After you have gone through new parent boot camp and have figured out how to successfully put on a diaper, the next thing you’ll learn will serve you for the rest of your parenting career. I’m talking about how to successfully deceive your child — for their own good, of course.
Most of this parenting trickery revolves around the “good for you” things no kid ever wants to do. Yes, it is very important for my toddler to wear his pants to day care, but he never wants to. So, I tell him they are magic pants that will give him superpowers. So sue me.
The same goes with the epic dinnertime battle that happens every night, without fail. Every parent has been there before. The begging and pleading to eat just a few healthy bites can be exhausting.
Thankfully there are 10 healthy hacks you can use to trick your kids into eating their veggies.
1. Bake them as a treat
Zucchini and carrot cookies for a snack? Yes, please!
2. Blend them up in a smoothie
Strawberry, banana and… kale? Your tot will never know the difference.
3. Cover them in cheese
No kid has ever turned down broccoli and cheese, ever.
4. Dress them up
If your child is on to your sneaky ways, then you’re going to have to pull out the stops. Make an Elmo face out of tomatoes, craft an apple-slice-and-zucchini-wheel car — do whatever it takes.
5. Mix them up with macaroni
Make a vow to always throw an extra veggie into classic mac ‘n’ cheese: peas, broccoli, carrots or even green beans.
6. Send them for lunch
You’ll be surprised how eager your kids are to eat healthy when distracted by friends around the lunch table.
7. Serve something different — very different
Sometimes kids are just sick of the same old, same old. You may be surprised to find your kid has a taste for eggplant or spaghetti squash. You never know until you try.
8. Sneak them into a sandwich
Sliced avocado makes the perfect addition to any sandwich, including the kid-favorite grilled cheese. Bonus: Avocado is a superfood, with almost a complete spectrum of nutrients.
9. Spike the spaghetti
It’s a basic law of physics that kids love spaghetti. Take advantage of that fact by sneaking sautéed veggies into homemade or jarred pasta sauce — try peppers and mushrooms with beans for added protein.
10. When in doubt, puree
Almost any vegetable makes a great puree you can hide in a favorite dish, like “green” mashed potatoes. Zucchini and carrot purees are a hit because of their naturally sweet flavor.