As parents, we all want to raise healthy, strong and thriving children but this can be difficult when they refuse to eat all things green and leafy. Getting kids eating healthier can be a challenge.
Encouraging children to eat a well-balanced, nutritious diet Is important for their development, so, we’ve created a top-tips-list of ways for you to help sneak those must-needed fruits and vegetables into their meals, that even the pickiest of eaters won’t detect.
A great healthy alternative to ice cream with the same sweet taste and icy texture. All you have to do is blend frozen fruits of your choice; berries, mangoes and bananas work well, add a dash of regular or plant-based milk and an optional drizzle of maple syrup to sweeten. Your kids will love it!
2. Veggie Burgers
Making your own homemade burger patties is the ultimate way to hide veggies in your children’s food, without them knowing. Get crafty in the kitchen and chose one of the many recipes found online ranging from half meat and half veggie options to completely vegan alternatives, there’s sure to be one to suit your family.
3. Naughts and Crosses
Turn eating veggies into a game with this little trick. Set up a board of naughts and crosses using carrot sticks or celery as the lines and two different shaped fruits or veggie slices to be the ‘naughts’ and the ‘crosses’ in the game, you’ll find them munching on the playing pieces before you know it.
4. Cauliflower Rice and Zoodles
Substituting pasta and rice for zucchini noodles and cauliflower rice can be a game changer, they look and taste so similar, your children won’t know the difference! These options can nowadays be found pre-made in the fridge or freezer section of your local supermarket and cook in half the time of their carby alternatives. Healthy and time saving too.
5. Veggie Cutter
Investing in weird and wacky vegetable cutters like a veggie spiralizer or a zig-zag knife is a great way to make vegetables and fruits more appealing to children. Create apple slinkies or bake crinkle-cut carrot chips – children will love the colour and texture so make it fun and be creative.
Pizza is always a winner. How colourful can you make yours?
Grab some pizza bases, chop up a variety of different coloured vegetables and have a make-your-own-pizza night. Encourage the children to make their pizzas as colourful as they can. This can be a great way to introduce different flavours, and they will be more likely to want to eat it if they’ve put work into making it. For the kids, this will be a fun craft activity and for you, an easy dinner.
7. “Chocolate” Smoothies
If your child is a chocolate lover, cacao powder will be your new best friend. It’s sugar free, a great superfood and has amazing benefits. Blend up a banana together with milk of your choice and optional natural sweeteners like maple syrup or dates and cacao powder. It tastes just like a chocolate milkshake, but without all the nasties! If you wanted to be just that little bit sneakier, spinach and other leafy greens can be added to this recipe without affecting the taste at all.
8. Make It Frozen
If you’re having trouble with cooked vegetables, try freezing them and giving them as snacks on a hot summer’s day. For vegetables try carrot cubes, beans and corn. For fruits try grapes, watermelon, mango, strawberries or kiwi. Or, get the children involved too and make your own fruit icy poles, children who are active in the kitchen will be more willing to try the end result.
9. Veggie Fries
Who said fries could only be made out of potato and fried? Sweet potatoes, carrots, parsnips and eggplant all make for great alternatives to traditional french fries and taste just as good, if not better. Oven bake them for maximum crispiness and season to taste, your child won’t even know they’re eating vegetables.
10. Get Kids Involved
The greatest tip of all is to get your children involved with the preparation of their meals, depending on their age of course. Let them help in the kitchen, watch as you cook, or even just let them chose their favourite bowl and cup for that meal. When they contribute to the preparation, they will be more willing to eat the end result.