How To Hide Fruit and Vegetables in Food

Be a sneaky chef and end mealtime battles

How to hide vegetables in food
When you make this yummy Mac & Cheese recipe from Hello Fresh, your kids won't realize there is cauliflower in it!. Hello Fresh

 Whether your child is a picky eater or not, a lot of preschoolers struggle with trying new foods, especially vegetables. And while in some cases, simply continuing to offer vegetables at every meal will eventually convince a little child to try them, often parents find themselves at a loss when faced with a kid who simply will not take anything unfamiliar off of their plate and put it into their mouth.

Rebecca Lewis, an in-house registered dietitian at HelloFresh, has some tips for parents who understand how important it is that kids eat a balanced meal, but who may be dealing with a child who either wants to eat the same thing over and over again, or who are reluctant to try something new. 

“The biggest impact you can make on kids’ diets is to make fruits and vegetables the cornerstone of what they are eating,” says Lewis. “They contain the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that strengthen the body and help kids grow in a healthy way. However, this is easier said than done. Children will eat what adults eat – so modeling positive eating behavior is crucial. Make sufficient time in your schedule for healthy eating, which starts with cooking meals at home, in order to teach this important skill to your children.”

HelloFresh is a weekly meal-kit service that provides recipes and healthy ingredients to customers.

They work closely with celebrity chef Jamie Oliver, who has made it his mission to not only educate parents, but to empower kids by teaching them about healthy eating and cooking at a young age. 

“Feeding your kids right is a top priority, find the time to make sure they’re getting food they not only enjoy, but is good for them, too," Oliver says.

"If you understand food and know how to cook early on, you can put those skills into practice and are likelier to be healthier all round.”

And while it's important to talk to kids about healthy food and what kind of choices they should be making, Lewis has put together a list of ways you can sneak fruits and vegetables into your child's diet, from creating healthy twists on favorite foods to introducing new foods:

  • Zucchini: Add in grated zucchini to your meatballs, hamburger patties, or spaghetti sauce.  For a healthy twist on baked goods, you can even add in grated zucchini to your breads, muffins, and cookies!
  • Butternut Squash: Incorporate mashed or pureed vegetables like squash into meals and snacks adds creaminess without added fat. Butternut squash in mac and cheese gives a beautiful yellow color and a rich sauce that can still be flavored with cheese. Adding pureed pumpkin into ordinary oatmeal gives it an extra fiber boost and a bright color.
  • Beets: Beets taste amazing in tomato sauce and sweeten it up without added sugar. You can also add pureed beets into pancake or waffle mix, for pretty pink princess pancakes! 
  • Cauliflower: Blend steamed cauliflower into mashed potatoes – they’ll never even notice it’s there! You can also try it in mac and cheese for a sneaky 
  • Spinach: Blend spinach into fresh fruit smoothies to give them both a nutrient and color boost. Mixing with sweet and tart fruits like banana and mango makes for a kid-friendly twist.
  • Berries: Ditch the jarred jams and jellies and puree fresh berries for toppings on oatmeal, pancakes, sandwiches and desserts.

In addition, HelloFresh has put together some kid-friendly recipes that incorporates vegetables in a tasty way that the whole family is sure to enjoy:

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