Sneak Fruits and Veggies into Kids Meals

When it comes to getting your children to eat their fruits and vegetables, you may not win the battle, but you can definitely win the war. The secret is to get sneaky. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that adults and children both consume five fruit and vegetable servings a day. Of course, that's easier said than done. {relatedarticles}When presented with a plate of broccoli, spinach or Brussels sprouts, how many kids are really going to dive in without a complaint? Probably not too many. That's why mother-of-two Missy Chase Lapine created The Sneaky Chef: Simple Strategies for Hiding Healthy Foods in Kids Favorite Meals (Running Press Book, 2007). Follow her tried-and-true tips, and it's simple to sneak blueberries in burgers, broccoli in meatballs, cauliflower in macaroni and cheese and cauliflower and zucchini in corn muffins. Her books feature more than 300 recipes that disguise the healthy eats. Of course, you can also come up with your own tactics for working fruits and veggies into your child's diet. Smoothies are a great way to ensure your children get their fruit fix.

By preparing a smoothie, you can get at least three fruit servings into the mix. If you're feeling really sneaky, toss in some mint or a handful of spinach which can be pretty unassuming. Soup is a great hiding place as well. {relatedarticles}Puree fresh veggies and toss them into a chicken or beef broth. You can also use the pureed veggies in meatloaf or burgers. Some parents even go so far as to add vegetable baby food in sauces or condiments. Top French toast, pancakes or waffles with blended strawberries, blueberries or raspberries. You can even fit vegetables in your desserts. Add prunes or pureed carrots to brownies or squash and zucchini into breakfast muffins. The possibilities are endless. Just get creative in your culinary preparations.