Fruits and vegetables are beneficial to children in a variety of ways. They provide your child with energy, vitamins, antioxidants, and fibre, all of which aid in the treatment of digestive and health issues. They can also assist your child from developing chronic diseases later in life, such as heart disease, stroke, and some malignancies.
However, most children do not consume the necessary five or more servings of fruits and vegetables per day. Dietitian, Department of Nutrition & Dietetics, KK Women’s and Youngsters’s Hospital (KKH), a member of the SingHealth group, Ms. Ong Jia Xin, believes it’s normal for children to be picky about what they eat.
Therefore, it is the responsibility of the parents to keep an eye out for their children leaving vegetables on their plates and to find inventive methods to incorporate them into their meals.
Having trouble getting started? Well lucky for you, we gathered 5 tips on how to sneak those nutrient-dense vegetables into your kids’ meals.
1. Make a smoothie
Kale and spinach, for example, combine almost perfectly into smoothies. This is an excellent technique to keep your vegetables hidden from your children. Simply add more fruits to the mix to give it a stronger fruit flavor that will distract kids from seeing the hidden vegetables.
You could also make a smoothie recipe and give it a cute name like the green monster to get your kids excited about drinking it. They’d be so preoccupied with the name and unusual color that they just might overlook the contents of the smoothie.
2. Substitute mashed potatoes with mashed cauliflower
Mashed cauliflower certainly does not taste like mashed potatoes, but some kids may not even notice it if it’s prepared in the right consistency. They’ll instinctively assume it’s mashed potatoes if it’s mashed and white.
You may also go the extra mile and add real mashed potatoes to the cauliflower to reduce the likelihood of them noticing the difference in taste in their mashed potatoes. Simply blend everything together until the cauliflower is almost undetectable.
You could even slip in finely cut cauliflower into scrambled eggs for breakfast to get your child’s day started right.
3. Mix them with macaroni and cheese
Adding a healthy quantity of pureed cauliflower, squash, or carrots to your macaroni and cheese, is an easy way to sneak in fibre and vitamins without being noticed.
Here’s a quick recipe.
- In a medium-sized pot, add water, cauliflower, squash, and carrots.
- Cook the vegetables covered, until they are soft.
- Blend everything together in a blender, including the cooking water, until smooth. Return the blended vegetables to the pot and stir in the milk, cheese, and cream cheese over medium heat.
- Stir until the mixture is completely smooth.
- Reduce heat to low, add macaroni, mix thoroughly, and cover for 20 minutes.
4. Cover them in pizza sauce
Pizza is a favorite among children, and it does not have to be unhealthy. This dish can be a nutritious dinner if it’s done with the right ingredients.
You can make your own pizza with a whole grain crust and a vegetable-rich tomato sauce (by adding pureed vegetables). So, if the pizza is done correctly, you can receive a fantastic blend of whole grains, protein (from the cheese and possibly toppings), and vegetables if you top it with a few more vegetables.
Remember to include your children in the pizza-making process by allowing them to choose their vegetable toppings. Not only is it a fun activity, but it’s also a wonderful technique to get kids to try new foods.
5. Hide them in their burgers
Adding cheese into homemade hamburgers are always a hit among children. Other vegetables like onions, peppers, or even spinach would go really well with burgers too. Your children might not even notice the thinly chopped vegetables if they’re placed between the meat and buns.
Furthermore, adding vegetables can enhance the burger’s flavor too. Even you could like this healthier option so much that you’ll never want fast-food burgers again. Give them a try!
So that sums up the 5 fun ways to sneak vegetables in your child’s meals. We hope we helped you learn something today. Have a nice day.