Fruits and vegetables are vital in a child’s daily diet for numerous reasons, among them essential vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. But did you know many fruits are also “fat burners?” They kick up the body’s metabolism and burn more fat no matter what activity the child is participating in—even sitting or sleeping!
As moms, we have to be creative when getting our kids to eat more fruit and vegetables. The secret is that you have to be a sneaky chef! Luckily, all three of my kids love fruit and vegetables! Although there are a few that they prefer over others, overall, they rarely complain (hallelujah!)
For you mamas who have picky eaters, I have a few tricks up my sleeves to help you out! If your kids love fruits and veggies, they will love these tricks too. Here are eight sneaky, and fun, ways to “trick” your picky eaters into not only eating more fruits and veggies but actually asking you for them!
Start the day with a breakfast smoothie. All you have to do is throw some fruits, low-fat yogurt and ice into a blender. Within a few seconds, you’ll have a perfect breakfast. To up the sneakiness factor add frozen yogurt or ice cream. They’ll be amazed they’re getting an “ice cream treat” for breakfast!
Want an even sneakier way to pump up the nutrition? Add powdered fruits and vegetables to the smoothie. Doing so can double or triple the number of nutrients in the same serving size!
Check out some amazing smoothie recipes here!
Use your sneaky imagination: to kids, dried fruit can be as good as candy. Substitute honey-laden fruit energy bars for Snickers and Milky Ways. You can also add bite-sized dry fruit to breakfast cereals. Banana chips, raisins, apricots are also great.
Make It A Big Production
Dress up sandwiches with fruits and vegetables. Add thinly sliced apples, banana slices, even strawberry slices to peanut butter sandwiches. Poultry sandwiches like chicken or turkey can be topped with tomatoes, lettuce, thinly sliced, crunchy cucumbers. Try announcing that you’re making special submarine sandwiches. Serve the split French or Italian bread with a combination of sliced veggies, mayo, and several different kinds of cheese.
You could even create a restaurant-style salad bar: chopped and sliced vegetables, a few types of lettuce like Romaine and iceberg, olives, cheese, croutons and several choices of salad dressings. Everyone—including the kids—can create their own “special” salad.
Check out some creative kid’s meals here!
This is one of my favorite ways to give my kids fruit in vegetables! I simply juice a bunch of fruit and veggies in my juicer and boom, I have a ton of delicious homemade juice for us to drink! This is a great way to sneak more vegetables into kid’s diets. You can make it fun and have the kids help you chop everything up and then help you put them in the juicer! It’s so much healthier than store-bought juice!
Check out some delicious homemade juice recipes here!
Make A Gourmet Dessert
Here’s a fun way to get creative! You can make a fancy fruit dessert like a healthy banana split with frozen yogurt instead of ice cream. You could also try a fruit a la mode which is a small serving of frozen yogurt or ice cream with a mixture of fresh, chilled fruits like berries, peach slices, mango, pineapple, etc.
Check out some creative fruit desserts here!
Offer fancy vegetables as snacks. “Camouflage” sliced veggies with cream cheese, hard cheese cubed, peanut butter and healthy dips like low-fat ranch or salsas. My kids love doing this with cucumbers!
Check out some creative veggie meals here!
Soup It Up
My kids are finally starting to like soup! An old faithful favorite is a pot of vegetarian soup. If you want to add more flavor add a small amount of beef or chicken. You could also try a delicious pasta soup!
Check out some kid-friendly soup recipes here!
Cook With Your Kids
Last but not least, get your kids in the kitchen and let them help you cook! This is a great way to let them see what they are going to eat as well as teach them a life skill! Cooking is a great way to build relationships, skills, and appetites!
If your kids are old enough, Kitchen Stewardship has some fantastic snacks that they can easily make themselves. Check out the recipes here
I’d love to hear how you make it easy for your kids to eat fruits and veggies! Comment below and share your tips and tricks!