With websites and cookbooks that advertise ways to sneak those greens into your child’s diet, one might wonder, is that really ok? The answer: yes, and no. As the first line of defense against a lifetime of poor eating habits, it is important to both set the example, and teach our children about eating healthy.
A healthy diet should include: vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans and seeds, lean meats, fish, and low fat dairy. Sometimes, getting our children to eat a well-balanced diet is much easier said than done. As parents, we know our children can be picky eaters, causing them to miss important nutrients from their diet. In these cases, it’s ok to sneak them in.
Here are some great ways to sneak in healthier alternatives:
- Gluten-Free flour blends (especially Bob’s Red Mill): Made with a blend of ground beans and nuts. This flour can easily replace white flour in recipes, adding fiber, protein and minerals.
- Almond Flour: Made with almonds, can replace about 1/4 of white flour in recipes.
- The Banana Bread Concept: Take your favorite banana bread recipe and either replace or combine the banana with mashed sweet potato, acorn, or butternut squash. The result will be delicious!
- Cauliflower: When chopped raw in a food processor, it resembles something else that kids like to eat – white rice. Steam it and combine with rice, or simply create a fried rice dish with it, they won’t be able to tell the difference.
- Pink mashed potatoes: Mash a few beets in with the potatoes. It will effect the color, but not the taste.
- Broccoli bread crumbs: Broccoli crowns blend very nicely in the food processor. Add them to your bread crumbs for chicken or fish.
When it comes to our children’s health, sometimes its OK to be a little sneaky!