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Family-friendly vegetarian meals

As a dietitian and a mum-of-2, I often hear the familiar complaints from other mum.'My child just won't eat vegetables', 'I have tried everything. They just won't eat anything green.'. You would notice that this list doesn't contain a lot of 'greens' however they are full of vegetables and legumes. Key is perseverance. Make these vegetarian meal a normal family meal - not a 'special' meal so kids get used to the idea of meat-free meals as a delicious meal on its own.

Here are some tried-and-tested vegetarian recipes from my own family that may help yours:

1. Vegetarian lasagna

Got a family favourite lasagna recipe? Simply replace the minced meat with black beans or lentils. Use any calcium-fortified plant-based milk to make the white sauce if you can.

2. Gado-gado

This is an Indonesian-style warm salad consist of mainly boiled Asian vegetables, green beans, tofu, cucumber and peanut sauce. Find the recipe here. Skip the eggs and the shrimp paste for those who are vegan.

3. Tacos

This has to be one of my little one's favourite and I have written it in one of my previous blogs. Again black beans are used instead of the minced meat. Sometimes we use papadums instead of taco shells as papadums are bite size and much thinner than tacos. Easier for little mouths and if you kids are missing a tooth or so.

4. Rice paper rolls

Rice paper rolls are so versatile. All your really need is to chop of all your vegetables - capsicum, cucumber, grated carrots, broccoli florets, flavoured tofu stripes, beansprouts - whatever vegetables you fancy. You will probably need to help your children re-hydrate the rice paper with some warm water. Otherwise, they can fill in whatever fillings they like and it is a lot of fun. As with dipping sauce? I would use a sweet chili sauce which is mild enough for little ones.

Try this on a Saturday or Sunday night when you have a bit more time up your sleeve.

#vegetarianmeal #familyfriendlymeals #veganreceipe

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Shirley Chan

Consultant Dietitian 

Accredited Practising Dietitian

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Shirley Chan Consultant Dietitian ABN 41 009 192 602