don’t need to follow any recipe you can experiment with different fruits and vegetables and go with what works for you and your family.

One more fantastic thing you can do with smoothies – pour them into ice-lolly moulds and freeze them. A healthy ice-lolly for those hot days or for those winter evenings when the children really, really want a lolly!

We hope this article has inspired you to try some of our tips.

If so, please let us know how you get on, we’d love to see photo’s of your creations and may even show off your creativity on our Facebook page – (with your permission, of course).

Lynne Wilson-Bailey

Lynne Wilson-Bailey

Office manager at Ideal School Meals