Q: My son hates fruits and vegetables! Is there a way I can get these foods into his diet without him knowing?
A: Firstly don’t fret! You are not the only parent who has a picky eater! I can’t begin to tell you how many mum’s have approached me about their kids loving fruits and veggies one day, and the next wont touch them! Just know that he WILL eventually grow out of this phase so don’t give up on introducing these items into his diet.
Each week pick one or two fruit and/or veggie options to include in his snack or meal. Present it on his plate and don’t draw attention to it. If he comments on it or claims it’s ‘yucky’ don’t force him to eat it. Just make a good example of eating them yourself, and be sure to comment on how delicious it is! Then pick a different option at another meal and repeat the process. One day he will surprise you by deciding he likes it!
Another tip is hiding these foods in his favourite foods and family recipes.
You can puree almost every fruit and veggie and add it to your recipe! Prunes, blueberries, avocado, sweet potatoes, cauliflower, apples, and even chickpeas!! Just puree a batch of different options and freeze them so you can easily add them to recipes any time you need to.
One thing to remember is that darker fruits and veggie purees are better for darker foods and lighter purees will work better with lighter foods. Just do not tell your son you have added them and he won’t know the difference!
Here are a few tips to help give you some ideas:
*Add butternut squash, or cauliflower puree to macaroni and cheese.
*Add cauliflower puree to mashed potatoes.
*Add mushroom + zucchini purees to veggie or lean sirloin burgers.
*Add banana + zucchini purees to oatmeal biscuits.
*Add applesauce or mashed bananas to muffins, or buckwheat pancakes.
*Add avocado puree to chocolate milkshakes.
*Add white bean or chickpea puree to chocolate chip cookies.
*Add blueberry + spinach purees to whole-wheat pancakes, chocolate cake, brownies, or cupcakes.
*Add strawberry + blueberry juices to oatmeal.
-Gabrielle Tüscher, M.S., R.D. is a United States accredited Registered Dietician with a Masters degree in Clinical Nutrition and Food Studies. Recognized as one of the leading nutrition authorities, Gabrielle’s clientele includes high-profile celebrities, fashion models, and award winning hotels, restaurants and spas.
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