3 Simple Steps to Get Your Kids to Eat More Fruits & Veggies
Posted by Hain Celestial on Mar 17, 2015 | A Healthier Way of Life
Around this time, it usually feels like winter will never end, leading many of us to overindulge in comfort food. Yet, despite the lack of great-tasting fresh produce, eating more fruit and vegetables doesn’t have to be boring, difficult or expensive. Here are smart ideas to sneak healthy foods into your kids’ daily diet (and adults too)… for everyone’s enjoyment!
3 Simple Steps
When trying to appeal to kids, these 3 simple steps are bound to spark their interest and appetite for more fruit-and-vegetable-based dishes.
Any parent will tell you: Picky or not, kids tend to prefer to eat the same foods, day in, day out. Tweaking recipes can become quite a high-risk proposition. The solution? Use frozen fruits and vegetables like Europe’s Best®, picked and flash frozen at the height of freshness, to add the same great taste to all their favourite dishes, all the time, especially in winter.
Top their morning oatmeal with fruit and sneak blended vegetables into pasta sauce or sweet potatoes into pancake batter. Add finely chopped kale to meatballs and spread some puréed spinach under the pizza sauce on your next pie. The stealthy addition of puréed spinach and blueberry to brownie batter will go unnoticed but not unrewarded. And because you still want to encourage kids to explore and discover, try this creamy spinach quiche with its surprisingly mild taste. Your kids might surprise you yet, and adults will happily partake!
According to a 2012 study from Cornell University in New York, kids are more inclined to eat when their plate includes up to six colours of food, as opposed to three for adults. Thus, what we consider to be a colour riot actually helps to boost their appetite, which is why serving colourful fruits and vegetables matters so much.
Forgo the usual spuds and serve colourful mashes, either blending two vegetables together — like potato-spinach and potato-sweet potato — or serving them side-by-side using an ice cream scoop.
Cooking two-colour soups will also bring out the smiles. Prepare two creamy soups of complementary colour but identical consistency and thickness, like roast pepper soup and asparagus soup. Then ladle each into a different pitcher and pour them side-by-side into a (preferably flat) bowl simultaneously. Use the tip of a knife to create a design where the two soups meet.
Finally, replace the ice in smoothies with frozen fruit, like Europe’s Best® 4-field Berry Mix, to add colour, flavour and nutrients. This green Shrek Smoothie made with banana and spinach is a sure-fire winner.
Beyond colour, presentation also inspires little ones. Using fruits and vegetables to draw smiley faces on food is a proven “healthy eating” parenting strategy, although time-consuming. Pressed for time, why not just warm up a frozen vegetable medley, such as Europe’s Best® Romanesco Concerto, combining both colour and presentation. The gothic Romanesco broccoli has seduced many a child with its appearance…
A fun presentation also helps to make vegetables more appealing. For example, wrap asparagus spears in puff pastry for a healthier version of pastry straws.
Of course, cute accessories can also win the day. Think Bento boxes for lunch, fun straws to jazz up plain milk or cookie cutters to transform any food into quirky shapes. For parents seeking inspiration, wouldn’t you know, there are even whole Pinterest boards dedicated to the topic.
Have you found a way to “sneak” fruits and vegetables in your kids’ daily diet? Drop by our Facebook page and tell us about it! We’d love to hear from you!