We have a special guest this week on the blog, Dr. H. Peter Ku, D.D.S., PA who is rated the #1 Dentist in Fort Worth. He wanted to share some valuable advice on how to incorporate more vegetables into your kid’s diet, because we all know how hard that can be, but how vital it is to healthy development (especially their teeth!).
Dinnertime doesn’t have to be a showdown between you and your kids. The battle over eating vegetables has been raging since the first child turned up their nose to a carrot. Being a parent means working smart, and let’s be honest working hard too, but most importantly working smart. While I would never advocate for tricking your child, there are easy ways to slip vegetables into every day favorites that increase your child’s daily veggie intake.
Muffins are a beloved morning treat; however, they can pack a huge caloric punch. Instead of loading the muffin up with sugar, get sneaky by packing the muffin full of shredded carrots and zucchini. In addition, substitute applesauce for the added sugar, and use whole wheat flower. With the right combination of spices these muffins will be the perfect grab-and-go breakfast on busy school mornings.
Smoothies are great way get more fruits and vegetables into your kids and a yummy way to beat the Texas heat. While strawberries and blueberries are a traditional go-to for smoothies, veggies can also be blended in to add variety. If green is your kid’s favorite color, try adding spinach or kale into a traditional strawberry and banana smoothie. The fruit and yogurt favors should overpower any vegetable undertones. As fall approaches, consider using antioxidant rich pumpkin puree with mangos to to create an orange smoothie fit for Halloween!
Use Your Noodle
Pasta is a staple in most kids’ diets, and although it would be wonderful, you cannot live on carbs alone. Vegetables can be easily incorporated into most pasta sauces and easily snuck past the most discerning pallets. Pureed vegetables can easily be mixed into any homemade or store-bought sauce. Spinach, bell peppers, and carrots can easily be added and leave little to no discernible taste. Even the most discerning pallets should love this easy pasta dish.
Lazy Saturday mornings are great for making french toast. Instead of just using egg to dunk your bread, whisk in sweet potato or pumpkin with vanilla and cinnamon. This mixture will leave a thin layer of spiced gooeyness on the outside of the bread and ensure there is the perfect amount of crisp in every bite. To bump up the nutritional value, use whole wheat bread as well.
Everyone deserves a sweet treat every so often, but that doesn’t mean you have to give up on your crusade to stuff you kid with more vegetables. Spinach has been mentioned numerous times, however, it really is the magic invisible vegetable. Pick your favorite brownie recipe – homemade or from a box – and add in pureed spinach before putting the mixture in the oven. The coco in the brownies acts as the perfect color shield expertly hiding any last hint of green. Your kids will gobbles these treats up so fast they won’t realize they have had a full serving of vegetables as well!
A full serving of vegetables is crucial to your little one’s healthy development so at our Fort Worth Dentist Office we encourage a little creativity in order to find ways to sneak vegetables into your kid’s food. Be innovative and think like a kid, and it is guaranteed you will find a way to up everyone’s vegetable intake!