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Tuesday, March 6, 2012

How I get my kids to eat their veggies without fussing....

This is a post I've been meaning to write FOREVER!!  I've written before that I have picky kids.  In fact,  David is aka Mr. Picky Pants around here.  Katie is a little easier - at 17 she will eat salads, broccoli , carrots, lima beans & other veggies with no begging or bribing.  But it took a long time to get her to this point!

David will eat kale (as in kale chips).  And that's about it, veggie-wise.  He tends to like only one fruit at a time - previous faves were applesauce,  bananas, strawberries.  Now he is into mangos.  Only.   This is a kid who will choose to go to bed without eating if I make him try a bite of something he doesn't like.  And he is too skinny, so I won't do that!  He takes a Hero Nutritionals Multi Vitamin plus a Hero Nutritionals Whole Food Supplement daily to help him get the vitamins and minerals he needs. But I realize he needs the real things, too!  

Maybe you are lucky enough to have kids who love their veggies.  I envy you!  But even veggie-loving kids can always use more veggies in their diet, right? Here's my secret....

Remember the cookbook by Jerry Seinfeld's wife - Deceptively Delicious? (I think that was the title) I loved it - but it was a lot of work (and dishwashing!) to puree all those fruits and veggies. Plus some of her recipes were a bit complicated, and my kids would not have eaten them.   My solution? I ditched the book, and bought organic baby food!  Now my pantry always has a stockpile of baby food veggies & fruits.  I buy it when it is on sale, and add it to most everything!  I've been doing it for a couple years now and it works like a charm!

Sprout brand is my favorite.  I get any variety of veggies, and sometimes fruits too!   Last week I made my turkey tacos - I add water, seasoning mix, and a can of drained corn.  Then I added sweet potato puree & green bean puree to the mix. We used the leftovers two nights later for nachos.  Neither kid had any idea that they were eating veggies!  You can do this for burritos, enchiladas, fajitas, etc.

I also made turkey chili in the crockpot one night.  I used a package of baby carrots and a package of sweet peas and green beans.  I always start my tomatoes & tomato sauce first so they are nice and hot when I add the other ingredients.  Then I add the browned turkey, chili seasonings, and baby food!  It doesn't look so great before I mix it all up, but trust me on this - you won't taste the extra veggies but you'll feel better knowing the kids are getting their veggies without fuss!  (Just make sure you hide the baby food packages in the trash!!)

Colorful, right?! : )

Then you mix it all together and it's so delicious!  You can't tell I added green veggies, right?

I also add veggies to mac n cheese (usually sweet potatoes and white bean),  lasagna,  spaghetti sauce,  casseroles - any veggies!,  soups, stews, and even in some of my cakes & cupcakes (I sometimes use apples or bananas instead of oil!)

Really, the possibilities are endless.  Get creative!  You can even add the purees to convenience meals like Hamburger Helper!  

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