If you struggle trying to get your children to eat their vegetables, you are NOT alone. Parents have been struggling with this issue for decades, and every year more and more new and unhealthy kids’ foods are introduced to us and they make the battle even more difficult. Here are a few ways to sneak some veggies into your kids’ dinners without them even noticing.
Kids love mashed potatoes, mostly because they’re so creamy. Unfortunately they are also laced with starch and carbohydrates, and usually smothered in butter and salt. Have no fear though! The next time you serve mashed potatoes for dinner, boil a package of cauliflower as well. Don’t be afraid to overcook it so it is a little mushy. Strain the water and drop it into a blender of food chopper, and blend until it has a smooth and creamy texture. Blend the cauliflower mixture into the mashed potatoes. Another white nearly tasteless vegetable you can blend into your potatoes is parsnips.
Kids love spaghetti, or “Sgetti” as Honey Boo-Boo likes to refer to it as. Considering it’s fairly simple to prepare for busy parents, it’s a very common dish in most households. Instead of just heating up a jar of Ragu, you can dice up several tomatoes and maybe even slip a finely chopped green pepper into the sauce and your children won’t think twice. Although it seems tedious to add raw tomatoes and cook them into the sauce, you’re doubling its vitamins and nutrients!
Zucchini and squash are nearly flavorless vegetables unless they are enhanced with certain seasoning; however they are jammed with important vitamins and nutrients. Meatloaf is a great opportunity to hide a few veggies. When you’re seasoning the meat add some shredded squash and zucchini, not only will it be undetectable after it is baked, it will help keep your loaf from drying out.
Kids love taco night, and you should too because this is a great time to fill them up with veggies! Everyone tops their tacos with shredded lettuce, usually iceberg, which is more water than it is nutrients. Don’t be afraid to shred some romaine lettuce or spinach leaves in with the iceberg, the odds of anyone noticing are slim to none. Also, opt for some home-made salsa instead of a jar from the store loaded with sodium. You can make all natural salsa at home with a blender, just add tomatoes, onions, peppers (hot peppers if your kids can handle them), and some tasteless yellow summer squash for color and presentation. Toss in some black beans and corn and you’ll have corn or bean salsa!
Vegetables for Desert
No, that’s not a typo, you can sneak veggies into your kids’ deserts. A great example is pumpkin pie. Instead of purchasing a can of pie filling, check the internet for some quick and simple pumpkin pie recipes, most kids forget pumpkins are even part of the vegetable family.