A healthy diet is so important for children. It allows them to have the proper nutrition to stay focused and fuel their brain so they can spend more time learning and growing!
Getting your kids to eat their vegetables sometimes takes creativity and persistence. But what if they don't even realize they are eating veggies! A pleasant disguise can be your best friend when it comes to a picky eater! Turn fruit and veggies into tasty treats with these tips for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack time!
Start the morning off right with these yummy morning foods:
- Fruit smoothie - combine seasonal fresh fruit and veggies in a blender. Add just enough milk or juice to make it liquid. Top it off with a little honey. Serve in a tall plastic glass with a thick, fun and colourful straw.
- Fruit-filled pancakes - Hide berries, grated apple and pulped banana in mini-pancakes or pikelets.
For that midday "pick-me-up" consider these clever veggie disguises:
- Veggie sandwich - always include veggies as part of your kids' lunch sandwiches. Whether it be grated raw carrots, slices of tomatoes or cucumbers, lettuce, and/or shredded cabbage - they add a crunch your kids will enjoy! Tip: If this trick doesn't have your kids fooled, try using avocado instead of butter as a sandwich spread.
- Tasty veggie-filled pastries - turn veggies into something sweet! There are tons of recipes online for carrot cake, zucchini bread and other sweet recipes that will have your kids thinking they hit the jackpot with this yummy lunch!
Make dinner easy by hiding veggies in some of your kids' favourites meals. Add chopped or blended veggies to dinner sides such as fritters, muffins or add them meals such as in pizza toppings or meatballs. Veggies can be hidden in almost anything... get creative!
- Roasted veggies - Veggies have a naturally sweet flavour when roasted. Try bringing out the natural sweetness of potatoes, corn, squash and carrots.
- Add something sweet - Add a dollop of honey or maple syrup to carrots, parsnips or other similar veggies. Or cook broccoli or cauliflower in sweet and sour sauce to sweeten them!
It is hard to keep kids healthy when they are looking for a quick snack. Most often they will go for what is most convenient. Unfortunately this is often chips, crackers and other non ideal foods. Try these tips to make snack time healthier.
- Dry fruit finger foods - Try these instead of crackers or chips!
- Frozen delights - Frozen foods are fun to eat for kids! Try freezing grapes or buying frozen berries to offer your kids when they get hungry.
- Sliced fruit - The key to sliced fruit is having them accessible for a quick snack - more accessible than chips or other unhealthy snacks. Prepare a fruit salad with cut up mangos, peaches or pears. Add oranges whose citrus will keep the bowl of fruit fresh. Always keep bananas, apples, oranges on the table for a quick grab!
- Veggie Dip -We are not suggesting the typical veggie dip that a child can eat an entire bowl of without eating a single vegetable. Make the veggies part of the dip itself! Cook mashed pumpkin, cauliflower, or avocado to make them the star of the show.