Two kids under the age of three. And we are exhausted every night. If you have older kids, you know exactly what I am talking about. If you have young children like us, you are exhausted too. One of your kids is probably a picky eater or perhaps he doesn’t even like to eat at all. And dinner is a battle. For us, our oldest is almost 4 years old, and he is usually a pleasure in all other aspects of life, except at the dinner table. Since the age of 2 years old, he has been a picky eater, sticking to about 10-15 different foods, and rarely trying something new. Especially not new fruits or vegetables. We have tried everything – bribery, treats, time outs, taking a way toys, etc. And we know the importance of setting his habits early – childhood obesity is on the rise, the incidence of type 2 diabetes in children is at an alarming rise – and kids develop their habits and preferences now. So, I started getting resourceful years ago, and like many parents, I have been forced to ‘sneak in’ the fruits and veggies – create new recipes from familiar favorites with hidden fruits and vegetables. Here’s a few tried-and-true recipes on how to get your child to eat more vegetables.
How to Get your Child to Eat More Vegetables – Our Favorite Hacks
- Simple Perfect Spinach Pancakes – These babies are on our weekly meal plan. So easy to make, our Simply Perfect Spinach Pancakes are perfect for a weekend morning, Sajen thinks all pancakes are supposed to be green! They taste delicious and fluffy, given the butter and added sugar. And spinach is such a mild option for a vegetable, you never even taste the green. Tip – don’t over beat your batter, lumps are necessary to ensure a fluffy pancake!
- Green Pumpkin Carrot Smoothie – Smoothies are one of the easiest ways to sneak in the fruits and veggies with anyone in the family, but particularly the kiddos. When we launched the Simply Smoothies App two years ago, we created a strong following among friends. One of our biggest fans used to make the Green Pumpkin Carrot Smoothie every morning for herself and her 3-year-old daughter for breakfast. At under 450 calories, each smoothie is loaded pumpkin, spinach and carrot , and provides 30g protein, 1650mg of potassium, vitamin A and vitamin K!
- Carrot Bran Muffins – Yes, I know bran muffins. Who eats bran muffins anymore? But they are delicious and let’s be honest, they help keep everyone, especially those kiddos, regular. And no one wants to struggle in that department. We adapted an all-time favorite and snuck in some shredded carrots, and in our hours, no one was the wiser. Our Carrot Bran Muffins are only 182 calories each, low in added sugar, and packed with potassium!
- Pineapple Orange Ginger Pop – Popsicles are an amazing vehicle to sneak in new fruits and veggies! And when you make your own, you control the ingredients, particularly the sugar content. Plus, when you purchase a popsicle maker, like the Zoku Quick Pop Maker, you have an instant activity with the kids for the summer! Our Pineapple Orange Ginger Pop is refreshing and tangy – who knew a 3-year-old could appreciate the flavor of fresh ginger, which has countless health benefits?!
Getting creative in the kitchen is one of our favorite things to do, especially when it comes to feeding the kids. While our oldest has given us a run for our money when it comes to eating, the baby really knows how to chow down, and is willing to try anything (at least for now). Fingers crossed – hopefully, we won’t have to resort to these tricks with him! What are your favorite ways to get your kids to eat more vegetables? Comment below or share this blogpost with your friends!