The Food Pyramid indicates that a great amount of fruits and vegetables must be consumed for a healthy diet. Fruits, among other merits, help move bowels regularly while vegetables provide important nutrients that promote good health.
But what if, like many kids, yours don’t like these members of the food group at all? About a decade ago, author Jessica Seinfeld wrote a cookbook entitled, “Deceptively Delicious” in which she guides parents to make classic dishes that kids will enjoy eating but secretly laced with vegetables.
Now while this sounds like a good way to get kids to eat them, it may be better to have children eat produce by creating dishes that they’ll like, using these nutritious stars of the food pyramid.
According to the American Heart Association, kids aged 2 to 3 years old need about 1 cup of fruit per day and increases to 1.5 cups per day for children between the ages of 4 and 13. After the age of 14, girls may maintain the 1.5 cups per day consumption while boys will need to take up to 2 cups per day. Please do note that fruit juice does not equate to fruit as many juices have sugar added. (Source: https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-eating/eat-smart/nutrition-basics/dietary-recommendations-for-healthy-children)
Here are a few ways we recommend to get delicious fruits consumed by your kiddos:
Baking banana muffins is a great way to get your kids to eat bananas. Muffins can be sprinkled with chocolate chips to make them even more enticing for your kids to eat while using non-fat or low-fat milk should reduce the amount of fat per muffin. A banana muffin warmed in the toaster oven with a glass of milk sounds like a sumptous snack for kids. Do remember that a lot of the sweetness in Banana Muffins is provided by the fruit and not just sugar.
Bread Pudding Topped with Stewed Apples and Raisins
Bread pudding is super easy to make. Some moms even collect loaf bread ends (usually kids don’t eat these), store them in the freezer and bring them out to make bread pudding when they’ve collected ten or more slices (that’s approximately 5 loaves of bread). Bread pudding also becomes a bit healthier when whole wheat bread is used. Again, use non-fat milk to lessen the fat content and top with cinnamon, stewed apples and raisins for an apple-pie-like dessert.
Vegetables on the other hand may be slightly more difficult to sneak by the kids. As per the web, kids aged between 2 to 3 years old, need 1 cup of raw or cooked vegetables per day while children between 4 and 8 need 1.5 cups of vegetables per day. After the age of 14, up to 2.5 cups of veggies are required for girls while boys need up to a whopping 3 cups per day.
Carrot cake does not taste like carrots at all. Especially topped with a soft cream cheese frosting, your child may just be asking for a second slice. While baking a carrot cake may sound challenging and time-consuming for beginner bakers, its about as easy as making banana bread. Just grate carrots and have a mixer on hand, and the rest will be easy!
Cauliflower Cheese Soup
Kids love cheese and a nice warm bowl of cauliflower soup topped with melted cheddar may convince a usually picky eater to have a bowl. Broccoli may also be used, but the green color may not be too inviting for a child who doesn’t like veggies. Just have a blender on hand and voila, any vegetable soup is possible!
Pumpkin known locally as Kalabasa, is a delicious soup ingredient. The bright orange color that might shock some picky kids, may be lightened by adding cream to the soup. Topped with cheese croutons, this soup may be a meal in itself. While cooking, mix in basil for a nice tangy Italian twist.
Fruit & Veggie Green Smoothies
Blend bananas, apples, lettuce, Chia seeds and oatmeal with low sugar soy milk for a delicious smoothie. Freeze the fruits and veggies first and have the soy milk cold so you don’t need to add ice to this super healthy smoothie. Even kids who don’t like fruits and veggies will be happy to slurp this refreshing beverage.
Now that you’re armed with some ideas on how to get your kids to eat fruits and vegetables, do share with us what you’ve come up with!
Did you know that you can use Nature to Nurture’s all-natural Baby Bottle and Dish Wash to wash fruits and vegetables before serving? It is absolutely safe as it leaves no soap residue. The baking soda in this product likewise ensures that your fruits and vegetables will be clean enough for your kids to eat.
When you’re done with all your cooking/baking/blending in the kitchen, try N2N’s Multi-Surface Cleaner Spray so your kitchen will be pristine and germ-free with a lot less effort on your part. You may even have time for a night out to relax after your creative kitchen time with this one.