Sneak in Veggies and Fruit into your Child’s Diet
March is National Nutrition Month. Many kids are not prompted to eat well balanced meals – never mind consuming the required amount of vegetables and fruits recommended by Canada’s Food Guide.
Health Canada suggests 4 servings of veggies and fruit for children aged 2 to 3, 5 servings for ages 4 to 8, and 6 servings for kids 9 to 12. It may be challenging for parents to get the green (and yellow and red) stuff into their kids’ diets.
Here are some quick, easy and sneaky ways to get more veggies and fruits into your kids’ favourite meals.
- Most kids go for pizza so top it up with more veggies such as fresh tomatoes, mushroom, peppers, and broccoli (dice them very fine or bury them under other ingredients). If your child is a fan of Hawaiian pizza, load it up with pineapple.
- Substitute greasy French fries with homemade and baked sweet potato fries.
- When you make spaghetti and meatballs, add finely diced veggies such as onion, carrots, tomatoes, mushrooms, and celery to your pasta sauce.
- Just about every child has a thing for macaroni and cheese. Try adding some frozen mixed vegetables such as carrots, broccoli, corn, or cauliflower. Your kids might find that these veggies taste a whole lot better smothered in cheese!
- Change up the old PB&J sandwich by adding a few slices of banana or apple!
- Kids love colour – vividly coloured fruits can be very attractive to young kids. Make a tray of berries and try going exotic with mangoes, papaya, kiwi, and star fruit. Give them some plain yogurt for dipping to make it more fun.
- Pancakes are always a big hit with kids so start blending fruit, such as blueberries, strawberries, and others into your batter. You can even add small quantities of carrot peels or vegetable purees which will get by unnoticed.
Whether you make your chicken noodle soup from scratch or not, this popular soup is an easy way to smuggle tons of extra veggies.
Remember, there are plenty of ways of concealing fruits and veggies into your kids’ favourite dishes... it just takes a bit of creativity and imagination! For more info on Canada’s Food Guide, visit: www.hc-sc.gc.ca.