As a mom I am always looking for ways to ensure that my children have great nutrition. My ultimate goal is for them to develop healthy eating habits and a palate that savors healthy foods, of course, but while we are working on that, I look for ways to boost the nutritional content of the meals that I make.
My kiddos eat plenty of fruit and whole grains and healthy protein foods on their own, so the main thing I like to push is vegetables. One of the ways I have found to do this is to “mask” them in foods. For instance, whenever I cook ground beef, I chop up bell peppers and garlic and add them while I am browning the meat. It works great for making sloppy joes, soups, meatloaf, cheeseburgers; just about any meal that you are using ground beef for.
I also employ this “what they don’t know won’t hurt them method” with other things. For instance when I make pasta dishes, cooked grains like rice or quinoa, or even chicken dishes, I might chop up bell peppers or spinach really fine and mix it in. It is too finely chopped for them to pick through, and they usually can’t even taste it except to enhance the flavor of my dish.
I have found that using frozen bell peppers and spinach allows me to chop without it becoming mushy. Then I don’t have to worry about trying to keep the fresh produce from going bad in my fridge before I am able to use it all, and organically grown is available at a more reasonable price. I chop to a very fine consistency with my hand food chopper so there are no big chunks, but you could also try using a food processor. My family is none the wiser, but all the healthier, and I can make a meal for them that I feel good about them eating!
Do you have some tips for helping your kids to eat healthy? I’d love to hear them! Please share them with us all!
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When trying a new vegetable, or most anything for that matter, I make it for several days but a different preparation or seasoning each time. They are likely to prefer one method over another. Example: celery plain, celery with PB and raisins, celery in soup…it was celery in soup that my son had finally said he likes celery…now celery is not an issue!
That is such a great idea, Kindra! I will have to try that with my kiddos. Plus, it could be very fun for them; and adventure and exploration of veggies! 🙂