Monday, September 21, 2009

Sneaking Fruits & Veggies Into My Toddler’s Diet

I am a very big fan of eating healthy. Getting the right amount of fruits and veggies in my kids' meals is important to me and the task can be challenging at times. There are many ways I have hidden fruits and veggies in my kids' foods. Some of my kids are more picky than others. My youngest, Teela, isn't the pickiest of my bunch by any means as you can probably tell from the picture here of her eating broccoli. But hey, I would love to share some secrets I have tried to get her and my others to eat their veggies in particular...fruits I don't seem to have a problem with...unless you are discussing the eating habits of my developmentally delayed special needs child, Tatiana.

1. Fruit and veggie smoothies.
2. Fruit and veggie juice blends without added sugar or high fructose corn syrup. You can also make them into popsicles or frozen cubes.
3. Bake them into things. I love chocolate chip zucchini muffins :)
4. Make zucchini puffs, poor mans crab cakes, an omelet, or Okonomiyaki (A Japanese style pancake that you can put all sorts of things in.).
5. Have them make their own foods with ingredients you provide. Kids who cook or prepare it themselves (with a little help) usually end up also eating what they have made. Salads or fruit and veggie kabobs are wonderful to do this with!
6. Broccoli with cheese sauce. Classic!
7. Casseroles and Crock Pot meals loaded with veggies. Have your little one help you with what goes in it.
8. My kids think they are cool because they like "green paper", seaweed wraps for sushi, to eat plain. They think it is funny to eat them in front of someone who might think they were a bit strange for doing so.
9. Rename things in fun ways like the above "green paper"...broccoli could be mini trees, peas could be called "power peas", or spinach leaves could be "dinosaur scales", etc.
10. Have them help you in the garden...if they have picked it or grown it maybe they'll eat it.
11. Teach 'em while they are young. Read books to your baby and toddler about fruits and veggies and the importance of eating healthy.
12. Use Japanese Bento Boxes or be creative about serving the fruits and veggies. You can make all kids of fun creations from animals to faces the skies the limit!
13. Frozen fruit and veggies...some kids love to just eat them frozen...esp. good on a hot day!
14. Start early, offering your toddler lots of different types of foods and letting them see you eat and enjoy a variety of foods, especially fruits and vegetables.
15. Last but not least, I am going to give Little Blends a try.

Little Blends from Horizon is an all-natural yogurt blend of fruits and vegetables that will help parents incorporate more nutrition and variety into their child’s diet. Each 4-ounce cup packs a daily value of 20 percent calcium, 25 percent protein, omega-3 DHA and probiotics. Parents will really love how Little Blends makes sneaking fruits and veggies so much easier. This new line is just one example of how Horizon continues to deliver nutritious food options that support healthier kids and a healthier planet.

Little Blends is an all-natural yogurt, meaning it’s produced without added growth hormones, artificial colors, flavors or preservatives. It is also created without high fructose corn syrup. It comes in three flavors: Banana and Sweet Potato, Apple and Butternut Squash, and Strawberry and Carrot.

Thank you TwitterMoms for telling me about Little Blends! Go to TwitterMoms and you can blog and tweet to win some cool prizes too.

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