Crock Pot Recipes That Will Turn Your Kids Into Vegetable Eaters

You know that your kids need their vegetables, but they’re probably not so sure of it themselves. Convince them by sneaking hidden healthiness into kid-favorite recipes. How you may ask? With the help of one of the easiest-to-use kitchen gadgets: the crock pot.

What’s so great about crock pot cooking? Well, the flavors permeate the dish more fully than if you were to cook the same meal on a stove top, making it difficult to identify those pesky vegetable flavors. This, in combination with the softness you can get from even the toughest ingredients, makes slow cookers an ideal tool to overcome kids’ picky eating habits.

So pull out that crock pot (available at most department stores if you don’t have one, trust us, worth the investment!) and get cooking!

Chili with Carrots

chili photo shutterstock

This chili starts out healthy, with-low-fat turkey and lots of beans, then gets kicked up a notch with the addition of carrots. You can also add in a few stalks of celery.

Ingredients:
• 1.5 pounds of fat free ground turkey breast
• 1 onion, chopped
• 3 carrots, chopped
• 1 can diced tomatoes with green chilies
• 1 can tomato sauce
• 1 can black beans, undrained
• 1 can kidney beans
• 2 tbsp chili powder

Topping Suggestions:
• shredded cheese
• shredded cilantro
• low-fat sour cream
• scallions

Brown the turkey and onion in a skillet over medium heat before you add them into the crock pot. Cook on high for 6-8 hours.

* Adapted from Skinny Taste.

Mashed Potatoes with Cauliflower

mashed potatoes shutterstock

Even though it’s the main ingredient, your kids probably won’t even notice the addition of cauliflower in these mashed potatoes. Add in garlic or herbs, if desired, or mix it up with sweet potatoes.

Ingredients:
• 1 head of cauliflower
• 3-4 Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled
• 1/3 cup vegetable or chicken broth
• 1/3 cup low-fat milk

Chop the potatoes and cauliflower, and cook on high for 3-4 hours in crock pot. Add milk and broth. Use an immersion blender or food processor to mash them.

Mac and Cheese with Broccoli and Squash

mac and cheese photo shutterstock

Your kids will love this baked mac and cheese, but will never guess it’s loaded with calcium rich broccoli and squash.

Ingredients:
• 16 oz. elbow macaroni
• 3 cups grated cheddar cheese
• 2 eggs
• 1 can of evaporated milk
• 2 cups milk
• 1/2 stick butter, melted
• 1 squash, peeled, seeded, and diced
• 2 cups broccoli

Cook the macaroni until it’s al dente (follow package directions), and drain. Beat the eggs into the milk and place all the ingredients in the crock pot. Cook on low for 3-4 hours.

* Adapted from 101 Cookbooks.

Tacos with Spinach and Zucchini

The seasoning in your taco meat will easily hide the healthy spinach and zucchini in this recipe.

Ingredients:
• 1 pound ground beef
• 1 zucchini, peeled and sliced
• 3 cups of spinach
• 1 package of taco seasoning
• 1 onion, chopped
• soft or hard tortilla shells

Mix the ground beef with the seasonings, then place in the slow cooker with the veggies. Cook on high for 4 hours. Fill taco shells with favorite condiments, such as:
• shredded cheese
• cabbage or romaine lettuce
• avocado slices
• chopped tomatoes

* Adapted from Organic Thrifty.

All photos via Shutterstock

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