It’s a tale as old as time… your child won’t eat their vegetables. We all know that eating enough fruits and veggies is important, but why is it so important and what can you do when your kid won't budge? Keep reading to find out all about why…
When you were a kid and you were handed a full plate of brussel sprouts there's a good chance that you were among the vast majority of kids that wasn’t too happy about them. It’s incredibly common for kids to avoid eating veggies, and it makes sense! Just take a moment to think of all the things vegetables have to compete with; mac and cheese, hot dogs, and cookies just to name a few.
So what do vegetables have to do with deficiencies? Well, there are exactly 13 vitamins that are known as the “essential vitamins.” They are essential because 1) we cannot live without them and 2) we cannot make them on our own and have to get them through our diet. These vitamins are best found in different fruits and veggies, and most junk foods have usually been so processed that by the time they make them onto your kids’ plate there aren't any vitamins left! The World Health Organization has even estimated that roughly 250 million children are vitamin A deficient. This could lead them to develop blindness, and in worse cases can even cause death!
Now we know why it's so important that your kid eats enough veggies. The CDC recommends that children eat between 1 and 3 full servings a day (depending on their age and size.) Some kids do this no problem, but some will fight tooth and nail to avoid those essential servings. So what can you do when your kid refuses to eat vegetables? Use our favorite method … Stealth Nutrition!
Macaroni and cheese is not only an American favorite, but coveted by moms everywhere for two reasons. It’s easy and the kids LOVE the stuff. Lucky for you there are so many veggies you can add to the cheese sauce without your kids ever even knowing! Potatoes, carrots, and squash are all commonly steamed and blended into mac and cheese sauces. This is the ultimate trick for the kids who refuse to eat anything that even looks healthy, because these veggies when added to the sauce won’t change its color. That way your kids can eat happy, and you can rest easy!
Another food that people have begun absolutely STUFFING with veggies is the good old brownie?! You heard us right, everyone's favorite dessert just got a full serving of vegetables. Avocado and sweet potatoes have become a staple in some baker’s kitchens to replace the processed sugars and fats usually found in brownies for a healthier take on this sweet treat. If you have a choco-o-holic child then this might be the perfect place to hide some veggies in their diet.
This one might be obvious to some, but a complete game-changer for others. Usually when we think of a smoothie we think of fruits like bananas and berries, however, this is hands down the easiest way to hide vegetables in your kids diet. There are so many veggies that can be added to a smoothie undetected. This is because the natural sugars in the fruit you already add to the smoothie will completely mask the veggie flavor! Some of our favorites are zucchini, spinach, and if your kid really hates green then try cauliflower.