Quick Recipes and Easy

Get Your Kids to Eat Healthy Without Them Knowing It

Most children don’t like to eat fruit and vegetables. How can parents get them to eat the food that is so excellent for them? Here are some ways:

1. Healthy breakfast

Fill your kids up on their fruit for the day at breakfast.
a. banana on toast, maybe with peanut butter;
b. cereal with fresh or dried fruit;
c. pancakes or waffles with fruit toppings;
d. fresh fruit smoothies and a yogurt and sliced fruit combo.

2. Hide vegetables in a sauce.
a. Grate and chop zucchini, carrots and spinach into pasta and cheese sauces;
b. puree mushrooms before putting them into spaghetti sauce to avoid kids seeing them and picking them out.

3. Add to dessert
a. Add fresh fruit pieces to Jello, yogurt or ice cream for a healthy treat;
b. puree fruit to use as homemade topping in place of chocolate or caramel syrup;
c. let your kids make their own fruit parfaits.

4. Place vegetables into the meat;
a. grate vegetables in meat dishes;
b. hide grated vegetables in meatball, casseroles, meatloaf, shepherd’s pie and lasagna;
c. try an all-vegetable lasagna;
d. make all-vegetable “hamburger” patties.

5. One pot, many vegetables
a. Making homemade soups stews and chili are all simple ways to increase your family’s intake of vegetables and fruit (yes, fruit!) Everything and anything healthy should go into the pot. Puree vegetables that the kids don’t like and add them to the stock to use as a thickener.
b. Make gazpacho, a fruit soup using mangos, yellow pepper, yellow tomatoes, carrot, cantaloupe, cucumbers, papayas, raspberry vinegar, honey and vanilla extract.

6. Mystery foods
a. Use the kids’ favorite cookies, cakes and breads as a cover for fruits and vegetables. Make sweet breads and desserts with vegetables – zucchini bread, sweet potato pie and pumpkin pie.
b. Slip fruits and vegetables in all kinds of things: applesauce in cookies, zucchini in chocolate cake, and grated carrots in pasta sauce.

7. Quick and healthy food
a. Homemade pizza. Give the kids tons of healthy toppings to choose from such as tomatoes, peppers, mushrooms, spinach and pineapple. Let them make their own pizza.
b. Tacos or fajitas can be a fantastic way to get kids to add vegetables in various forms – diced tomatoes, salsa, etc.
c. Stir fries – sugar peas, snow peas, spinach and carrots.
d. Omelets – salsa, tomatoes.

8. Keep fruit and vegetables handy
a. Keep washed fruit in a bowl nearby;
b. Have ready-to-serve individual fruit cups in the fridge;
c. make up vegetable-and-dip packs for snacks;
d. serve fruit and vegetables as a side dish at meals.

If at least some of the items on this list don’t work, try making their food more fascinating – like shapes out of vegetables – trees, animals, houses and let your kids pretend to be King Kong eating his surroundings.

Billy Bristol is the editor of

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