Aug 8, 2015

5 Ways to Sneak Veggies into a Picky Eater's Diet

Do you have a picky eater in your household? Or maybe you're the picky eater?

Many of us don't get the recommended five servings a day of fruits and vegetables. Picky eaters often get even less. Since fruits and vegetables provide us with a wide variety of important nutrients, that's not good!

Carrot sticks make you happy!

Especially with back to school around the bend, it's time to spiffy up routine and make sure that poor nutrition isn't holding us back from being our best - young and old alike!

With these tried and true tips, you'll have even the pickiest eater happily hitting their fruit and veggie serving goals every day!

1. Add a little cauliflower in with your potatoes when you're making mashed potatoes.

If you cook them together and keep the proportion skewed towards potatoes, you won't even be able to noticed that you've added in the cauliflower.

2. Add 1/4 c. grated carrots or zucchini to your oats for veggie oatmeal.

Be sure to add the grated veggies in before cooking the oats and you'll end up with a fiber-rich, vitamin- and mineral-packed breakfast powerhouse that tastes just as good as oats prepared the traditional way!

From PopSugar
Especially topped with all the toppings that make oatmeal so great, like fruits, nuts, nut butters, dried fruits, chocolate chips, etc., it's really probable that your fussy eater won't even notice the addition of the veggies!

3. Try Garden Lites Muffins as part of breakfast or for a great snack.

In a rush? Look for healthy products that do the work for you! Garden Lites Muffins come in a variety of delicious flavors, including my personal favorite - chocolate!

They taste like the unhealthy version, but that's where the similarity ends. While ordinary muffins can often be nutritionally void, Garden Lites Muffins are made with vegetables and are high in fiber, gluten-free, vegetarian, kosher, and allergy-friendly.

Image from My Own Blog Review
They're available in the freezer section of many grocery stores and are individually packaged, so you can just take one out at a time and warm it up in the microwave when you're ready to eat it. You can't get more convenient that that!

4. Mix it up with a cauliflower crust pizza!

I've always thought veggie pizza was the best kind of pizza (especially with mushrooms on top) but then I babysat a kid who looked askance at any pizza that wasn't plain cheese or pepperoni. While I'm going to have to tell you upfront that a cauliflower crust pizza will not fool anyone into thinking it's a regular wheat flour crust pizza, it's worth a try with even the picky eaters.

This particular boy, who turned his nose up at tomatoes on his pizza, found that the cheesy cauliflower crust had a similar appeal for him as stuffed-crust cheese pizza and he loved it! He actually explicitly requested cauliflower crust pizza for dinner one time, over regular pizza!

Just don't try to make one of the crusts that promises to taste good without the inclusion of eggs or cheese - that is unlikely to go over well with a picky eater - or really anyone other than the health nuttiest of health nuts!

5. Make a green smoothie.

Again, this won't fool a picky eater who actually doesn't want to give veggies a shot, since including greens in your green smoothie turns it, well, green.

Just a handful of baby spinach (the mildest of the greens, in my opinion) won't change the flavor of a smoothie made with really ripe, sweet bananas. The more fruits you add, the more you hide the possibility of discerning the veggie taste! If you go for a smoothie made with vibrant berries (but still bananas, too, for sweetness and creaminess) you may even be able to hide the color of the spinach!

The hardest thing about getting someone hooked on green smoothies is really just the introduction - once they've tried one, they generally want more!

I have found that the color tends to, surprisingly, be less of an issue with picky kids than veggie-averse adults. With kids, you can call it a Hulk or Grinch or Shrek smoothie and most of them will give it a shot. Once you've gotten them to try it, the usual sweet smoothie taste will win them over!

Stay away from bitter greens like kale, arugula, collard greens, etc. unless you have an advanced green smoothie drinker on your hands. But even I tend to avoid those greens for my smoothies, so it's unlikely that someone who has difficulty getting their veggies in would enjoy the strong taste of those greens in their beverage!

What are your favorite ways to sneak in a little extra nutrition?

If you have one, who is the picky eater in your household?

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