Struggling to just get your kid to eat one measly pea, let alone ACTUALLY enjoy eating veg is a challenge many parents will face throughout the developing years. If your little one is a beige food fiend then you need some hidden veg recipes in your arsenal… food writer, author and mum to Rudy, Natasha Corrett knows a thing or two about turning fussy eaters into proper foodies. Inspired by her own journey with weaning and cooking for her son, her new book, Family Kitchen, aims to share some of hers and Rudy’s most-loved healthy recipes with other parents. Below we’re sharing 3 healthy recipes from her new book that feature hidden veg that will not only please your child but also you!

CHOC CHOC SPINACH SMOOTHIE

MAKES 1 LARGE OR 2 SMALL SMOOTHIES | PREP 5 MINUTES

Rudy calls chocolate ‘choc choc’ and he is obsessed like me! So I like to try and find ways that indulge him while also getting in some hidden veg. Also great for me when I get a chocolate craving.

Ingredients

80g cucumber

30g spinach

1⁄2 pear, cored

30g dates

3 tbsp raw cacao powder 500ml (2 cups) milk

1⁄2 banana

ADD-ONS

1 tbsp cashew or almond butter

swap the banana for 1⁄2 avocado for extra greens

Method

1. Put all the ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.

GREEN WAFFLES

MAKES 2 WAFFLES | PREP 10 MINUTES | COOK 5 MINUTES

I’ve always been a fan of waffles but never had my own waffle iron until now. What was I waiting so long for, I don’t know! This is a game-changer in the morning to make a really quick brekky. I make the batter the night before and just pour into the waffle iron in the morning.

Ingredients

35g butter

2 handfuls of spinach

150ml (generous 1⁄2 cup) milk 1 egg

160g gluten-free self-raising flour (add 20g more for self-raising wheat flour)

1 tsp baking powder 1⁄4 tsp salt

2 tbsp maple syrup, plus more to serve

ADD-ONS

nut butter, desiccated coconut and sliced banana

fried egg and baked beans

Method

1. Melt the butter in a saucepan and add the spinach, cooking until wilted. Put into a blender with the milk, egg, flour, baking powder, salt and maple syrup and blend until it has a velvety texture.

2. Heat the waffle iron until it is at the optimum temperature.

3. Pour in the mixture so it covers the whole surface. Close the lid for 4–5 minutes or until the top goes golden.

4. Serve with maple syrup or nut butter, desiccated coconut and sliced bananas or for a savoury fix, eat with a fried egg and baked beans.

HIDDEN VEG AND LENTIL TOMATO SAUCE

SERVES 4–5 | PREP 10 MINUTES | COOK 1 HOUR

This is my absolute go-to sauce for Rudy, packed with veg and lentils. I use it as a bolognese, lasagne and everything in between. We ALL love this as a family and often bring it out when friends come to visit on the weekend.

Ingredients

1 tbsp olive oil

1 garlic clove, diced

1⁄2 red onion, diced

1 tsp ground coriander

75g butternut squash, peeled and diced into 1⁄2cm cubes

30g carrots, diced into 1⁄2cm cubes

50g red pepper, diced into 1⁄2cm cubes

40g courgette, peeled and diced into 1⁄2cm cubes

50g aubergine, peeled and diced into 1⁄2cm cubes

30g mushrooms, diced into 1⁄2cm cubes

1⁄2 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes 200ml (3⁄4 cup) water

50g red split lentils

2 tsp tomato purée

2 tsp tamari

2 tsp vegetable stock powder 1 bay leaf

Method

1. Add the olive oil to a non-stick pan over medium heat and sauté the garlic and onion for 1–2 minutes, then add the ground coriander.

2. Add all the chopped vegetables with the tinned tomatoes, water and lentils. Reduce the heat to a low temperature and stir.

3. Add the tomato purée, tamari, vegetable stock powder and bay leaf and stir. Leave on a low heat and stir intermittently so the bottom doesn’t burn. Cook for 40–50 minutes, depending on when the lentils are soft.

4. Blend until you have a very smooth, velvety ‘tomato’ sauce. Freeze or refrigerate.

Family Kitchen: Simple Healthy Meals for Everyone out now.

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