Good culinary resolutions: how to make children eat more legumes

Good culinary resolutions: how to make children eat more legumes
Source: IPA

A nice idea to be included in the "To do list" to always look after and pamper the children at their best, an excellent idea to include is: "eat (and feed the children) more legumes".

The second step, having activated goodwill, is to understand how to put it into practice: to facilitate you on this virtuous path, here is five quick and easy recipes suitable for children of all ages and the whims of those who just can't swallow vegetable proteins, plus some trick to make beans & co. more digestible and palatable.

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Tortillas with mashed beans

In the book "I don't eat vegetables!" (by Giuliana Lomazzi, red!) i red beans are proposed as a condiment for a dish with a Tex-Mex flavor, tortillas (much better than those eaten in fast food restaurants).

In addition to pureed legumes, tortillas are stuffed with seasonal vegetables: why not make dinner more fun and bring to the table an assortment of different vegetables from which each member of the family can help themselves by composing their own personalized tortilla?

The author proposes artichokes, carrots, celery, lettuce in spring as an accompaniment to this unique dish; in summer tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, spring onions; curly endive, carrots, turnips, celeriac in autumn; raw spinach, slices of Jerusalem artichoke, cabbage in winter.

In general "to make legumes more palatable - as recommended in the book - blend and mix with chopped oil seeds or mashed potatoes and use the mixture to make meatballs or hamburgers».

It would also be a good idea alternate the different types of legumes «Giving preference to the more digestible ones such as broad beans and chickpeas. Remember that i legumes should be soaked overnight, rinsed and cooked well (it is forbidden to serve them al dente, for both children and adults) ».

Ingredients for people 4

  • 8 ready-made tortillas
  • 220 g of dried red beans
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon of dried thyme
  • raw seasonal vegetables to taste


Soak the beans in cold water overnight. The next day, rinse them and put them in a pressure cooker with cold water, cooking them for about 40 minutes from the whistle (alternatively, cook them for about 90 minutes in a normal pot). Drain them (keeping the cooking water aside), let them cool and blend them with the peeled garlic, thyme, salt and a little cooking water until a thick purée is obtained, to be seasoned with oil.

Peel the vegetables, cut them into sticks and heat the tortillas for about 5-10 minutes in the oven. Stuff each tortilla with the bean puree and vegetables and roll up before eating immediately.

To always use the red beans but make a delicious one hummus, just blanch a can, blend them and add two generous spoonfuls of tahini sauce, as explained on

Mammarum chickpea meatballs

Chickpea meatballs

One of the ways to feed the children is to give funny shapes to food: Mammarum knows this well and in fact has transformed delicious chickpea meatballs into cute little bears, simply cutting out the dough with a cookie cutter. If you prefer, however, you can also give it the classic round shape or use a different mold, it's up to you and possibly your children, if you involve them in the preparation.

La recipe is very simple, there are only chickpeas and boiled potatoes, and for this reason it lends itself to being enriched with herbs and spices, to give a different flavor to these meatballs every time.

Ingredients for people 4

  • 300 g of dried chickpeas or 400 g of cooked chickpeas
  • 1 medium potato
  • 1-2 tablespoons of flour
  • Salt to taste
  • Breadcrumbs to taste


Soak the dried chickpeas overnight and boil them until soft or, if using canned chickpeas, simply rinse them thoroughly under cold water and blend them with a blender.

Also boil a potato and purée it with a potato masher.

Transfer the chickpeas and potatoes to a bowl, add a tablespoon of flour, season with salt and mix until smooth.

Pour onto a surface covered with baking paper, cover with additional baking paper and roll out the dough with a rolling pin until it reaches a thickness of about 5-6 mm. Cut out with a cookie cutter and pass each "meatball" first in the oil and then in the breadcrumbs.

Bake for about 15-20 minutes in the oven at 180 degrees.

Also Read: 13 Alternative Protein Foods To Red Meat For Babies

Ceciata: a focaccia made with chickpeas

One of the reasons why we tend not to consume legumes is that they can cause inconvenience more or less annoying to the gastro-intestinal system. In the book "Lunches and snacks. Many good recipes from weaning to 6 years"(By T. Valpiana and M. Parona, red!) A trick is revealed to make them more digestible:" they should cooked with a piece of kombu seaweed and / or a pinch of aromatic seeds (anise or fennel), salted only after cooking, consumed in the right quantity and chewed very well. With these precautions, we usually avoid, even in children, those annoyances, such as meteorism, which could arise due to an unsuitable bacterial flora ».

The recipe from the book, on the other hand, is one of many variants of farinata or cecina: a low and moist focaccia made with chickpea flour, to be eaten instead of bread or enriched with vegetables as a fake omelette.

The flavor of chickpea flour is delicate, easy that even the youngest children who are not yet accustomed to too strong flavors will like it.

Ingredients for 2-3 servings

  • 2 glasses of chickpea flour
  • 750 ml of cold water (approx.)
  • 2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1-2 tablespoons very finely chopped rosemary (optional)
  • sale


Mix the chickpea flour with cold water with a whisk and let this batter rest for a few hours. Eliminate the foam that may have formed on the surface, add salt and add the oil and possibly the rosemary.

Pour the ceciata into a large, lightly greased baking pan, the ceciata must not be more than half a cm thick.

Bake in a preheated oven at 200 degrees until a golden crust has formed on the surface.

Pasta with lentil ragout from Who stole the tarts?

Pasta with lentil sauce

A good plate of pasta usually pleases the whole family. Instead of the usual gravy, why not try a all vegetable ragout, but as much protein as meat? The recipe is taken from the blog Who stole the tarts? and it was (ap) tested by Elena's two-year-old daughter, the author: a guarantee that everyone likes this lentil sauce.

The recipe is for large quantities, but what is left over it can be frozen, in order to have a "meal saver" always at hand.


  • 1 large carrot
  • 1 onion
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 60 g of dried tomatoes
  • 1 can of peeled tomatoes
  • 1 can of tomato puree
  • 250 g of dried lentils
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 bay leaf


Cut the carrot and onion into small pieces and brown in a little oil. Also add the peeled garlic clove, chopped dried tomatoes, peeled tomatoes, passata, lentils, cloves and bay leaf and cover with about 300 ml of boiling water.

Cook the lentil ragout covered over low heat for about an hour, until the lentils are soft, possibly adding more water if necessary. Season with salt at the end of cooking, if necessary.

Veggie burger: a tasty and very healthy sandwich

One of the classic ways to make children eat more legumes is to offer them in the form of foods that they love very much. THE citizen for example - to be served both on the plate and in a nice sandwich, as in the case of this recipe in the book "Children's cooking”(By L. Rossetti and CC Cagnin, Blu Edizioni) - they are an excellent solution. The other huge benefit of this recipe? It gets ready in no time, just blend the ingredients in a blender and that's it.

Ingredients for 4 servings

  • 400 g of cooked lentils
  • 50 g of bread
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon of chopped chives
  • Salt to taste
  • pepper to taste
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 4 sandwiches
  • 4 slices
  • salad leaves


Put lentils, egg, chives, salt, pepper and chopped bread in a blender and blend until smooth. Obtain four equal burgers from this mixture, giving them the shape with your hands, and bake them in the oven for about 7-8 minutes at 200 degrees lightly greased with oil: the burgers are ready when a golden crust has formed.

Once baked, place a thin slice on each burger, so that it melts with the heat of the meatball.

Then compose the sandwich adding the salad and tomato and possibly some sauce.

  • recipes for children
  • food
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