Packed with an abundance of vitamins and minerals, spinach is known for being super healthy, but serving spinach to kids has never been an easy task. The leafy texture and sometimes-chalky taste of can turn kids off, but having a package of fresh, pre-washed spinach on hand is one of my easiest weeknight shortcuts for incorporating a green veggie into dinner. And when I use this one simple—and somewhat sneaky—trick, my kids don’t seem to mind.
Or maybe they just don’t notice that they’re eating spinach. Either way, I’m just glad it works. Maybe it will for you too. Here’s how to get your picky eater to eat spinach in just two easy chop-and-stir steps:
1. How to serve spinach to kids: Chop!
Loosely fill a small food processor with fresh spinach leaves that have been washed and dried. If using pre-washed packaged spinach, which makes the job go faster, there’s no need to re-wash. I use the small food processor bowl that came with my hand blender, but you can also do this in a regular-sized food processor—and if you’re feeding a large family, you probably should. Pulse until finely chopped.
2. How to serve spinach to kids: Stir!
During the last minute or so of cooking, toss the chopped spinach into a pot of orzo, cut pasta, pearled couscous, farro, or any other grain that your child is willing to eat. You can also add the spinach to rice, though you’ll want to wait until the rice is done cooking; add it when you fluff the rice. Then toss with butter, olive oil, or a simple homemade vinaigrette and whatever mix-in’s you or, ahem, your picky eater likes. You can see my 2-year-old helping me stir above: She likes to add chopped cherry tomatoes, Parmesan cheese, and toasted walnuts.
So tasty and so simple.
It’s such a great trick that adds a boost of nutrition, flavor, and color. My kids are still a bit clueless when my husband sings, “I’m strong to the finich ‘cause I eat my spinach! I’m Popeye the sailor m—” at which point I just ignore him too. But hey, whatever it takes, right?