Being Sneaky: Covert Fruits and Vegetables

This article, entitled "Covert Fruits and Vegetables" comes from Melanie Bloom, MomsEveryday blogger from Lincoln, NE.

I have a picky eater. My son is 3 and has always been picky. I'm sure he gets that from me!

If I didn't have a dog growing up that I could've given my food to under the table, I'm sure I'd still be sitting at the dining table, with my plate not cleared!

When moms talk, it almost always comes up that someone has a picky eater.

I've spoken to a couple of friends that are dietitians to get advice.

There are LOTS of ways that you can sneak fruits and vegetables into your child's diet without them ever knowing. These are foods that will fool even the smallest food critics.

Here are a few examples:

1. One of a child's favorite dishes is almost always macaroni and cheese.

I like to cut up cauliflower into little pieces and cook it in with the noodles! This works with white and orange cauliflower! Once cooked, it becomes soft and you can't tell the difference between noodle and cauliflower. Cauliflower is high in Vitamin C and Vitamin B-6.

2. When I'm cooking up breakfast on a weekend morning, if my son won't eat apples on top of his pancakes, I put them inside! Applesauce is a great substitute for oil.

When a recipe calls for oil, reach for the applesauce instead! It has natural fiber and Vitamin C. The healthiest applesauce is made from organic apples with the skin on and no added sugar.

Using applesauce also means you're not adding the fat that oil contains. There is 4.5g of fat in just 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil.

3. Zucchini muffins are a really great way to hide vegetables into a snack!

It is also a great way to use up the abundance of zucchini that may be growing in your garden. If my son needs some convincing, sometimes I add a handful of dark chocolate chips into the batter! I also substitute applesauce for oil in the recipe, so I feel even better about serving it to him!

4. Meatballs can be a fun dinner and a great way to hide nutrition.

When you're mixing the ingredients, add in 1/2 cup of grated carrot and 1/2 cup of grated zucchini. Mix them up with one pound of ground beef or ground turkey, add in an egg, some bread crumbs and add salt and pepper! A simple recipe that your kids, even your husband, will enjoy! I serve mine with a good dose of marinara sauce on top for added flavor and nutrition!

I'm not preaching that covert vegetables are the right approach for every child and forever. Hiding fruits and vegetables into foods that my son recognizes and will consider eating works for me. It is what I consider a pathway to get him to actually see foods that he enjoys eating and will consider eating.

I'll keep trying new foods that I don't disguise and will one day find something that makes us all happy - without hiding a thing :)

My hope is that one day I won't need to sneak in anything! But for the time being and for the sake of my child's nutritional needs, I'm making his foods delicious and nutritious!

These tricks also work on my husband too! :)



About the Author...
Melanie Bloom
In her spare time, you can find Melanie spending time with her husband and their two children, Bryce and Gillian.
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