Around Halloween, it’s always a challenge to get kids to back away from the trick or treat bags full of candy and enjoy healthy food at the dinner table. Here are a few tips to help you trick your family into eating more of your fresh, local Produce Box fruit and veggie treats!
Dress those veggies for success
Steaming vegetables is a quick way to cook them, but sometimes they can lack flavor. Next time you steam, treat the veggies like a warm salad, and drizzle your favorite dressing on top. Sweet potatoes are one of the most nutrient dense foods you can eat, no matter how you prepare them. For the kids, make savory sweet potato fries. Cut into long pieces and coat in olive oil, then lightly season and bake at 400 F. Dip them in hummus or your favorite condiment for a healthy treat your kids can’t resist.
Mom’s “Special Sauce”
Another sneaky trick is hiding vegetables in your sauces and traditional meals. Spaghetti sauce from homemade tomato sauce is a good base, but why not add cooked peppers, onions, or greens to your sauce? Mixed in with your regular sauce, they won’t even be able to tell it has twice the nutritional value. Don’t know what to do with the squash and cauliflower that comes in your Box during the fall? If you don’t want to roast it, you can also cook, mash, and puree it, then add it to mashed potatoes or even macaroni and cheese. Don’t feel guilty for giving the kids a less colorful meal; just add the veggies to the base!
Bake it (or fake it) until you make it!
Certain veggies bake really well, especially squash with high water content. Zucchini carrot bread is another sweet treat that can get baked up like a cake and put in lunch boxes to use up some of those vegetables that didn’t quite make it to the dinner plate this week. Mashed baked sweet potatoes can also work as filling in pancakes at Saturday morning breakfasts. It’s a great way to include more vegetables in your kids favorite foods.
When all else fails? Make them taste like dessert!
That apple that keeps coming home in the lunch box? Cut it up and make it a treat with a spoonful of one of our nut butters from Huntington Provision Co. Or roast it in the oven with a sprinkle of cinnamon.