Fewer things in life are harder than trying to get your kids to eat vegetables. But of all the things you force your children to do for their own good, eating vegetables might be the most important. A diet high in fruits and vegetables has been shown to influence proper growth and development and reduces the risk of childhood illness and hyperactivity disorders. Here are five sneaky ways to get your kids to eat their vegetables without a fight.
5. Add Them To Smoothies
The easiest way to sneak spinach or kale into your child’s diet is by adding it to a smoothie. For a super simple smoothie without added sugar that tastes great, try blending one cup unsweetened and carrageenan-free almond milk, one frozen banana, one-half cup pineapple, strawberries or mango, and two handfuls of spinach. If your child still resists because of the green color, try adding in some raw cacao powder for a hint of chocolate.
4. Load Up Your Pizza
Kids love pizza, so use that to your advantage. Pile as many vegetables on your pizza if you are making it at home. You can even replace the sweet tomato sauce for fresh tomato slices. If you are ordering in, make sure to ask for extra vegetables. Onions, spinach, mushrooms, and broccoli are great choices. Hide them under cheese or pieces of pepperoni if you must. The less your kids see the vegetables on their pizza, the more you will likely get them to eat!
3. Introduce A Fun Dip
Lots of kids do not like to eat their vegetables because they are boring. But throwing in a fun dip makes them much more appealing. Give your kids carrot, cucumber, and celery sticks with healthy dips such as guacamole, salsa, and hummus. If you must serve them ranch, make a healthy version at home by combining one-half cup coconut milk, one-half cup mayo, one teaspoon each of garlic powder and dill, and one-half teaspoon of onion powder.
2. Add Vegetables To Pasta Dishes
Pasta is a great place to hide vegetables because you can top it with lots of cheese and other flavors to enhance the taste. Try adding broccoli and cauliflower to baked macaroni and cheese dishes. Cauliflower is a great option because its white color blends in with the rest of the meal, especially if you use mozzarella cheese. Your best bet with broccoli and other green vegetables is to chop them up into bite-sized pieces, so they do not stand out!
1. Substitute Vegetable Pasta
The next time you plan on serving spaghetti for dinner, try making your noodles out of spaghetti squash. Chop a spaghetti squash in half and brush it with olive oil, sea salt, and pepper. Bake at three hundred and fifty degrees for ninety minutes. Scoop the insides out, top with your child’s favorite pasta sauce and watch as they enjoy eating vegetables without even knowing it! You can also invest in a spiralizer to make noodles out of zucchini or cucumber.