10 Ways To Pack Nutrients Into Your Kids’ Favorite Foods, Without Hearing Any Complaints
- Add freshly ground flax seed into their peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Flaxseed is packed with Omega-3 essential fatty acids, fiber, and antioxidant-rich lignans. All of these could possibly protect your children and yourself from heart disease, diabetes, and breast cancer, not to mention keeping that colon healthy.
- Blend up a bag of frozen broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots to a powder before adding into your spaghetti sauce toward the end of its simmering time. Blended to a powder, it blends easily with the sauce without your kids knowing it is even there. The mild flavors of the vegetables hide well under the stronger flavors of tomato, seasonings, and possible meat in your spaghetti sauce. And even better, by adding it and the end of the simmer time, you heat it enough for to it to be warm, but not cooked, making it a great way to sneak them in raw. This increases the vitamin ratio significantly.
- Add steamed and blended yellow squash or some blended, canned cannellini beans to your child’s macaroni and cheese. Both of these foods are mild in flavor and blend easily into the cheese sauce without strongly affecting the flavor, consistency, or color. Your kids will have no idea! And you can feel good even on those busy days when Mac and Cheese is the best you can do because you know the benefits. What used to make your kids feeling lethargic and weak, now will fill their bodies with healthy energy and help them fight disease and aging.
- Serve Green Mashed Potatoes with dinner tonight! My kids love green mashed potatoes. It’s fun. It’s different. And it gives them an extra serving of vegetables. Right before I start to mash my boiled potatoes, I blend a large handful of fresh, raw spinach leaves with a little water in my high power blender. Depending on the type of blender you have, you will get different consistencies. The higher the quality, the more it turns into a spinach juice that you can pour over the potatoes, blending the juice easily with the butter, sour cream, and/or milk you might also add into your potatoes. I sometimes add a clove of garlic into the spinach blend too for added flavor and nutrition. This trick alone will help strengthen your family’s vision, prevent cancer, decrease inflammation, and strengthen their bones.
- Add chia seeds to their yogurt or pudding. Chia seeds are packed with omega 3 and omega 6. They naturally thicken and gel when wet, making it a perfect addition to yogurt or pudding. They are also tasteless.
- Buy Greek yogurt and flavor it with your own sugar and pureed fruit. The flavored yogurt in the stores have so much sugar in it and most of the time also have high fructose corn syrup in it as well. How they can call that a health item is beyond me, even with the acidophilus. I like Greek yogurt because it has significantly more protein than regular yogurt, while continuing to be high in good flora for your child’s immune system. And just adding one tablespoon of real cane sugar to a cup of it, sweetens it perfectly, while cutting down your sugar to more than half! Of course adding just a teaspoon of sugar and then supplementing with a tablespoon of pureed berries can take it to a whole new level.
- Add fruit or mashed avocado into their chicken salad sandwiches. The mashed avocado also helps you cut down on the amount of mayonnaise to use! I also like to add in dried cranberries, raisins, diced apple, or quartered grapes to my chicken salad sandwiches.
- Make spinach ice cream shakes! With a high quality blender, blend 2 cups of almond milk with cup of ice and a handful of fresh spinach leaves, one banana, and a packet of pistachio pudding mix. Blend on high. While it has the same amount of sugar as ice cream shakes from the local fast-food chain, the added spinach as well as substituted almond milk for dairy, makes this shake a much healthier alternative and equally delicious. It is always a hit in our house. Try different flavors of pudding mix too: chocolate and vanilla are also great choices.
- Serve Tomato sauce with their grilled cheese sandwiches instead of tomato soup. Canned tomato soup often has been cooked at extremely high temperatures, killing its vitamin quality, and then includes added sugars to the recipe. I find that a good quality marinara sauce without high fructose corn syrup has incredible flavor that really compliments the cheese, while also packs a much stronger nutritional punch to my kids’ meal. I like to cut their sandwiches into strips and then give them a small bowl of sauce to dip the strips in.
- Use Spaghetti squash instead of spaghetti! This was a new one I recently started working into my family’s regular meals. If you have a good tasting meat sauce or spaghetti sauce, you know that this is the key to the flavor of your dish. When cooked right, spaghetti squash comes out soft, mild flavored, and stringy just like spaghetti. It is packed with way more nutrients than most spaghetti and cuts down on your kid’s white flour intake. My kids love it!
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Theresa Hemsath is a wife, mother and school teacher. She loves the Lord and loves to write. You can find more wonderful articles on her personal blog.
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