Spiralize And Inspire Your Kids To Eat Veggies (With An Easy Recipe)

Are you looking for new ways to inspire your kids to eat vegetables?  It’s so difficult. 

Perhaps you’ve tried hiding the vegetables in soup or tomato sauce.  But, like little bloodhounds, those kids sniff them out.  Nope – trying to fool them just doesn’t work and makes them more distrustful of other new foods.

But here’s a really fun way to get your kids cooking and eating vegetables:  try a spiralizer!

What is a Spiralizer?

A spiralizer takes a fruit or vegetable and turns it into long thin ribbons of perfect swirls of color.  Do a little cooking, add your sauce and you have a perfect meal, fit for the fussiest toddler!

And not only does the meal look a riot of color, it’s a lot of fun to prepare AND it brings out the best of the flavor in the vegetables.

 Learning to Love Vegetables

Every adult remembers their parents telling them to eat up their vegetables.  They’re good for you.  They make you grow big or they make your hair curl.

Nobody wants to be told what to do.  It’s much better if we can make our kids want to eat their veggies.

So, take a look at a spiralizer and see how beautiful it makes the veggies look.  Teach the children how to make them into really long ribbons or into great shapes and they’ll become invested in the meal.  Lo and behold, they’ll want to eat those veggies!

Easy Vegetable Dishes for your Kids to Help You Cook

Depending on how old your child is, you can get them to help you cook.  There is always something a child can do: wash the veggies, dry them, put them into a bowl.

It’s quick and easy to prepare. Choosing the color vegetable to eat makes it their creation and so easier for them to swallow. (Ha ha!)

If they’re old enough they can do the spiralizing.  It’s a lot of fun for the children to pull the spirals into a long line.  Who has the longest one? We like to dry our zucchini and the kids can have great fun doing that part of the work. 

You might try stealing some of ‘their’ vegetables to make them more desirable. Or tell them they’re not allowed to eat them.  There’s nothing like a prohibition to make something incredibly alluring!

Super-easy Vegetable Recipes for Kids

You can make SO many different meals from the basic recipe.  All you do is choose a vegetable (that is going to take the place of pasta).  Spiralize it and cook it in a spoonful of oil and its own liquid.  (Instructions for today’s recipe below.)

Make the basis of a sauce by frying up onions or leeks and garlic.  Then add your chosen vegetables cut into chunks, such as tomatoes, mushrooms, pumpkin, cabbage or asparagus.  If your kids don’t like lumpy things, whizz the sauce with a blender until smooth.

You can add any protein the kids fancy such as beef (for a sauce bolognaise), fish, chicken or even some grated cheese!  Finish off with different garnishes, such as cilantro, parsley, nuts.

Here’s the Recipe for Zucchini Spaghetti

Ingredients:  for 2 adults and 2 children

  • 3 medium to large sized zucchini (or more if you want)
  • 1 tablespoon of butter or olive oil (if you prefer)


  • Big pan
  • Spiralizer
  • Spatula
  • Knife for chopping

Preparing the spaghetti:

Wash the zucchini and dry them.  Cut off the knobbly ends.  If you want to you can peel them but I never do because I like the color it adds to the dish – a perfect edging of green plus the extra vitamins.  Fit the zucchini onto the spiralizing attachment and then spiralize.  (It seems like magic so be sure to get the children to watch!)

Take the spiralized zucchini out of the holder and spread it out to dry it.  (This is a great job for children.)  My husband dries it on paper towel but I prefer drying them by rolling them up in a clean tea towel.  (Some people don’t dry them at all!)   Put it into a bowl ready to use.

The Sauce Ingredients:

  • One leek or a big onion
  • 1 clove of garlic (if your kids don’t object to it)
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 8 medium sized mushrooms
  • 2 handfuls of frozen or fresh prawns (optional)
  • A handful of fresh cilantro (coriander leaves)
  • 1 – 2 cups of vegetable or fish stock (you can use stock cubes or mini stock pots)


  • A thick bottomed saucepan or frying pan
  • Spatula

Wash and then chop up the leeks/onion and garlic

Wash and chop the mushrooms and cilantro (or the ingredients of any alternative sauce that your kids might have chosen) and leave on one side. 

