My 5 year old is a fussy eater. I have established the fact that she will eat pasta, we mix it with other things.
What is the most nutritious pasta known to man but fairly easy to find?
Agree with Mike, that whole wheat is good. If you make your own fresh pasta, you can really vary the dynamics by including purees of spinach, beets, carrots, etc. It might take a little experimentation due to the moisture content of the juice but it can definitely be done with a little water and food pro, or if you have a juicer, all the better.
Kevin, we also have a little one who loves pasta. Seems like when there's nothing he wants to eat we can always cook some pasta and he'll eat that. We try to vary with whole wheat pasta but also kamut pasta, quinoa pasta, buckwheat pasta (soba noodles), etc...
A carbonara sauce is pretty good - use lean bacon (trim off all the fat), parmesan cheese is good because you don't need much as it is packed full of flavour. Or if parmesan is not on the menu at the moment, a diet cheddar cheese. Pretty much the same flavour as full fat cheddar, it works for us as we don't always have parmesan in the fridge. Don't need to use full fat cream either, replace it with the lower fat version.
Spaghetti bolognese is great. You can hide grated carrot, spinach, butternut squash, finely diced mushrooms, onions, tomatoes - all sorts of things. What they don't know will be good for them! I generally aim for 7 veg.
As to wholewheat pasta - I've not had any success (hate it myself), but it could well work for you. Even the tri-coloured spiral pasta could become a favourite as it is colourful, and has veg inside the pasta. I'm pretty sure (correct me if I'm wrong) that it uses wholewheat as well.
Or, take cooked/fresh lasagne sheets and turn them into ravioli. That way you can sneak lots of good things in there :) And get a nice fresh sauce onto it, helps it go down more easily.
As Leeniek mentioned you do need to vary the diet, even though pasta seems to be a big favourite with your child. Try things like canned tuna and mashed potato patties. I don't know if soup is an option, but you can get so many veg into a pureed soup it ain't funny! And banana and yoghurt smoothies - they are terrific nutritionally. I often add canned peaches/apricots to them as well. great for the adult/s too. Although its probably not the season where you are for them, but they taste good anytime I reckon.
Ok, I've gotten slightly off track, I'll give someone else a turn.....
Spaghetti is great as another poster has mentioned. I can include all kinds of vegetables in there and the little ones are none the wiser.
I also make a simple lemon cream sauce with a light cream cheese that is interesting in flavor; more calories, but nowhere near as bad as an alfredo sauce. I will typically put in roasted corn, roasted red peppers, etc. Another easy, delicious way to get some vegetables in there.
Also, I'm sure you've tried this, but a trick that seems to work for us: Cook with the little ones. If they're watching and participating, they're more receptive to trying the fruits of their labor.
A few people have mentioned vegetable pasta such as spinach, beet, and tri-colored, not trying to be a know-it-all, merely educational, but the different colored pastas are about the color and nothing else. A side by side nutritional analysis will reveal very little difference.
On a strict nutritional basis, of course dependent upon what you are looking for, quinoa pasta is a very good choice across the board.
you can also mix in actual vegetables in place of the pasta. Spaghetti Squash requires no real tweaking. But seed out some zucchini and you can cut it fine or run a zester along it the long ways to create zucchini spaghetti. Same with carrots. It's more fragile and cooks differently of course. Taste is different too. So either mix it in with the normal spaghetti or see if it confuses the issue enough for them to eat it straight.
Don't focus on it being pasta necessarily either. Stir fried noodles and noodle soups are good mechanisms for increasing variety. Stay heavy on the vegetable additions.
I would take the best of all the above. prep it ready and let your wee one "make it him/herself"
Children are far more open to healthy and experimental eating when they are involved in the prep. Even if it's only mixing in the pre-prepped components.
It does work. Trust me.
If you can in involve them in the prep too, even better