Did you know that children ages 2-3 should be getting one cup of veggies each day? That amount increases as they age: 1 1/2 cups for 4- to 8-year-old kids and between 2 to 3 cups for teens. That’s a lot of vegetables! Your kids don’t have to always be eating carrots or celery sticks to get enough of the good stuff. Pureed and shredded vegetables easily meld into recipes so that your kids won’t even know they’re getting an added dose of nutrition. For kids who love cool drinks, try pea perfection smoothies (yes, peas are the secret ingredient). Pack vegetables into sandwiches with veg-filled sloppy Joes. And for dessert, try either spinach brownies or chocolate zucchini cake. Sneaky, huh?
Sweet, juicy peas meld right into the sweetness of strawberries in this pea perfection smoothie recipe from Live Better America. You’ll need to cook the peas before you put them into the blender. Let them cool before you press the ‘liquefy’ button. Peas never tasted so good!
Canned pumpkin mixes perfectly into baked goods. These silver dollar pumpkin pancakes from The Pioneer Woman are sweet enough to entice even picky eaters to take a bite. Should you tell your kids there’s pumpkin inside? Well, that’s up to you. Make sure to have plenty of maple syrup on hand to top these goodies.
Trim the amount of ground beef and up the vegetables to make these fast, fun veg-filled sloppy Joes from Best Body Fitness. Carrot, zucchini, mushrooms, tomatoes and onions not only give these sloppy Joes extra nutrients, but they also infuse them with flavor.
This creamy pasta dish lends itself to the addition of pureed carrots and cauliflower. Your kids will only notice the added sauce in this carrot and cauliflower mac ‘n’ cheese from Betty Crocker, they won’t even know there are veggies hiding in there!
What kid can resist chocolate cake? Whip up this chocolate zucchini cake from My Recipes for your kids to sink their teeth into. The added zucchini keeps the cake moist and makes it nutritious enough – you might even let them have a slice for breakfast.
Pulverize spinach and blueberries together to make the purple puree that gives these spinach brownies from MetroParent’s Crumbs blog their deep color and nutritional oomph. These chewy brownies also include rolled oats – but your kiddos will never know it.