Keeping children healthy can sometimes feel like a battle – especially if your little ones are fussy eaters. But with the right recipes you can always find some sneaky ways to make them happy to eat some healthy fruit and veg. There are of course a great many recipes to choose from. But these inventive ways to get your child to eat fruit and veg could give you a good place to start:
Fun Smoothies To Get Your Child To Eat a Healthy Breakfast
Smoothies are one obvious way to hide some fruit and veg and smuggle it into your kids. A sweet fruity smoothie with banana or strawberries, for example, could also hide some spinach, kale, or other leafy greens. Blend it all up well and there is far less chance they will complain about what they are ‘eating’.
Overnight Oats With Summer Berries To Start The Day The Right Way
This ‘build your own’ recipe can be fun for kids to help to make, as well as fun for them to eat. Simply get some glass jars or other containers and layer in some oats, summer berries, and perhaps some yoghurt or a dairy-free alternative. Then pop the jars in the fridge and in the morning, you will have a healthy breakfast ready to enjoy.
Breakfast Muffins, Savoury or Sweet
Kids will also be more likely to eat something they have had a hand in baking. One healthy snack or breakfast you could make is muffins. Whether you make them savoury, with vegetables, herbs and perhaps some cheese, or sweetened with fruits and honey, these can also go down a treat.
Pancake Towers With Fruity Treats
Pancakes can also be very child-friendly, and may be popular with the whole family. But rather than serving them with sugar or syrup or chocolate drops, think about packing pancakes with fruit or sweet vegetable compotes, fresh berries and other fruity treats.
Hiding Fruit and Veg in Sandwiches
Sandwiches are a staple in many homes, and easy for packed lunches. But sandwiches definitely do not have to be boring. And they can be a good way to smuggle in some fresh and healthy ingredients to your kids’ diets. Fruit and veg can be blended and made into a delicious sandwich spread, and may be popular even with those who will remove any salad which is added. You could also add some fresh ingredients from your garden to the bread you make, and use that to make their favourite sandwiches.
Super Soups for Lunch Time Boosts
Sweet vegetable soups with ingredients like carrots, parsnips or peas can often be popular with kids if they will eat them. But you can make them more likely to want to eat or drink them down if you give them cool names, and explain how each soup will give them ‘super powers’. Orange zinger might make them speedy… while Green gloop might help them be big and strong. Have some fun and make up stories to help kids connect with food in new, fun ways.
Lunch Box Mini Pizzas and Quiches
Other lunch box favourites can also have hidden healthy elements to get your kids to eat more healthily by stealth. Mini pizzas, for example, can be home made with whole grains, with herbs in the base, and lots of vegetables blended into a tomato sauce. Pop a little cheese on top and they won’t mind the difference. Little bite sized quiches can also contain a bunch of different vegetables, and these can also often be a popular choice.
Spicy Snacks To Get Your Child Hooked on Fruit and Veg
While some kids can’t stand any flavour, many do love some spice. In some cases, little spicy snacks like samosas, bhajis etc can go down very well, and these might even become new favourites. Pack these nibbles with a range of healthy vegetables and kids might not even realise that they are eating something that is good for them.
Vegetable Crisps To Wean Kids Off Potato Crisps
Crisps are often a difficult thing to eliminate from your kid’s diet. But you can make them healthier by baking your own. And you can also choose to make crisps from other vegetables – not just from potatoes. Beetroot crisps and kale crisps are just a couple of examples.
Cakes and Bakes With Hidden Healthy Ingredients
There are a wide range of sweet cakes and other sweet treats which can have hidden, healthy ingredients. You could bake a carrot cake, or a beetroot cake, for example. Using honey for sweetening helps you cut down on the sugar, and you can add all sorts of healthy additions to things your kids will consider to be treats. Remember, however, getting kids involved in actually doing the baking could also help them see just how delicious fresh, healthy ingredients can be.
Fruit and Veg Ice Lollies
Over the summer months, making fruit and veg ice lollies is another great way to get them to eat healthily and to give them a treat. Juice some fresh berries or fruits from your garden, and perhaps even root veg like carrots too, then freeze the juice to give them ice lollies on hot summer’s days.
Fruit Roll Ups and Fruit and Veg Sweets
Kids that have a sweet tooth may also appreciate it if you turned some of your homegrown berries and fruits into homemade fruit roll ups, by partially dehydrating the pulp in a thin layer in your oven. These can be cut into strips and rolled up for packed lunches or picnics. And some kids might like them even better than the sickly sweet ones you can buy. There are also plenty of other recipes to make your own gummy sweets and other sweet treats from the fruits and veg from your garden.
Keep the conversation flowing. Avoiding placing excess pressure at the dinner table so healthy eating does not seem like a scary thing, or a chore. Lead by example – make sure you are eating healthily too! Help kids to feel a sense of agency over what they eat by getting them involved with growing and cooking. And above all – make food fun with some of the recipe ideas above. Doing these things should make it easier to get your child to eat fresh fruit and veg.
Elizabeth Waddington is a writer and green living consultant living in Scotland. Permaculture and sustainability are at the heart of everything she does, from designing gardens and farms around the world, to inspiring and facilitating positive change for small companies and individuals.
She also works on her own property, where she grows fruit and vegetables, keeps chickens and is working on the eco-renovation of an old stone barn.
To get in touch, visit https://ewspconsultancy.com.