How to Get Your Child to Eat Their Vegetables: Veggie Tikka Masala Recipe

Hello everyone! Long time, no post! I’m back with some new content that I hope you love and find helpful. In today’s post, I’m going to talk about my recipe for Veggie Tikka Masala (with lots of shortcuts and opportunities for customization!) and how this recipe can encourage your children (or, let’s be honest, some adults) to eat their vegetables!

I *sort of* made up this recipe as I went along and purchased produce I like from Trader Joe’s. I also purchased a pre-made Tikka Masala sauce from TJ’s (so it’s most likely not that authentic) but it tastes delicious! Here’s the ingredients that I used to make this recipe:

Ingredients:

  • Diced white or yellow onion (I purchase the pre-diced onion in a container)
  • Sweet potato ribbons (pre-made)
  • Fresh English peas (in a microwaveable steam bag)
  • 1-15 oz can of Garbanzo beans (aka chick peas)
  • Organic baby rainbow carrots (can use regular baby carrots or large carrots chopped)
  • 1 jar of Trader Joe’s Masala Simmer Sauce
  • Trader Joe’s Quick Cook 15 minute Brown Jasmine Rice
  • Trader Joe’s Garlic Naan flatbreads
  • Hummus

Recipe:

  • Start to boil water in a sauce pan for your rice. For cooking instructions for the rice, following the instructions on the packaging.
  • In a deep skillet or pan, melt 1 tablespoon of butter and put the sweet potato ribbons in (I did a couple of handfuls). Cook for about 5 minutes. Then, add in the diced onions (I’d say half a cup). Cook until they have sweated down.
  • Next, add in your carrots and garbanzo beans. Let those begin to cook and become soft.
  • I used microwaveable peas, so take this time now to microwave your peas. Then, once cooked, add to the rest of the vegetables in the pan.
  • Pour your jar of Masala Simmer Sauce into the pan. Fill the jar with water, shake, and empty those contents into the pan too. Cook until sauce is bubbling and all of the vegetables are fork tender.
  • Toast your naan bread in a pan, toaster oven, or oven.

Plating:

  • Spoon some rice onto your plate.
  • Then, spoon the Veggie Tikka Masala over the rice. Make sure to get extra sauce!
  • Spread your desired amount of hummus over the warmed bread.
  • Now you’re ready to eat! Enjoy 🙂

Why I Love This Recipe:

There are SO many reasons why I love this recipe! First off, it’s versatile and you can customize it to be your own. You can use any vegetables you like or that are in season. I just used ones I liked and that looked interesting and intriguing to me when doing my grocery shopping, but really any veggie goes! Pick ones your child(ren) likes, pick ones that look interesting or seasonal…you do you as far as it comes to choice of veg in this dish! I also like this dish because it’s so simple to make and doesn’t take very long at all to make (30 minutes or less!). It’s quick to make because of the pre-prepped veggies (like the onion already being diced, sweet potatoes already peeled and cut, etc.). If you don’t have prepared vegetables like I did, it doesn’t take *too* long to prepare veggies. Another reason it’s quick is because of the pre-made sauce. I think it tastes delicious (even though I know it’s not authentic and anyone familiar with authentic Tikka Masala sauce is probably groaning and rolling their eyes at that thought of Trader Joe’s making a Masala Simmer Sauce). Sauces are a great way to add flavor and to encourage your child (or picky adult eater) to eat their vegetables! It doesn’t completely mask the taste of the veggies (nor should it), but it does make it more palatable and flavorful.

So…What Role Do SLPs Play in Getting Kids to Eat Vegetables?

You might be wondering this exact thought! In the field of Speech-Language Pathology, there are 9 areas of focus that the SLP needs to learn about and have knowledge in (doesn’t necessarily need to be their speciality). The Big 9 are set by the American Speech and Hearing Association (ASHA) and one of them is feeding and swallowing. I’ve worked with children and have observed other clinicians working with clients that have food aversions, and many times it has been with vegetables or fruit. Part of feeding therapy is finding a way to introduce more foods into the child’s diet in a gentle and gradual way. One way to do this, whether you’re an SLP, parent, or caretaker for a child; is to find vegetables the child currently eats and incorporate those vegetables into dishes they already like or are willing to try. If you’re child LOVES pasta (who doesn’t!?) but has an aversion toward vegetables, try incorporating one vegetable they like into their next bowl of pasta or try using a pasta that’s made with vegetables (Barilla makes one).

Sometimes, presenting a new dish to a child can help! In this case, many children most likely haven’t tried Tikka Masala (bonus points and kudos to you if your child has!), and children like novelty. You can incorporate any veggie they like into this dish and introduce new ones as time goes on. If serving them something new backfires, know that it happens! Encourage them to at least take a bite and if they dislike it so much, it’s still a win that they even took a bite of something new with vegetables in it! If you’re still having trouble incorporating vegetables into your child’s diet, talk to a Speech-Language Pathologist. They might have some tips and tricks to help you out!

For those of you that would like to watch a video of the recipe being made step by step, make sure to check out this video on my YouTube channel under the same title as this blog, Bridget’s Speech Kitchen! In the video, I go through each step LIVE so you can see what I’m doing. I start with vegetable prep (like cutting my baby carrots into coin sized pieces) all the way through plating (as you can see, the final plate of the dish is in the video thumbnail!).

Thank you for reading this post–I hope you enjoyed it! Remember to subscribe to the blog and sign up for my email list (on the homepage) for more great content!

❤️, Bridget

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