This week we’re looking at ways to get kids to eat more zucchini! (Last week we looked at tips to get your kids to get more cauliflower in. You can check out the post here.).
In the largest health and nutrition survey ever performed in Australia, called the National Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey, they found that less than 10% of Australian children actually ate the recommended number of servings of vegetables each day. Unfortunately, the numbers didn’t get much better as people got older…
In our meat and dairy heavy culture, people really underestimate the importance of vegetables. In fact, getting our 5 serves a day lowers our risk of so many common diseases, like heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, and some cancers.
So veggies are pretty important, I’m sure you’ll agree. Getting your kids (and yourself) to eat enough veggies, can be challenging. So I’m doing a special Veggie Challenge for May, where I focus on a different veggie each week.
This week we’re looking at Zucchini. Definitely not one of the most popular veggies, but it’s certainly my favourite to throw in recipes and dinners!
Health Benefits of Zucchini
Zucchini is packed full of vitamin A, which is essential for our eyes, reproduction, skin and membrane cells, and immune systems. A small zucchini will give your kids over half their daily vitamin A requirements.
They’re also packed full of vitamin C, which is essential for healthy immune systems, strong bones, and iron absorption.
Tips for Getting Your Kids to Eat Zucchinis
Let me just start by saying that my kids do not eat zucchini straight. But that doesn’t mean they don’t eat zucchini a few times a week. it is one of my absolute favourite ingredients to throw into baking and other recipes while I’m cooking.
So how can you use it?
Zoodles. Yep, zucchini noodles. My kids love making zucchini noodles with our spiralizer. These are another idea from the low carb community (like cauliflower rice from last week). I certainly don’t recommend low carb diets for kids (or adults) but you can mix zucchini noodles through their normal noodles or spaghetti for an extra serve of veggies for dinner. Tip: If you do the spiralizing with your kids, they’ll be a lot more excited about eating the zoodles.
Grated Zucchini: I put grated zucchini in everything. I’ve even found that if you peel the green skin off, you can actually add it to grated cheese in toasties. I put it in mince, stews, bread, muffins, slices, everywhere.
Zucchini Chips: My kids are less keen on this one, but I find if you do a batch of zucchini chips along with potato chips, the potato ones work well as a bribe for eating the others. To make zucchini chips, just cut them into long chip shapes, then bake or air fry until golden brown. You can add some spray oil to make them a bit crispier.
Recipes to Get Your Kids to Eat Zucchini
One of my kids’ favourite recipes is my Chocolate Zucchini Slice. Unlike most zucchini slice recipes, this recipe blends the zucchini so your kids will have no idea there’s zucchini inside. Although my kids actually love pouring the zucchini into the mix – they call it Hulk Juice because it’s so green!
Zucchini also works really well in dinners. Your kids will never guess this Lentil Bolognese is packed full of Zucchini (and lentils!), and the creamy sauce in my Creamy Pumpkin and Zucchini Risotto hides the grated zucchini well.
Top Nutrients for Vegan Kids
Want to learn about the most important nutrients for your vegan kids? Grab my easy guide to the Top 5 Nutrients for Vegan Kids below.