No joke, as I write this post I am digesting a bowl full of zucchini noodles while also noshing on a Halloween-sized chocolate bar. So while my lunch makes me a candidate for nutrition saint-hood, my after meal treat is really not the best thing for my body. Sugar, uh … we love it, and yet it hates us so much. And our kids love it, and want to eat it at 7am (or is it just my pre-schooler)?
This time of year is hard – Halloween has left us with piles of candy, zipped up and cranky kids, but germs in abundance just ready to snack on sugar-defeated immune systems. As a realistic parent, I know my kids will be eating some of their Halloween candy. I know also that I am the only member of my family who thinks a steaming bowl of bok-choy is comfort food and who gets excited over already sliced up carrot sticks for snacking. My kids are not overly picky, and yet veggies are not high on their list.
Now I do believe we need to encourage our kids to see, smell and taste new foods including vegetables without pretending they are lego blocks or “pizza,” but as a realistic parent I know that also sneaking in extra servings of veggies is smart.
Here’s our round-up of kid friendly recipes to hide vegetables in.
Pasta Sauce Can Be Chock-Full of Veggies
I almost squealed with delight when my son came home from cooking class to report that his veggie-filled pasta sauce was delicious. He was ok with chunks of veggies, but I pureed the recipe for the more piece-sensitive members of our family. And because we love Jamie Oliver, here’s his version: Full of Veg Tomato Sauce.
A Healthy Mac and Cheese
My all-time favourite mac and cheese recipe contains butternut squash. My kids aren’t big on it, so I can’t wait to try this version from The Bewitchin’ Kitchen that includes roasted vegetables in the sauce. A mix of pasta and broccoli ups the health factor too.
A Turkey-Veggie Burger
Hide extra veggies in your burger recipe. This recipe comes from The Nourished Home and the ground turkey, a leaner alternative to ground beef, is mixed with both carrot and zucchini. Adding vegetables also makes for a moist patty.
The Easiest Way to Get Kids to Eat Greens
My kids turn their noses up at most “green” things. But a smoothie? Yes, please. Mix greens with sweet and delicious fruit and they’ll never know the difference. Crystal’s been perfecting a recipe that contains both spinach and zucchini but picks up the flavours of strawberry, coconut and more. Try her Strawberry Mocha Monster Milkshake recipe and check out her Instagram post.
Kale and Aged Cheddar Quiche from Family Food and Travel
Amidst egg and cheese the kids will never know that this quiche by Family Food and Travel contains kale! This is a great way to hide some greens.
A Delicious Soup
I love soup and when the cold weather hits it becomes my favourite comfort food. My kids are big on broccoli soup and I know many more kids love a homemade tomato soup, or even a squash soup. Here are three ways to enjoy veggie-rich soups.
Roasted Tomato Soup by HelloCreativeFamily.com
Skinny Broccoli Cheese Soup by The Picky Eater Blog
Easy Butternut Squash Soup by Once Upon a Chef
Now that’s a lot of sneaky and yet delicious ways to get your kids to eat more veggies! Enjoy.