Sneaking Fruits & Veggies into your Child's Diet

Do you sneak fruits and veggies into your children's diet? I've read a lot about pureeing veggies and adding them to baked goods.

I've sometimes substituted Sweet Potatoes or Applesauce for a certain portion of oil in a recipe, but not with the intent to "hide" anything.

Our motto is: Out in the Open! That's how I get my kids exposed to fruits and veggies. We keep all of our produce (except lettuces) out in the open. Sure, that does make them spoil faster, but that's all the faster we need to eat them!

When my kids are hungry for something, the first thing they see is the produce up on the counter. But that doesn't mean we don't have challenges at dinner time.

For meals, we have 1 simple rule. You may not have seconds or dessert until you've finished your firsts. So they would need to finish their veggie servings before they could have anything else. Sometimes, they choose to eat nothing, but most often they will eat everything so they have a chance to get more of what they really like.

I think it's important for all of us to get used to eating whole fruits and vegetables. But what do you think?

Twitter moms is currently hosting a contest about sneaking veggies sponsored by Little Blends. Go check it out and weigh in with your two cents. Comment here too, I'd love to get other people's perspective.


Jessica-MomForHim said...

I mostly "sneak" into our pancake or waffle mixes--we like carrot, sweet potato, and pumpkin. Otherwise, we have the same rule about seconds and desserts as you do. And they always have to try at least one bite of everything on their plate.

amanda said...

I could see sneaking veggies into foods if you have a picky child who refuses to eat any vegetables and you want to make sure they are getting what they need... Both of my kids hit a picky stage in the toddler years where they would have lived off of chicken nuggets and french fries IF I let them.

Of course, I didn't.

We have the same dinner time rule as you.
I have also been working very hard to introduce and reintroduce fresh fruits and veggies - in fact, the basis for my blog is to keep the food fun and exciting, AND healthy!

That said, I do have vegetable purees frozen and will add to foods, but I don't hide what is going into the foods - in fact, I go out of my way to let my kids know what is in the foods they are eating!

My daughter recently helped me make her 'pinkalicious' lunch. She helped add the beet puree into both cottage cheese and applesauce to turn it pink. We've also used butternut squash puree as a dip!

Not to plug my blog, but it seems relevant -
click on the lunchboxes label to see some of the fun and exciting kid lunches so far this school year!

Jen said...

It seems like our family has a similar philosophy to yours including the dinner rule. I will 'hide' veggies into recipes (like muffins), but only as a way to get extra vegetables.
My son is young, as are the children I watch, but they have gotten a kick out of a giant food pyramid hanging on our refrigerator. Every meal they pick out what we are eating!
I read somewhere that is much easier to use butter, salt, cheese & ranch on veggies to get kids to eat them. Then you slowly start using less and less until they do not realize it is gone. The article said it was much easier to take the cheese off of the carrot than the carrot out of the muffin... (I'm sure their wording was much more eloquent).

Angela said...

Amanda - Makes sense.Your blog rocks for healthy (and fun) food ideas. :) I'm stealing ideas for my son's lunches as we speak.

Chels said...

I sneak for sure but I also offer the real stuff all the time. I like purees for other reasons besides getting my kids daily dose of veggies. I like cauliflower puree for making my chowder even better and thicker.

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