Look. It’s hard enough to eat vegetables as an adult (sometimes burritos just sound better without trying to play the healthy card). So, if we’re being honest here, who can really blame kids if they don’t rejoice over broccoli on their plate?
Still, kids want to be healthy, and they’ll eat healthy, too — as long as food tastes good. Since fruits and vegetables need to be eaten one way or another, here a few ideas for getting them down the preferred way: with a smile.
1. Swap real spaghetti with spaghetti squash
Melt some butter and mix some pesto and marinara sauce over a plate of baked spaghetti squash. No need to spill your secret. Just put it in front of your kids and see what they think. Who knows? They might not miss a beat.
2. Snack on fruit pouches with veggies mixed in
There are fruit pouches — or, as I like to call them because it’s more fun, squeezers — and there are fruit pouches with veggies mixed in that will go undetected by all but the most discerning small mouths. GoGo squeeZ manages to weave butternut squash into its Mighty Mango pouch and carrots into its Mighty Berry. A true win-win.
3. Have make-your-own smoothie days
Don’t want to make smoothies yourself? Try getting the kiddos excited about creating their own. Lay out some ingredients, and then let them choose a few and dump them into the blender.
More: Yes, It Is Possible to Eat Fast Food Without Eating a Bunch of Junk
4. Have baked sweet potato fries with dinner
Kids love fries. Just swap potatoes for sweet potatoes and the fryer for the oven. You can even try purple potatoes, which have loads of antioxidants. Your kids might just think purple fries are the coolest thing since sliced bread.
5. Get creative with cauliflower
This magical vegetable can be disguised as mashed potatoes, rice, pizza crust and even mac and cheese. I didn’t believe it either until I tried it myself. Here are a few recipes to slate into your meal planning.
6. Think small — very small
Cutting vegetables isn’t the time to go big or go home. The smaller you chop them, the easier they are to mix into other dishes. For example, put minced broccoli in scrambled eggs or mac and cheese, add diced bell peppers to pasta sauce or cut squash into baby pieces and toss into a cheesy omelet. Yum.
7. Add to casseroles and soups
You could add shredded cheese to soups and casseroles, but you could also add shredded veggies like carrots, squash and potatoes. It’s easy to avoid those big, chunky veggies that make kids go “ew.” Additionally, grilled cheese and soup? Not something kids hate. What they don’t know is that you pureed butternut squash or tomatoes to help make that creamy base.
This post was sponsored by GoGo squeeZ.