View Full Version : Sneaky ways to get healthy things into children

Mar 28th, 2006, 01:02 PM
I was wondering the other day what "tricks" you may use to get your children to eat all the things they should.

I have three children and they are quite good at eating most things, but they go through phases on what they will and won't eat. I have developed a few ways of sneaking healthy things into them and I wondered if anyone else had any ideas.

A big thing is that they aren't too keen on lots of green leafy veg,they will eat broccoli, but that does get boring after a week with little else. I have started cooking tonnes of various green leafy veg, pureeing it and then mixing it into things like tomato based pasta sauces and things.

One daughter will eat/drink smoothies so I can get some things into her that way. Luckily they both like houmous and will often do quite well eating raw veg dipped in houmous.

Does anyone know whether it still counts as one of their five a day if I puree fruit and make a vegan crumble with it? They don't have sugar in anything else so I figured it was probably an okay way to get fruit into them, even if it is as a pudding?

Any ideas would be brilliant! Obviously I would rather they just ate veg as it is, but they are still quite young and so this is the best I can come up with for now. My youngest daughter also won't eat soup at all, so I can't even puree up a load of things and feed it to her as soup!

Mar 28th, 2006, 01:51 PM
Do they like roasted veggies? Carrot & parsnip's quite sweet when roasted. Do they like soy yogurt? Chopped fruit covered in soy yogurt is very dessert like.

Mar 28th, 2006, 01:54 PM
How do you serve the broccoli? What about making a yummy nutritional yeast cheesy sauce to serve over it? If you use foritified nutritional yeast, it will be extra nutritious. :)

You might also be able to puree some veggies in hummous too. I know if I was a kid, I'd get a kick out of bright green (from leafy veggies) or bright orange (carrots) hummous!

Mar 28th, 2006, 02:45 PM
They are good ideas! Thanks! I hadn't thought about putting the veggies into hummous. Roasted veg would be worth a try, but they are deeply suspicious of anything resembling an actual vegetable!

I will try those ideas and see how they go :)

Mar 29th, 2006, 01:57 AM
I make a tomato based sauce for use on pasta, rice etc that might be worth a try.
Tomato paste/tin of chopped tomatoes
1/2 can of beans (such as kidney or cannellini)
2 chopped carrots
1 chopped onion
1/2 a zucchini, chopped

Heat all together on stove until carrots are soft. Let it cool a little & puree (similar to what you are doing with greens). My boyfriend's nephews are really difficult with vegetables too, even cooked tomato - and they will eat this! Probably because they can't actually identify any individual vegetables in it :p

Hope you have some luck getting more vegetables into your kids diets.


Mar 29th, 2006, 02:59 AM
I have this same issue and many people have given me good advice on the "what did your child/n eat today thread'' if you want to check it out! Good luck!

Mar 29th, 2006, 05:26 AM
mash veg in with mashed potato...
make green smoothies (50% fruit 50% leafy greens...ie 4 bananas, 200g kale)
make vegetable burgers/fingers (they don't look like veg and usually don't taste like veg)
make smiley faces on the plate
have you got a juicer??? Make juice and hide veg/fruit they don't like in with fruit they do like...
make home made pies and sneak purreed veg in....
make home made dumplings and sneak purreed veg in....

Mar 29th, 2006, 10:47 AM
Pies - Linda McCartney - lied to teenagers otherwise would not eat "vegan crap"
Quorn, although not vegan, better than buying chicken - lie to teenagers otherwise would not eat "vegetarian crap". (please note I would not eat Quorn). However, in an effort to banish meat have made some slight compromises with the children who can spot a mung bean and vegetable at ten paces and who would eat drippy bacon just to aggravate me.
Smoothies - Soya milk - I never tell them its soya milk
Soya marg - ditto
Juices - I hide carrots in the juices and never tell them that.

Gosh, Im not a very good example of a truthful parent am I. Its just that my boys are nearly 16 and nearly 18 and they think Im demented for being a vegan.

Mar 29th, 2006, 10:54 AM
Gosh, Im not a very good example of a truthful parent am I.

Better than mine who would rip the "beef" off the label of "beef and tomato soup" and try to pass it off as tomato...

Mar 29th, 2006, 10:57 AM
Better than mine who would rip the "beef" off the label of "beef and tomato soup" and try to pass it off as tomato...

Oh my God!!! Why cos they dont want you to be vegan??? How awful. Mind you I think my kids think Im just as awful for doing it the other way lol. Kids and parents eh:rolleyes:

Mar 29th, 2006, 03:09 PM
Thanks everyone... they are brilliant ideas! I will check out the other thread too :D

Tabitha... better to lie than let them eat crap :D

Mar 29th, 2006, 03:33 PM
Better than mine who would rip the "beef" off the label of "beef and tomato soup" and try to pass it off as tomato...

lol - when I was a teenager and not yet vegan, my mum once took the cheese out of its packet and wrapped it in cling film, as she knew it wasn't vegetarian and I wouldn't eat it if I saw the packet. Obviously I saw through that one :rolleyes:

When my niece and nephew come for dinner and I'm a bit worried about them not liking something, I get them to help prepare it! It usually does the trick.

Incidentally though, and I know it's not very common, being fussy about eating something can be an indication of an allergy/intollerance. I always hated mushrooms and it's a good job my parents didn't try to sneak them into food as I discovered when I was grown up that they make me ill!