Most people agree that adding vegetables to their child’s diet can be a bit of a challenge. Even if your child loves vegetables, they probably have a few favorites that they like to stick to and they are probably more than a little bit hesitant to try something new. If you try to add a pile of kale or Brussels sprouts to their plate at dinner time, you may find they aren’t as flexible as you once thought.
And then there are some children that just completely refuse to eat vegetables of any sort! If you even approach them with a spoonful of corn or a few baby carrots, you may be met with a screaming match. If that’s the case, it’s time to get creative in the kitchen. Everyone needs vegetables in their diet, even if they’re disguised.
So, how can you get started adding veggies to your child’s meal? It’s fairly simple.
- The easiest way to add vegetables to your child’s diet is by making a healthy smoothie. Throw in their favorite strawberries and bananas. and then on top of that add in a handful of fresh baby spinach, a little bit of kale, or some beets (which won’t even change the color). As long as you don’t add a lot, they will never know the difference. And, they may ask you for them over and over again. That’s how good they are!
- Make pancakes or waffles using pureed butternut squash or pumpkin. Add a dash of cinnamon and nutmeg and top it with freshly sliced strawberries. The kids will love the taste and won’t even care that they’re pumpkin-spice flavor. You can do the same thing with muffins, soft-baked cookies, or even a quick bread.
- Make a pizza! My kids love pizza and, even when I add tiny chopped up tomatoes and shredded spinach to the sauce, they still ask for seconds. You probably won’t want to put huge chunks of vegetables on your child’s pizza but they may be okay with small pieces hidden in with the sauce and the cheese. And, even if they aren’t, tomato sauce has tomatoes in it.
- Shred it and hide it. You can shred lots of vegetables into very small pieces and hide them in your child’s favorite foods. This works well when you make meatloaf, meatballs spaghetti, lasagna and a variety of other Italian dishes or casseroles. The key is to shred it very small and try to match the color to something else in the meal.
So, I hope I’ve given you a few ideas for how to hide vegetables to encourage the kids to eat more.