Delicious Vegetable Stir-Fry Recipe (Kid-Approved)


Giovanna's dad was a brilliant Italian chef. As a result, Giovanna has a great interest in cooking delicious and nutritious food.

The finished vegetable stir-fry.

The finished vegetable stir-fry.

A Vegetable Stir-Fry That Your Kids Will Devour

I developed this recipe in an attempt to get my vegetable-hating son to eat more vegetables, and it worked! (You can read the full story on that below.)

It’s fast and very easy to stir-fry vegetables, which is a real bonus! And you don’t need a wok, although this adds a bit of drama in the kitchen. And, of course, you can add all sorts of things to the stir-fry recipe, like cooked chicken or fried tofu.

You can buy bags of vegetables in the supermarket that have already been sliced; these are great because they have bean sprouts, which are a vital ingredient!

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

20 min

10 min

30 min

4 servings


  • soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of oil (any will do)
  • bean sprouts
  • sesame oil (optional)
  • sesame seeds (optional)
  • carrots
  • white cabbage
  • green leafed veggies (any will do)
  • onion
  • garlic
  • mushrooms
  • courgettes
  • other vegetables, according to your preferences


  1. Slice all your vegetables thinly. Aim to make them all the same size.
  2. Put the oil in your wok or skillet and heat until it's really hot.
  3. Add the vegetables and soy sauce—not too much soy sauce, because it's quite salty. You can always add more at the table.
  4. Keep stirring for 5 to 10 minutes. Keep the heat high. The vegetables should be crunchy!
  5. Add a few drops of sesame oil while it's cooking—this gives it a more authentic Chinese flavour.
  6. Serve immediately.

What Do You Think of the Recipe?

A Funny Story About My Son and Vegetables

My son has been really fussy about eating vegetables since he was about 5 years old. When he was very little, I made sure he ate plenty of veggies; he was almost completely vegetarian.

Then something terrible happened: He started nursery school, and I stupidly decided to let him eat school lunch. I cringe now when I think about it because I can’t believe that I trusted the state school system to feed my son!

They served up what I call ‘brown’ food—chips, pasta, pies, etc.—with the choice of some green vegetables, and children (as young as 4!) were trusted to line up and choose what they wanted to eat. Of course they didn’t bother with the green stuff!

Peer pressure soon kicked in, and within days, my son was telling me that vegetables were disgusting! He just refused to eat them. So I had to give him packed lunch instead of a hot meal. But, believe it or not, the damage had already been done. He hated vegetables from then on.

The Lettuce Disaster

When I say my son didn't want to eat his vegetables, I mean he really did not want to! But he seemed to enjoy lettuce. So I religiously prepared him a lovely bowl of crispy lettuce every evening with his meal. His chair was nestled by the sofa in the corner of the kitchen overlooking the garden. I left him to eat in peace, delighted that at least he was eating some green food!

Some time later, I noticed that we had some unwelcome visitors in the kitchen—no, not mice, but snails! There were shiny trails all over the kitchen floor! Very odd!

At first, I picked them up and took them back into the garden—I could just about cope with that! But one morning, I came down in my bare feet and crunched one in between my toes! Yuk! The snails had to go!

Later that day, I pushed and heaved the sofa away from the wall, and there it was, to my utter horror: my son's lettuce! He'd been hiding it behind the sofa and not eating it at all. He told me he had pet snails that were getting fat!

Son 10, mum 0—what a slippery child I had reared!

Finally, the Stir-Fry Recipe Worked!

This recipe was a bit of a breakthrough. We decided that it wasn’t the vegetables he didn’t like, but the texture. If you think about it, boiling the life out of something and then serving up as it as a mush isn’t very appetizing.

So we tried him with stir-fried vegetables! Guess what? It worked. He actually cheers when they’re on the menu! He is now 14 years old, and he will very happily eat stir-fried vegetables—huge amounts, in fact—and so will his friends! We also make my son fresh green juice every day.

Do you have any ideas about how to get kids to eat more veg? Please leave a comment. Thanks very much indeed for your visit.

© 2014 Giovanna


Giovanna (author) from UK on October 05, 2014:

It makes me laugh to think that he had us all totally fooled and he was so young too! I still have a battle to get him to eat green vegetables like spinach, which is annoying because they are so good for you. So we make him drink homemade green juice - poor thing! lol!! Getting our own back on him and the snails! Thanks very much for your visit. I really appreciate it.

Glenn Stok from Long Island, NY on October 04, 2014:

What a wonderful story about your son and the snails. I never would have guessed the outcome. I actually believed he was eating the lettuce. But in the end, it nice to know he did indeed like the stir fry. I happen to love stir fry myself. I make it often using all sorts of veggies. That should be an interesting trick for anyone trying to get a young child to eat his or her vegetables.

