Healthy meals in disguise

VeggiesDisguise_0416If there’s one thing I struggle with, it’s making sure my children are getting their daily dose of vegetables without any grimaces, groans or gasps. Just in time for Healthy Kids week, we have creative ways to hide vegetables in the meals you fix so you can be assured they are getting their recommended daily nutrients.

  • Drink them – Who doesn’t like a delicious smoothie? It’s easy to hide vegetables in a drink. Having a juicer makes it that much easier. Use raw vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower and kale. Mix them with sweet, juicy fruits to mask their taste. Pour them into fun glasses and add silly straws. Genesis PURE Greens is also a great addition to a smoothie or shake, and you’ll be giving your children antioxidant-rich fruits and greens.
  • Shred them – Mix shredded carrots, zucchini, onions and peppers in meatloaf, meatballs, burgers and other ground meat dishes. The pickiest eater will never know they’re in there.
  • Mix them – Think about flavors that go together when preparing meals. For instance, cauliflower mixes well with mashed potatoes. Pureed squash or carrots can be mixed into macaroni-and-cheese sauce. Try pureeing spinach and stir it into spaghetti or pizza sauce.
  • Sweeten them – Make veggie popsicles and smoothies. Make zucchini bread with chocolate. Pumpkin muffins, carrot cake and sweet potato pie are all delicious ways to hide vegetables in meals for kids.

If you don’t want to hide the vegetables, these are great ideas to get your kids to experiment. Teaching your kids early on to love their veggies will make a big difference. “Junk” food is aptly named for a reason.

  • Let your child pick them – Take your child with you the next time you go to the grocery store or farmer’s market. Let them pick out a favorite, or new, vegetable. When you are home, get them involved. Let them wash, peel, slice and flavor the vegetable however they want to.
  • Humorize them – If your children are younger, let them play with their food. Create art using cut up vegetables. Carve a silly face into an eggplant. Make a tree using broccoli florets. Make it entertaining.
  • Dip them – Experiment with different dips, from ranch to hummus. You never know what your kids will find delicious.
  • Let your child add their favorite vegetable to a pizza. Let them be the cook and host a pizza night. Cut up veggies for them and place into bowls for them to choose.

I love serving spaghetti squash as a substitute for pasta. It’s easy to cook and looks just like spaghetti. Top with sauce and parmesan cheese.

Growing bodies and brains require fiber and omega-3s!

Make their meal even more nutritious by sprinkling on the Mila. Genesis PURE uses three regional varieties of Salvia hispanica L. for Mila, and the result is a diverse nutritional foundation that yields one of the richest whole-food sources of dietary fiber and alpha-linoleic omega-3 fatty acids (ALA). The chia is harvested while carefully blended, thoroughly filtered, micro sliced and then meticulously tested. Because of Mila’s mild flavor, you can use it in a variety of dishes, recipes and shakes.  It’s also gluten-free, trans-fat free, sugar-free, and is a superior plant-based source of protein.

If they still won’t eat their vegetables, it’s not the end of the world. The last thing you want to do is become frustrated. They will eventually eat a vegetable. Just give it time, and don’t give up. Be an example by eating vegetables yourself during most meals.

Jennifer Evans is the marketing copywriter at Genesis PURE who enjoys inspiring and empowering others to achieve their best health possible. She has two young children who keep her busy with sports and church activities. She enjoys reading, cycling, playing piano and traveling.

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