If you want to make any other sauce then just substitute a different ingredient.  For example, tomato sauce goes down well with children so add tomatoes or even easier, just pour in a tin of tomatoes or a carton of passata and adjust the amount of stock that you add. 

For a really simple recipe to start with, you could chop up some apples and simmer them until soft.  Then mash or blend them into an apple puree, perhaps with a little honey and simply serve the apple sauce on the zucchini spaghetti.  You can tell the children it’s what the Swiss eat when they’re up in the mountains.  (It’s like the classic  Älplermagronen or Mountain Macaroni.)

Cooking the sauce:

Put the tablespoon of oil or butter into a non-stick pan on a medium heat.  As it heats, add the chopped leek or onion and garlic.  Stirring from time to time, fry it gently until the leek or onion are beginning to soften. 

Add the mushrooms and prawns (if you’re going to use them) and fry gently for a couple of minutes.  If necessary add a touch more oil or butter until they are starting to get golden bits on them.  (Adapt this step according to your chosen ingredients.)

If you’re going to blend the sauce to make it smooth, then remove the prawns if you’ve used them and put them on one side and tip in the vegetable or fish stock.  Blend the vegetables until a thick sauce consistency. (Omit this step if you’re happy with a sauce with pieces of vegetables in it.)

Allow the sauce to cook on a low heat, giving it a quick stir now and then, whilst you cook the zucchini spaghetti.

Cooking the zucchini spaghetti:

Using a big non-stick pan (I use our ceramic frying pan), gently heat the second portion of oil/butter.  Add the zucchini, and on a medium heat, spread them out.  Keep moving them round the pan, turning them over from time to time. 

Water will ooze out of the zucchini.  Allow it to evaporate by turning it over.  The zucchini is done when its water has just about bubbled away but before the zucchini has browned.  It takes about 3 or 4 minutes or a bit longer according to how much spaghetti there is and how well done you like your vegetables. 

Putting your Delicious Meal Together

Go back to the sauce and add back the prawns or any other cooked protein you’ve chosen.  Check that all the ingredients are cooked and hot.

Add in any salt and pepper to taste.  Sprinkle in a little of the cilantro.  If you want a cream sauce, then stir in the cream and mix it whilst heating it gently without allowing the sauce to boil.  Keep stirring until the cream is thoroughly mixed in and hot.

Serve the zucchini onto plates or bowls and ladle the sauce over it.  Sprinkle each serving with plenty of cilantro and if you wish, add in a squeeze of lemon.


Inspiring Spiralizing for Family Cooking Fun

If you haven’t eaten spiralized food, you’re in for a treat. (Never mind the children – it’s fun for grown-ups too!)

It’s really satisfying to cook dinner with the kids, even if they spend a lot of time playing with the ‘spaghetti’.  Making food together is an incredibly bonding activity and the kids will learn loads!  Plus, try sneaking in some lessons about vegetables.

Even if the children don’t eat the results, if you keep trying, they‘ll get the hang of it.  (Well, perhaps not always, I have to confess that my son never has and will not eat onions although he concedes that he doesn’t mind them if they’re blended in and he can’t see them!)

Aim to have fun making zucchini spaghetti and be sure to have lots of laughs when you eat them too, and your kids will be inspired into loving their vegetables.

About The Author

Rosemary Bointon is a certified content writer who helps people work out what to do now to live longer, in better health, with more fun and adventures. 

You can find all her contact details on: https://linktr.ee/RosemaryLonglifeFunLife

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25 thoughts on “Spiralize And Inspire Your Kids To Eat Veggies (With An Easy Recipe)”

  1. What a fantastic idea! My best friend struggle so bad with her son, he doesnt like veggie at all! I will pass it on her, it might really help. I would love to try that zucchinhi meal, it looks delicious, thanks for sharing.

    1. My children were dreadful when they were little. There was one famous incident (in our family) when I served them Cheese Soup. My son really disliked onions. I’d had a dinner party and some leftover French onion soup, so I blended it to death, covered it with bread and cheese and browned it under the grill and served it as cheese soup. He asked if it had onions in it to which I replied that it was made of vegetables with toasted bread and cheese on top. (No telling lies!!!) He wouldn’t eat it. In the end, I had to confess!!

