Sneaky Ways to Hide Vegetables in Food
Getting your kids to eat vegetables can be a huge challenge. It’s very important to their health that they are eating a range of vegetables. If you have a picky eater whose diet is mainly chicken nuggets and mac and cheese, sneaking some vegetables into their food may be the only way they will ever eat them. Fortunately, there are many ways to do this that are easy and tasty.
Why Are Vegetables so Important?
Before you go incognito and start sneaking veggies into your kids’ food, it is helpful to understand why you should do this. Vegetables provide a plethora of health benefits. Eating a diet high in vegetables has been linked with lowered risks for many major health issues, like diabetes and heart disease. They also provide the nutrients your body needs to function and grow. Finally, vegetables are naturally low in fat and calories, so they keep the waistline from getting bigger.
How to Sneak in Vegetables
Now that you know why it is so important that your kids eat vegetables, how do you actually sneak them into foods? Some kids are very observant and will spot a veggie in a second, so you may need to be a bit more sneaky if your kid is like this. However, many of the ways to sneak in vegetables allow the vegetable to be totally unrecognizable. Only you will know there are veggies in it.
The easiest method is to use products on the market that contain hidden vegetables, like JustMayo featured on the Hampton Creek Facebook or pasta made from veggies. However, you can also sneak them into homemade foods using some common methods. Grated or chopped vegetables can easily be worked into chunky sauces or meat dishes. Try grating some carrots and then mixing them in with ground turkey for a healthy turkey burger. Add some chopped zucchini to a thick spaghetti sauce. Pureeing is another great trick. Pureed vegetables can be mixed into baked goods easily or into almost any food that is a similar consistency. Try pureed cauliflower in mashed potatoes or pureed winter squash in mac and cheese.
If You Don’t Want to Sneak
Some parents don’t feel comfortable about sneaking vegetables into their kids’ foods. They feel like they are lying to them. However, if you think about it, how many times do you give your kids a complete ingredient list for the foods you feed them? Probably never. So, why does it matter if you have used a vegetable in something you fed them? If they liked it, there really is no harm done. In fact, you have actually done something good for them.
If you really are opposed to the idea, though, go ahead and at least try introducing vegetables in different ways to see if you can get them to like them. Many times kids simply don’t like vegetables because they assume they won’t taste good. However, it often is due to bad experiences they had in the past. So, serving veggies in different ways can really change their minds.
Try using sweet potatoes instead of regular potatoes. Give them zucchini noodles instead of regular pasta. Experiment with different veggies on pizza. Making vegetables more exciting can make your kids more interested in them.
When it comes to trying to get your kids to eat more veggies, whether you are sneaking them into dishes you make or trying to cook them in different ways, it helps to understand a few important things. These tips offer some ideas to make the process easier and ensure the greatest chance of success.
- Start with the most appealing veggies. Some vegetables are just not as kid friendly as others. By starting with those vegetables that are least likely to be offensive, you help ensure your kids don’t get turned off to the whole idea of eating them.
- Be smart about what you sneak in. Make sure the veggies you sneak in make sense. You aren’t trying to change the taste of the food, so you wouldn’t want to sneak a pepper into a dish where it will be very noticeable. The whole idea of sneaking is to not get caught.
- Talk to your kids about the benefits of vegetables. Give them information to help them understand why eating vegetables is a good thing. If you make veggies seem exciting and wonderful, your kids will be less likely to turn their noses up at them.
Once you start giving your kids vegetables, they will learn that they taste great. This will only help them to build strong eating habits that will last them a lifetime. So, sneak in a carrot here or a bit of cauliflower there. It won’t hurt anything and will only make your kids healthier.
These helpful tips have been brought to you by Hampton Creek.