Did you know that June is National Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Month? It makes sense… to me, at least. This is about the time when the most delicious produce is in season and thus goes on sale. I’m looking at you, strawberries, blueberries, and zucchini. Fruits are easy to eat, because they’re sweet and delicious. Vegetables… well, I think they’re delicious, but a certain 2 year-old won’t touch them with a ten-foot pole. I try every combination I can think of to make these veggies more appealing, but she’s having none of it. If you have a picky eater, or are one yourself, there are a few ways you can get more vegetables in your diet without even noticing they’re there.
Hide them in breads/muffins
Mom confession: this is the only way Allison gets her vegetables. She’ll eat french fries, but not sweet potato fries. Or any other form of potato. If I hide things like carrots or zucchini in her breakfast muffins, she’ll gobble them right up! She’ll even pick out a piece of shredded carrot, ask, “Is this a carrot? I love carrots!”, and eat it with no problem. I’ve made carrot cake muffins, carrot pancakes, her usual banana oat muffins with shredded zucchini added, and I even tried my hand at cauliflower pancakes.
I think I added too much cauliflower because it really had a distinct cauliflower taste. I had to put a little extra syrup on them to get Allison to eat them, but she did eat them and liked them! I try to be careful with my bread items and how much sugar I put in them, because Allison eats them so often. With a lot of the items above, I used Stevia instead of sugar, or even took out most of the sugar altogether, as well as using healthy replacements like wheat flour, and applesauce instead of oil. You certainly don’t have to, but it’s an option. Do what you have to in order to get veggies in your kids!
Add them to your dinner
You don’t always have to hide the veggies; you can just add little bits of vegetables here and there and it won’t make much of a difference taste-wise.
For example, I needed a side item one night and needed to use up zucchini. I found a recipe for cheesy zucchini rice and it was perfect! The zucchini wasn’t hidden, necessarily, but you couldn’t even taste it.
I’ve also added canned pumpkin to chili and it’s been really good! It also has a mild flavor and is barely noticed, especially if you add a lot of hot sauce to it like I do.
Put them in smoothies
This is one of the easier ways for me to get veggies in. I used to drink a smoothie every morning for breakfast, and you can add a large variety of vegetables to your smoothie without even tasting it. I mostly used spinach, but you can add kale or avocado too. My favorite smoothie used almond milk, peanut butter, chocolate protein powder, banana, and spinach; so delicious! I’ve given Allison smoothies before for breakfast and she loves them. Here are some examples of smoothies you can try this week!
- Banana, kale, apple smoothie
- Chocolate green smoothie
- Orange pineapple green smoothie
- Strawberry pineapple kale smoothie
I hope you can implement at least one of these into your life this week! Vegetables are so important for a healthy lifestyle; changing my diet is part of how I lost 25 pounds in less than a year and am keeping it off. How do you get more vegetables in your/your kids’ diet?