Ok crunchy mom, I see you.
After months of arranging vegetables into smiley faces, offering up veggie dips and flying carrot stick airplanes, your little one still rejects veggies with a closed mouth (and by throwing them across the room). It’s overwhelming, tiring and frustrating for most. I completely understand!
It can be discouraging when you’ve tried everything in the book to get your kid to eat well. You can try all the usual tricks, but getting your child to enjoy vegetables out of hand can feel impossible. But it is important that you push through and continue to teach your child that veggies are an important part of their diet. Until your kid grows up and gets the picture, you may have to experiment with a few sneaky solutions in order to get them the fiber, minerals and other nutrients they need in their meals.
You can deny it all you want, but when you were young, there were foods you gave your parents a hard time over. I like to call this “parenting karma” :-)
I took a vote from the Renzo’s team, and the top 4 most hated veggies from childhood are:
- Brussel Sprouts
Does this list sound familiar to you? It should. These are the top four veggies hated by kids!
Encouraging your children to eat vegetables is important, but it is also important for them to see you enjoying vegetables as well! And in the meantime, you can make your meal a little more nutritious with the subtle addition of a few “extras” that no one ever has to know about.
Here are a few food tricks for picky eaters you can try:
Sauce it up
Pairing a healthy wheat pasta with some pureed vegetable sauce is a great way to pack in veggies into a meal. You can do this with tomato for a basic tomato pasta sauce, or you can switch things up with a butternut squash. Or you can combine to make your own custom sauce. Store bought sauce? No problem, simply puree the veggies you want and add them right in. You can hide a lot of vegetable in a sauce, so feel free to get creative!
Mash it down
Mashed potatoes are probably one of the easiest foods to hide vegetables in. Most kids don’t have a problem eating them, so a lot of parents have success here. You can pretty much blend in anything into potatoes, but the key to making it look the same so your kid doesn’t notice you added anything. For standard white potatoes, veggies like cauliflower, zucchini, and squash all work great! If you are using sweet potatoes, you can blend in steamed carrots, corn or other similar-colored veggies to add those extra nutrients.
Make it a smoothie
Smoothies are by far the best way to get your kids to “eat” vegetables. Because smoothies usually contain fruit, it is a super sneaky source for hiding the not so sweet taste of vegetables. The variety of smoothies you can create is endless, but the goal is to still allow the fruits to shine. Veggies that work well in smoothies include carrots, beets, spinach, and kale. Just make sure to choose fruits that your kids actually like so they will want to drink it - even if it has a few vegetables inside.
Grate it to pieces
Grated food can really help a parent out when it comes to hiding vegetable in different dishes. Not only does a grater change the overall look of the food, but it also helps change the texture of the food so you can disguise it better. You can easily slip grated vegetables in with quesadillas or grilled cheese sandwiches - it will go unnoticed with all that melted cheese, trust. You can add grated veggies such as zucchini or carrots to muffins, pancakes or bread without affecting the texture. You can even add grated veggies into meat patties or meatballs and your children won’t even notice!
Good luck moms!
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