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5 Ways to add more fruits and veggies to a meal

Be a sneaky chef

Now that dinner is on the table, how do you get them to eat the healthy things — those colorful fruits and veggies our children seem to balk at? Here are five sneaky ways to hide them in plain sight.

Mom making pasta sauce

Say smoothie

I don't know about your kids, but my kids think smoothies are better than milkshakes. Little do they know I've stuffed all sorts of fruits inside — bananas, peaches, mangoes, blueberries, strawberries, to name a few of the things I've gotten away with. They think it's a treat and I can rest assured knowing they've gotten quite a few servings of fruit all in one setting.

Put it in the sauce

Stay-at-home mom and volunteer extraordinaire, Sandy Allen, shreds carrots into pizza sauce and crumbles cauliflower into spaghetti sauce. "My youngest won't put any veggies on his pizza," Allen said, "so I put them in the sauce."

Put it the dish

It's easy to hide vegetables in things like spaghetti or even quesadillas, where everything is covered in red sauce or a tortilla. Try zucchini, onions, fresh tomatoes, and even eggplant. Mixed with ground beef, sautéed chicken or turkey sausage, the flavors blend and chances are your kids won't even notice.

Put it on the table

Cut up one fruit and one vegetable and put it on the table for everyone to share, even parents. It's not enough to be a serving, but extended exposure breeds familiarity and eventually they get used to the fruits and vegetables, and even begin to ask for them. Mom and marketing consultant, Dawn Janssen, now just adds carrots to her kids' plates and they eat them!

Decorate it

Sometimes adding a little chocolate syrup to a banana or a dab of whip topping to a bowl of strawberries is enough to get kids interested and more than willing to try something new, and healthy!

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