3 ways to sneak veggies into your kids’ meals
By Aimee Heckel
You’d think kids have no natural survival instincts. Some shy away from vegetables like they’re labeled with a big scull and crossbones.
Sometimes you just gotta trick your kids. You know, to keep them alive and stuff.
Here are three easy ways to sneak veggies in your kids’ meals.
For the cheese lover (doesn’t this cover every child ever?):
Mac and cheese. Grilled cheese sandwiches. Quesadillas. Pizza. It may seem like all your child eats is cheese, presented in slightly different forms. But put a veggie on the pizza and all chaos breaks loose.
The trick: Every week, buy a large butternut squash. Sunday night after you put your kids to bed, bake it in the oven until it’s soft. Then cut it up and puree it in the food processor. Spoon a bit of the pureed squash in every cheesy meal that week; fold it into a quesadilla, mix it into the mac. The great thing is pureed butternut squash looks just like that orange cheese that kids love, when mixed in well, and the slightly sweet taste will appeal to even the pickiest of taste buds.
Tip: If your kid notices a difference, keep it up. They’ll get used to it. Consider adding less next time, and slowly adding more over time.
For the red sauce lover:
Kids also love marinara, whether on a pizza, as a dipping sauce or on spaghetti.
The trick: Red sauce is awesome because you can blend plenty of other veggies in it and the taste and color conceal it well. Our fave is spinach. Just make sure you puree it well.
If your kid is obsessed with ketchup, make sure you’re avoiding the high-fructose bomb that is regular ketchup. Only buy natural, organic ketchups with no junk and sugar in them, like Annie’s ketchup Woodstock Farms ketchup from Vitacost.com. Save money at Vitacost with these coupons, plus 6 percent Cash Back from ShopAtHome.com.
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For the chocolate lover:
Whether it’s pudding snack packs, cake or brownies, a sweet tooth can sabotage your kid’s health.
Trick: Avocados. It’s hard to believe until you try it, but you can puree avocados and blend them into any different chocolate mixes, and you’ll never taste them. A simple recipe for pudding: Mix a pureed avocado with pure cacao powder. Add honey, if you need it sweetened. Tastes and looks just like pudding, but without all of the weird ingredients.
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