Giovanna (author) from UK on October 02, 2014:

I am very fussy about mushy things and my husband loves them! He's Scottish and so he loves porridge - yuk! I have leave the kitchen when he eats that! I love crunchy things and my son, well he changes his ideas every Saturday!! lol Thanks for your visit. :)

Lori Colbo from United States on October 02, 2014:

The story about your son is hilarious. I know what you mean about textures. My son had a bit of autism and food textures were a constant problem. He would always say "This (fill in the food) has plastic in it." I soon learned it was the texture of the food. It came down to he would only eat spaghetti, tacos, and chili, and anything with berries. Or he would like a food for a very short time and then decide he didn't like it anymore. It ruined holiday cooking when it was just he an I. funny thing is, now he is 22 and his favorite food is sushi -YUCK! He'll eat just about anything now.

I love a good stir-fry so will put this one in my recipe file.

Giovanna (author) from UK on September 19, 2014:

Great! Thanks very much indeed for your visit.

CherylsArt on September 18, 2014:

I think this a great idea. I've made more traditional stir fries with rice before, but I think I'll make up a batch with just the veggies next time. Thanks. : )

Giovanna (author) from UK on September 17, 2014:

That's good to hear. Thanks very much indeed for your visit.

Tony Payne from Southampton, UK on September 17, 2014:

I love my vegetables and I love stir fry as well. The only thing I don't like is mushrooms, but I would eat any other vegetables at any time.

Giovanna (author) from UK on September 09, 2014:

Thank you very much indeed fro your comment. I hope you enjoy it.

Ahdilarum on September 09, 2014:

This is a very simple recipe and you made this beautiful and tastier one, I have to try once.

Greensleeves Hubs from Essex, UK on September 07, 2014:

I can empathise with your son! I've always been a chips, pasta and pies type of person, but I do recognise the need for something a bit healthier in the diet. However, for me it's got to be simple - more than one frying pan or saucepan to work with and I start getting confused :)

Vegetable stir fries certainly fit the bill. Easy, and certainly healthier than many other quick, simple meals, and with the option of different ingredients and sauces to add variety.

Giovanna (author) from UK on May 31, 2014:

@BodyHairRemoval: We love it in my family. Thanks for the visit and comment.

BodyHairRemoval on May 30, 2014:

Yummy this looks really good!

Giovanna (author) from UK on May 19, 2014:

@ecogranny: Wow! That's great -thanks so much for letting me know. I'll look it up now. So chuffed!

Giovanna (author) from UK on May 19, 2014:

@ecogranny: Thanks Grace - I hop they eat it hem all up and ask for more! My son had his this evening and he was very satisfied!! Thanks for your visit and comment.

Kathryn Grace from San Francisco on May 19, 2014:

P.S. It's now the Recipe of the Day on Cooking with Whole Grains & Whole Foods on Facebook. Check it out! https://www.facebook.com/pages/Cooking-with-Whole-...

Kathryn Grace from San Francisco on May 19, 2014:

Your veggie bowl looks so good! Thank you for sharing it. I agree with you. Kids don't like mushy vegetables. Give them slightly cooked, cruncy-tender vegetables that are as fresh and vibrant with natural color as they can be, and they'll gobble them up. I will try your recipe.

Giovanna (author) from UK on May 10, 2014:

@Merrci: I think they're delicious too! Thanks for visiting.

Merry Citarella from Oregon's Southern Coast on May 10, 2014:

I think these sound wonderful for all ages. Love stir fry, and bean sprouts! I'm so glad it worked for your son.

Giovanna (author) from UK on May 07, 2014:

@Lady Lorelei: I must admit that I find them rather tasty cooked this way too! They are more crunchy and sweeter.

Giovanna (author) from UK on May 07, 2014:

@Elsie Hagley: My son and his friends really enjoy Chinese style food, and the soy sauce and sesame give the whole dish that slant. They also like the vegetables to be as crunchy as possible. I shall certainly read your lens. Thanks for the visit and the comment.

Lorelei Cohen from Canada on May 07, 2014:

I can see how kids would like the thin vegetables. I have always said that it is because vegetables take so long to chew that kids don't like them. Tiny bites are much easier to eat and a lot more fun. Almost like snack food. I think I would enjoy my veggies this way too.

Elsie Hagley from New Zealand on May 07, 2014:

interesting article. I have been trying to get children to eat their vegetables for years, I have now given up as a great grandparent and let them eat what they want.I have a lens also about children and vegetables. suggestions-to-help-children-enjoy-vegetables. interested just add the Squidoo.com in front.

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