Hidden Fruits and Veggies for Kids
Let’s play hide-and-go-seek with their daily vitamins
All moms treasure the memory of the first “solid” food they fed to their baby at around six months old. In fact, the first half year of feeding puréed vegetables and bite-sized fruit is full of enjoyment and anticipation, until the precious toddlers start making their own decisions on what (not) to include in their diets. Many kids go from eating pretty much everything to scorning vegetables in particular, as sweeter flavors become more accepted.
Naturally, parents worry about their kids’ health and nutrition. But even if your child rejects anything green and healthy, there are some simple ways to include an extra portion of vitamins in the dishes you prepare. That is by changing their consistency and making them less visible, or pairing them with other, more popular flavors. Here are some recipes you can try at home:
Most children who barely eat anything still love pancakes. The easiest way to making a pancake more nutritious is by dropping any sugar and adding a couple of spoons of grated vegetables to the batter. Zucchini, kohlrabi, and carrots are particularly suitable as they don’t alter the taste too much and add a bit of natural sweetness. Our zucchini-Parmesan pancakes are an even more grown-up version with added cheese and herbs. To start with, you could simply prepare the batter as you would normally make it, and start with one of the suggested vegetables.
Smoothies make it possible to serve your salad in a glass. Because of the banana, oranges, and grapes, this smoothie will taste predominantly sweet, while the arugula provides vitamins A, C, K, folate, and calcium without ever being discovered by your little ones. If you’re feeling brave to embrace the color green, also try our Kale and almond butter smoothie!
Children who are used to eating bread-coated finger foods like fish sticks or chicken nuggets will be open to the idea of the schnitzel. Traditionally, schnitzels are based on meat like veal or pork, but this clever version hides kohlrabi underneath its coat. Don’t even mention that there is a vegetable involved. Cut into strips if desired, and be surprised how well it will be received.
Dips are underestimated when it comes to selling vegetables, herbs, and spices to kids. They are not just great for dipping vegetable sticks in, but also great to spread on breads. Also, try our Whitebean and fennel dip!
Looking for a birthday cake or Sunday afternoon treat that offers more than sugar? These brownies are wonderfully chocolatey, yet there are made with a whole zucchini, which no one will see or taste! Fruit- and vegetable-based cakes like our Banana chia seed bread or Virtuous carrot cake are other healthier alternatives to ordinary cakes, featuring hidden fruits and vegetables to achieve sweetness and texture.
Pasta with tomato sauce is always a winner with kids. If you want to add some variety to the way you serve pasta, try our pasta verde recipe. Here, the pasta is prepared with a homemade basil- and arugula-based pesto. If you want to stay closer to your kids’ comfort zone, try our Homemade tomato sauce instead, and don’t be shy to add some chopped red peppers, mushrooms, or zucchini to increase their vegetable intake.
Many toddlers whose first solid foods were purées, remain fond of liquid nutrition. Soups are among the easiest ways to serve vegetables to them. The best thing is, they can be batch-cooked and frozen, to ease the pressure of serving a nutritious dinner on a busy working day. This pumpkin soup is super simple and sweet. The muffins show yet another way to enhance something as ordinary as bread with extra herbs and vegetables. The smaller you cut them, the better disguised they will be.
Any other tips how to make kids eat more veggies? Share your experience within the comments!
Published on September 11, 2017