There was a time when my daughter would eat anything I made for her. Veggies twice a day, everyday, for months – easy as that. I knew other mums who were dealing with fussy toddlers and felt smug knowing that I didn’t have that challenge.
But one day, right around the time she started wanting to spoon feed herself, I lifted the spoonful of veggies to her mouth and she squeezed her lips together and turned away. I tried again, and again, but she wouldn’t open her mouth. I wanted to cry.
As though overnight my daughter had become… fussy.
These days she’d live on vegemite toast and mandarins if I let her, but I’ve found a meal she loves that I can sneak lots of veggies into – bolognese!
Here is what you’ll need for my Fussy Toddler Bolognese with Hidden Veggies:
500g lean mince – pork, beef or mixed pork & veal
1 medium brown onion, finely chopped
400g tin whole peeled tomatoes
1 cup stock – chicken beef or veggie
1 Tbls tomato paste
1 Tbls bolognese herbs/ Italian herbs (from dried herbs section of supermarket)
2 Tsp salt
2 Tsp sugar
Freshly ground black pepper
ADD any combination of the following veggies:
1 medium carrot cut into 1/2 cm cubes
1/2 medium eggplant cut into 1 cm cubes
1/2 medium zucchini cut into 1 cm cubes
1 cup finely chopped mushrooms
* The smaller you cut the veggies, the less noticeable they’ll be in the bolognese.
Soften the onions on medium heat in a large heavy bottom pot. Turn the heat up and add the mince, stirring until browned. Add all other ingredients and stir. When the bolognese is bubbling, reduce to a simmer and put lid on. Simmer for an hour, stirring regularly to help the veggies break down and ensure that nothing sticks to the bottom of the pan. Add a little water if it starts to look dry. You want it to be quite saucy. After an hour, the veggies should be broken down and barely visible in the bolognese.
Serve with spiral pasta or macaroni with cheese on top.
Makes enough to feed at least 2 adults and 2 kids, or you can portion it out into little pots and freeze for a quick meal on standby.