How do you sneak good stuff into your picky eaters' food? - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 01-29-2013, 11:39 AM
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I am a firm believer in teaching my children to eat veggies the way they are, but it really just isn't reality. I could leave broccoli on my son's plate for months on end and he still won't touch it.

 

I have been coming up with crafty ways to sneak nutrition into my kids' diet. I thought it might be nice if we could all share some ideas with each other.

 

I will start:

 

1) Raw shelled hemp seeds. Amazing complete protein, source of fat, omega 3's, and in such a small amount. I sprinkle some inside my kids peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and they never know.

 

2) Pancakes. I hide lots of stuff in pancake batter to amp it up for them. Like mashed banana, peanut butter, pureed beans or chickpeas. A friend of mine just shared with me that she adds squash to hers. Great idea.

 

3) Steamed pureed veggies in pizza or pasta sauce. I do this frequently. Since it takes time and since my kids sometimes can see what I am doing, I will make a large batch of it (sauce mixed with pureed zucchini, broccoli, carrots, squash, and white beans) and pour it into ice cube trays and freeze them for later use.

 

4) Brownies. Beans, banana, peanut butter, quinoa, avocado- all can be carefully hidden in a batch of brownies.

 

 

Any other ideas anyone would like to share??


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#2 Old 01-29-2013, 04:27 PM
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Juice - sometimes I can hide a vegetable juice in a fruit juice. Just juice 'em all and make sure it's sweet.

 

Soups - Luckily, my son will eat almost all vegan soups I make even if there are veggies in it. The veggies just have to be really small or the entire thing should be pureed (like split pea soup).

 

Put chocolate on it - I admit, every now and then when I feel like he's not eating enough I will smear some vegan nutella on wheat bread or a piece of fruit. I should try the brownie idea. I bet that would work well with my little chocolate-lover.

 

Put it on my plate - depending on the food, sometimes just saying "this is for grown ups" or "no, this is mine" gets him to want to eat it. Hehe

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#3 Old 01-29-2013, 09:49 PM
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I nanny a 4-year old boy that is a somewhat picky eater. His mom does purees- pureed butternut squash in his grilled cheese and quesadillas, mixed in with mac and cheese, etc. She adds ground flaxseed to his oatmeal.
I put chopped spinach in his quesadillas and he eats them, no complaints. He will now eat cucumber with ranch dressing. He loves bananas and apples with peanut butter. He will try veggies dipped in hummus.
I added peas to his mac and cheese today, but he wasn't a huge fan.

We made popsicles once with orange juice and steamed pureed carrots.

I also give him choices- try the green beans or the broccoli, you decide.
I mashed up some avocado and thinly spread it on toast. He was a little skeptical the first time (it is GREEN after all) but now he will eat chunks of avocado plain.

I've found he likes things I never expected him to like- seaweed, avocado, etc.

If he sees me eating something he will sometimes ask to try a bite. I try to model really great food habits in front of him. We also talk about new food items he has tried that he didn't think he would like, and ended up LOVING. This sometimes encourages him to try new things.

Green smoothies! Make a strawberry banana smoothie and toss in some spinach.
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#4 Old 02-03-2013, 06:31 AM
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Thanks for the ideas, I am struggling too (my oldest will be 3 soon and it's a nightmare). I think I will try pancakes today, this kid won't even eat plain pasta now! It was so easy when he was a baby :)

 

I make green (spinach) smoothies a lot and he seems to take those fine.

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#5 Old 02-04-2013, 10:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChiKat View Post

If he sees me eating something he will sometimes ask to try a bite. I try to model really great food habits in front of him. We also talk about new food items he has tried that he didn't think he would like, and ended up LOVING. This sometimes encourages him to try new things.
 

 

 

^This is probably the number one way to get my son to try things. He wants to try most everything he sees me or his dad eating.

 

However, he refuses anything pureed or with a similar texture with the exception of guacamole. This kid won't even eat mashed potato or applesauce. Ethan like foods in recognizable forms and lucky for me he does have a pretty wide range of fruits and vegetables that he'll eat. To get him more excited about new foods, I'll let him pick out something in the produce area of the store and/or let him "help" me chop veggies for dinner. He loves grabbing the raw cut-up veggies, even though he won't always eat them cooked. I think something about being involved in the process helps him get more excited about trying new things.

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#6 Old 02-05-2013, 12:26 PM
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We don't really sneak anything. Our son is 3 1/2 and he's not all that picky. He's also pretty good about at least trying new things.

For the most part when we have dinner at home he eats what we eat - we don't make something special for him. No one leaves the table until everyone is done. So he doesn't have the option of leaving dinner early to go play - he can either eat or he can wait. If we're done eating and he hasn't touched something we'll tell him he needs to eat at least part of it before he can leave the table. If that doesn't work then we explain that's all he's getting for the night and there won't be any snacks. And we stick to that. There have been a couple times where he's later said he's hungry but we just say "Sorry bud, you should have eaten more of your dinner."

Haven't really had any issues with that approach yet.

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#7 Old 02-06-2013, 08:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael View Post

We don't really sneak anything. Our son is 3 1/2 and he's not all that picky. He's also pretty good about at least trying new things.

For the most part when we have dinner at home he eats what we eat - we don't make something special for him. No one leaves the table until everyone is done. So he doesn't have the option of leaving dinner early to go play - he can either eat or he can wait. If we're done eating and he hasn't touched something we'll tell him he needs to eat at least part of it before he can leave the table. If that doesn't work then we explain that's all he's getting for the night and there won't be any snacks. And we stick to that. There have been a couple times where he's later said he's hungry but we just say "Sorry bud, you should have eaten more of your dinner."

Haven't really had any issues with that approach yet.


^^ my 2 yr old daughter is like that. She will eat anything you put in front of her. She begs me for chickpeas, olives, kale salad, and bananas all day long. When you put a meal in front of her she is picking out the veggies and fruits and eating them first! She is the easiest little vegan kid!

 

My son though- picky as can be, barely eats anything! He inspects and examines everything before going in his mouth. He won't eat anything that is green, and often times "cheeks" his food if we make him eat it and he didn't want to. Basically he lives of the items I mentioned above! Totally night and day- all kids are so different!


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#8 Old 02-08-2013, 09:50 PM
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Mine was a fussy eater but since we went vegan he opens up a LOT on fruits and veggies. I don't sneak anything I tell him what's in it. If it's something he usually dislike I ask him to at least try it one more time, insisting that this time I seasoned it or cooked it differently and the taste maybe be very different. Often he is surprised himself. We come to compromise, like he likes quinoa and black beans stuffed zucchini but not peppers. But diced red peppers in my corn/tofu fritters is fine. For a boost on fruits, fresh juices and smoothies or smoothies as popcicles is always a winner. You can always sneak in some kale and spinach too lol.


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