I’m sure you know how important it is to get your kids to eat their vegetables. If only they understood that too! Vegetables are acquired tastes for most people. Many of us refused them when we were younger too.
Until the taste buds develop, however, it’s still important to get them inside your kids. If you create a pattern of eating right early in life, they’ll carry that with them forever. Here are some ways you can sneak vegetables into your kids foods.
1. Mix up a smoothie – Smoothies are great for kids because you hide anything inside them and they’ll never realize. Most smoothies start with a base of Greek yogurt and orange juice. The orange juice gives the smoothie a citrus taste that overpowers most other flavors, so you don’t have to worry about adding other flavors your kids find unpleasant. Add super healthy foods like kale, kelp, mushrooms, carrots, cucumber, zucchini, spinach, avocado, fennel, and flaxseed.
2. Go with cheesy cream sauces – Every kid loves cheese. It’s a universal thing. Cheese is a great way to add healthy fats and protein into kids’ diets, but you can power it up by adding vegetables. Cook your preferred vegetables so they get super soft and easily blend in with the thick cheese and cream. If you get your proportions right, they’ll only taste the cheese. Try this with pumpkin, mushrooms, beets, spinach, zucchini, squash, carrots and mushrooms.
3. Hide vegetables in pasta sauce – Just like the cheese sauce, you can hide vegetables with tomato sauce. The acidity overpowers most other flavors. Again you’ll want to overcook the vegetables they mush right into the sauce. If you serve meat in the sauce (like ground beef, turkey or pork), they’ll have no idea they’re eating vegetables as well. Use the same vegetables you did with the cheese sauce.
4. Cook stews and soups – Have you ever made a big pot of soup or cooked something in a slow cooker? When it’s done, everything is tender and basically tastes like the same thing. Use that to your advantage. Pick a type of meat they like and let it sit with the vegetables for six or eight hours. Everything will take on the flavor of a meaty broth. Create vegetables for this are mushrooms, onions, beans zucchini, olives, green beans, and carrots.
5. Make casseroles – You can add vegetables with mild flavors to casseroles very easily. Zucchini and squash are the best for this, but you can also cook most of the flavor out of mushrooms and sweet onions. Layer these vegetables alongside the other ingredients of your casserole, especially near any sauces or creams.
How do you get your kids to eat their vegetables?
Written by Karen Barski, BSN, RN, Mother of five, Certified Infant Care Specialist & Instructor, & Inventor of the Woombie Baby Swaddle
Karen has been an RN for 22 years, and has worked in many different nursing roles. As a Certified Infant Care Specialist, Karen counsels thousands of families yearly on a multitude of issues relating to pregnancy and infancy. Also, as a mother of five, she has invaluable experience and tips to share.
Since 2007, Karen’s company, KB Designs, has invented a line of signature baby swaddle products that have helped parents easily transition their new babies from womb to home. There are multiple designs and sizes so that babies can enjoy the comfort and security of the Woombie up until the time they begin to roll.
Each product has been created and designed by Karen because of a need she identified in her life with her five children. With convenience, safety, and fashion in mind, KB Designs has helped over a half million babies and counting!
For more information, visit www.woombie.com.
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