For many parents, getting the little ones to eat veggies is no picnic. Let’s change that this Labor Day. These six kid-approved veggie recipes, from our kitchen and others, will be a picnic basket hit.
This Labor Day, let’s not make feeding the kids any more work than it should be. In fact, let’s make it a picnic.
We know, broccoli in a blanket may not sound like a day at the beach. However, there are ways to make veggies taste pretty good, pretty simply, in ways that travel well. Each of these recipes allows nutrition to piggyback on yumminess in festive ways. Enjoy!
Confetti Party Rolls
Pretty and easy to hold, these sandwiches can include whatever veggies your kids like. Try cauliflower crumbles and minced sweet pepper, or even carrot ribbons. You’ll need large tortilla shells, Neufchatel cheese (a low-fat form of cream cheese) and all-natural veggie dip or spread. Assemble up to a day in advance and store in the fridge for convenience. (Variation: add hummus.)
This egg dish, from People We Love (thanks JamieOliver.com!), combines healthy kale and butternut squash with rich cottage cheese. Other veggies can be substituted (broccoli and peppers, for example). Make ahead, slice and layer between sheets of wax paper for an on-the-go picnic treat. Feel free to serve at room temperature with an all-natural topper.
Stuffed Mini Cucumbers
Miniature cucumbers are just so darned cute they are practically a picnic requirement. This recipe, from Today’s Parent, removes the seeds and replaces them with a goat cheese filling. They are easy to carry and a cinch to make, because the cheese filling can be prepped ahead. Bonus: Cucumbers skins are rich in vitamin K, which is great for our bones.
Your kids should have as much fun pronouncing this dish as figuring out what that white cheese is. In fact, this recipe includes cauliflower “rice” as well as feta cheese, on top of antioxidant-rich apples and cucumber. A coating of almonds, along with the feta, gives it a salty contrast. Thanks to Chatelaine.com for a fresh, fast and healthy idea!
Sweet Potato Mac ‘n Cheese Cups
Sweet potatoes are crazy with vitamin A, a nutrient essential for kids because it boosts immunity. Combine that with vitamin C and potassium and you’ve got a super food. This kid-approved recipe, from Healthy Food for Living, serves the cheesy mac in muffin form, so you can bake it in advance. For added protein, mix in shredded chicken.
Veggie and Cheese Kabobs
Food skewers are versatile and easy, so there’s little wonder this dish on a stick holds up. Combine sliced veggies with cheese cubes, sausage chunks, even pineapple for a sweet-and-savory mix. The ingredients can be prepped in advance and stored in separate air-proof containers. Best part: The kids can help you assemble them. (Variation: subtract the cheese and the kabobs can be grilled.)