18-36 Months: Eating with the Family - Meals without Tears (part 2) - Hidden Vegetable Tomato Sauce

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The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends vitamin drops for all under-twos . It’s a good idea to continue to give your child a multivitamin and mineral tablet if he is a fussy eater, as it will contain a little of all of the nutrients he needs for growth and development. “Drops” may be your best bet, because they reduce the potential risk of choking. If you go for chewable tablets, avoid those with sugar or artificial sweeteners.

Did you know…

that it can take up to 10 times for a food to become “familiar”? Before this, children may reject it completely, or experiment a little by touching or smelling it, and even licking it or putting bits in their mouths before spitting them out. This is all part of the process of acclimatization. Continue to offer the food until he shows interest. Be patient, though, and remember that we all have foods we dislike; as long as he’s eating more than he’s rejecting, he’ll be fine.

Hidden Vegetable Tomato Sauce

Tomato sauce is so versatile and I always keep a stash of it in my freezer to use with pasta, chicken, fish, or on pizzas. Since this is puréed, no one will ever know that vegetables are hidden in it.

10 minutes

26 minutes


8 child portions

  • 1 tbsp olive oil

  • 1 red onion, chopped

  • 1 small carrot, grated

  • 1/2 small zucchini, grated

  • 1/4 small, red bell pepper, chopped

  • 1/4 sweet apple, cored and grated

  • 1 garlic clove, crushed

  • 28oz can crushed tomatoes

  • 2 tbsp tomato paste

  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano

  • 1 tsp sugar

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan and gently cook the onion, carrot, zucchini, red pepper, and apple until softened but not browned, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute longer.

  2. Add the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, partially cover, and simmer gently until thick and all the vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes. Stir from time to time.

  3. Purée the sauce in a blender or food processor. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cool and refrigerate, or freeze in individual portions; when needed, thaw at room temperature. Reheat until piping hot, then cool slightly before serving.

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