5 “Hidden Healthy” Recipes to Make for Your Kids

by Jodie Block on 02/22/2012

If you are wondering why I call myself the “Sneaky Dietitian”, I’m going to clue you in by sharing a few of my favorite meals that are so sneaky (and so easy), your picky eater will never suspect why you aren’t nagging them at meal time!

My Top 5 “Hidden Healthy” Recipes to Make for Your Kids

#5 – Whole Wheat Pita Pizza Faces

Mix pureed Winter Squash (buy frozen organic or make your own) into the tomato sauce – they’ll never know! Roll and cut up spinach leaves to look like “hair” and chop up lots of different vegetables. Let kids assemble themselves. Pop it in the toaster oven for them, and use the leftover veggies in a salad.

 

 #4 – Mashed Cauli-tatos

Pull the leaves off the cauliflower and cut out the core. Break the florets into smaller pieces and put them in a microwave safe bowl with about 1 inch of water, cover, and cook for about 4-5 minutes, or until softened. Put the cauliflower into a food processor, purée until smooth, scrape and stir the purée a few times; add more liquid as needed, but try and use as little liquid as you can get away with. Add the pureed cauliflower to your own mashed potato recipe making them SO much healthier…plus you won’t even know they’re in there.

 #3 – Black Bean Brownies

I see that face you’re making, but just try it!  I have a “by scratch” recipe, but the easy way is to buy Betty Crocker Low Fat Brownies, and in addition to the ingredients on the box, add 1 cup of applesauce and 1 can of drained, rinsed and thoroughly pureed black beans. Then bake as directed. When you want a treat for your kids, but you still want them to get some nutrients and fiber, go for my brownies.

 #2 – Whole Wheat Green Meatballs

They’re delicious and fun to eat!  Get out your favorite low fat turkey meatball recipe, add in 8 oz. of pureed spinach, and replace the store bought breadcrumbs with your favorite whole wheat bread, toasted and crumbled up. You can also add some applesauce or winter squash for extra flavor. Easy peasy, fun and yum!

And my #1 Sneaky Recipe to get your kids to eat more healthy foods is…

Food as Art

Begin with cored and sliced apples or pears, or even sliced bananas. Spread with choices of peanut butter, almond butter, yogurt, or pureed cottage cheese (you can color and sweeten the cottage cheese with pureed fruit). Then allow your child to sprinkle with choices of: chopped nuts or seeds, rolled oats, mini chocolate chips, ground flax seeds, bran flakes, cinnamon, raisins, craisins…you get the picture. Enjoy as is or cover with another fruit slice and eat as a sandwich. It’s time for you and your child to get creative together.

Make mealtime fun, not stressful for your family. Remember, your child should be allowed to decide what and how much they eat, but it’s your responsibility to make the healthy foods available…or to sneak them into what they’re already choosing!

In the meantime, take comfort in this: the majority of American children do get enough variety and nutrition in their diets over the course of a week. Instead of worrying about their daily diet, consider it over a week or two. If you are sneaking in the vegetables and fruits here and there, and they are eating some on their own, you are probably doing a lot better than you realize.

Just a little Food for Thought.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

susie March 30, 2012 at 1:19 AM

I seemed to be a much better mummy about what my kids ate when my boys were younger, reading your blog reminds me of how careful I used to be ……..shame on me…now they are older and more independent about their choices I have let it slip away from me thanks for this great nudge, I’m sending this link to their inboxes ;) Great Blog!!!

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Susan Crown March 30, 2012 at 2:46 AM

Great ideas and delicious recipes. I have applied some of these tricks already, but I plan to try #4 and #3 this weekend! I am always in search of new recipes to try and these sound great. Some of the best advice I have received over the years, and you emphasize it in your last paragraph is that all kids need to determine what and how much to eat and that is how they will learn to make good food choices. Our job is to prepare and provide what they choose from. And if we can do it with great nutrition in mind, all the better. Thank you Jodie for this sage advice and yummy recipe ideas. Keep them coming!

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Jodie March 30, 2012 at 1:34 AM

Thanks Susie! I just made and ate my “Hidden Healthy” Chocolate Chip Cookies with my 16 year old. It also got his milk in :) Lots of bran, oatmeal, and ground flax seeds in my recipe.

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chad southard March 30, 2012 at 4:22 AM

It looks fantastic! Good advice and taste, yet healthy.

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Liz March 30, 2012 at 6:10 AM

Great ideas!

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Dawn March 30, 2012 at 11:31 AM

Great ideas jodie…i will try not only for my kids but for myself!

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