Five ways to sneak veggies into on-the-go snacks

April 22, 2022
Five ways to sneak veggies into on-the-go snacks

While I tried to introduce vegetables to my kids before fruit, to my dismay, the sweet stuff won them over. But it's no wonder. Upon further research, I found kids biologically are drawn to the calorie-dense fruit for its glucose energy. They also may avoid bitter-tasting foods (like vegetables) because, in nature, bitter is a sign of poison and toxicity.As adults, we know the vitamin and mineral packing punch vegetables provide. Here are ways to sneak them into on-the-go snacks for your kiddos without a fight:1. Mix them with fruitMy kids' favorite snacks are applesauce pouches. Upon further digging, I found similar packets with a great mix of fruit and vegetables -- carrots, beets, spinach. While the taste is different than what my kids are used to, overtime I bought individual packets with multiple mixes (usually found by the baby food) and recreated the kid-approved ones at home. Amazon even sells reusable pouches.2. Bake them into the familiarBaking is usually off-limits for vegetables. However, I've found a way to incorporate the shredded type with little fuss. Finely shredding carrots or zucchini into mini-muffins gives a little texture and more nutrient power. (I also make sure the recipe calls for natural sugar (honey or maple syrup) and nut flour.) Even if I miss the mark a bit, the kids will still eat them because, hey, after all, it's a muffin. I've also tried breads and cakes.3. Hide them with breakfastThe rainbow of vegetables is immense so I like to try my hand at the non-familiar and mix them into my kids' breakfast. Why not try mixing pumpkin or finely ground broccoli into silver dollar pancakes (easily freezable for on-the-go).4. Serve them differentlyWhen my son was 2, one of his favorite snacks was freeze-dried peas (usually available by the produce). They were light and crunchy and tasted like a salty nut. They also had corn and tomatoes. Hunt around for variations which are usually prepared and served in more appealing ways.5. Pair them with dipWhen all else fails, I whip out a plate of creatively laid, colorful raw veggies with dip. The concept of dipping is fun and intriguing. We can experiment with which vegetables taste better with different dips. I can put various dips around their plate and let them decide. We can make our own dip. It gives kids a little taste-testing in their mouth and distracts them from the fact they are even eating vegetables. Hidden Valley makes ranch dip cups in convenient on-the-go containers or do it yourself with plastic containers like these.Need more ideas? Take a look at The Sneaky Chef : Simple Strategies for Hiding Healthy Foods in Kids' Favorite Meals by Missy Chase Lapine and find ways to stealthily get your kids to eat right.

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