  2. That recipe looks fantastic. I will be certain to give it a try. Speaking of zucchini, I currently have a lasagna in the oven with sliced zucchini instead of noodles. We have a type 1 diabetic grandchild so am always looking for ways to keep the carb count lower throughout mealtimes. Have you tried zucchini lasagna?

    1. Deb, yes, although I don’t spiralize it but chop up the zucchini lengthways and as thin as possible. Our preferred veggie lasagne is made with aubergine (eggplant). We slice the aubergine thinly then cook it in an airfryer whilst we make the sauce. Then we assemble it with sauce and cheese on top. It’s easy to make vegan one if you’re so inclined too.

      I hope you enjoyed your zucchini lasagna!!


  3. Spaghetti squash is another great substitute – good one Cheyenne! My spiralizer didn’t cost much at all. Why not see if you can get one on offer on Black Friday which will be coming up all too soon.! Rosemary

    1. Hi there EKUFAA, Well I live in Portugal so the brands that we get here might not be the same as you have. There are a few pointers I can give you to look for.

      First, if you’re eco-minded, get a hand one. I think they are more fun for children to use too. However, mine is electric. The next thing is the size of the part where you place the vegetable – normally it’s like a funnel leading down into a bowl. If it’s very small you have to chop the vegetable in the first place which means that the spirals are much shorter. Think of a beetroot for example. They are quite fat but turn into the most beautiful spirals because of their colour. But much messier for you if you have to cut it up plus the spirals are uneven. Doing cabbage can be quite difficult with narrow funnels too although it is better for longer narrower veggies like carrots.

      Then look at the size of the bowl – will it hold enough for say a family of four or will you have to keep emptying it?

      Next, take a look at how it fits together. Is it easy to set up? Fiddly things don’t get used. I have to say ours is quite simple and we put the parts into the dishwasher afterwards to wash.

      You might go for one that produces more shapes and different cuts but ours is a basic model. I do recommend buying the most robust one you can as the cheaper ones just aren’t as good usually and don’t last that long.

      Have fun choosing!

  4. Mmmm, the sauce recipe sounds delicious and I bet it truly is when put together with zucchini spirals.
    I have a small, hand-held spiralizer, almost as a pencil sharpener with side blades, so it cuts several spirals at once. The problem with it is that, as you say, it is too narrow and really suitable for a carrot or a smaller cucumber. I’ve never thought about it as a way to feed children vegetables, though. I’ll keep it in mind for my grandchildren, when I’ll have them. Nevertheless, I’ve been thinking of a normal-sized spiralizer for a long time now, as we try to avoid pasta, so the zucchini spaghetti would be just great! Thank you for this wonderful idea.

    1. I’m so delighted that you’ve found the article useful Kerryanne! We are grandparents too. I like to think that the struggles I went through with my children had some effect because my son’s daughter ate salad as though it was a bit treat right from being quite tiny (and still does!) and one of my daughter’s daughters is a vegetarian and has been since she was 8 years old. But a spiralizer makes for easy meals for any age! I’ve got a mixer but really we only use the blender and the spiralizer.

  5. This is such a fun way to encourage kids to dig into their veggies. I am a HUGE fan of using a spiralizer even now, as an adult. We often make veggie ‘pasta’ rather than picking up the traditional options. Not only does it taste amazing, but it also carries so many great nutritional benefits!!

  6. We can all do with a few staple meals that are quick and easy, (I used the word zucchini because that seems to be the common term, but we call the vegetables themselves courgettes like the French whilst the US uses the Italian word.) Nice point to raise, Rosie!

  7. I don’t have children but I like the sound of this recipe myself! I own a hand-held spiraliser but I always forget to use it – this has reminded me and I will be spiralising some veggies soon!

  8. I recently tried spiralizing vegetables for the first time and I found it so fun! I’m sure that they would make vegetables much more fun for children to eat and enjoy x

  9. Thanks Cathy. I can 100% see you whizzing up a spiralized zucchini dish just as quickly and beautifully as you wish up your beautiful illustrations for your journals.

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