Picky Eaters – Sneaking in Veggies

Thanks to OSU dietetic intern Maryam for writing our blog post today. I think you moms out there will really appreciate it! 

Are you worried your child isn’t getting enough vegetables in their diet? You already know that vegetables are incredibly important for your child’s growth and development because they provide important vitamin and minerals. Most children need to be introduced to new vegetables multiple times before they start to eat and enjoy them. Keep offering them vegetables on their plate even if they don’t eat it. But in the meanwhile, here are ways to sneak vegetables into their favorite foods. Just remember, the blender is your best secret weapon!

  • Macaroni and Cheese- The cheese sauce is a great place to hide colors, textures and tastes! Puree butternut squash into the cheese sauce before serving.
  • Spaghetti and Meatballs- Mix in spaghetti squash, zucchini and asparagus strips into the spaghetti. You can also blend onions and carrots right into the marinara sauce. Chop up mushrooms really small and incorporate them into the meatballs.
  • Cheeseburgers- Add pureed spinach into the burger patties before cooking. They won’t even taste it!
  • Pizza- Mix in a can of pumpkin into the marinara sauce. Pumpkin makes the sauce nice and creamy.
  • Grilled Cheese- Spread a little bit of avocado right under the cheese to hide the taste but add nutrients. Avocado has a smooth mouth feel and a light taste that will be hard to catch by your child.
  • Mashed Potatoes- Mash up some cauliflower and mix it into the potatoes. You can also try making your mashed potatoes with half white and half sweet potatoes.
  • Chicken Noodle Soup- Cut up vegetables such as onions and carrots really small and cook them till they are soft. This one might be hard to slip by the really picky ones, but give it a try!
  • Smoothies- It’s really hard to hide the color of dark green veggies but not the taste! Blend in spinach into a strawberry and banana smoothie and call it a green mutant smoothie for your comic book lovers.
  • Popsicles- Use 100% fruit juice to blend spinach and other green veggies. Perfect for a summer treat!

Here is another great Extension resources on feeding children:

Feeding Without the Fuss a power point presentation from University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension

 

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It Starts with School Breakfast

We have heard all our lives that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. But now research is starting to prove that’s true. We are now learning that kids who are able to eat breakfast do better in school, have better behavior, and make better grades, especially in math. The sad truth is though that only about half of American kids eat breakfast even though it is offered for free at schools.

One of the greatest advocates for school breakfasts is registered dietitian Dale Hayes. Instead of doing all of the talking I will let her talk for herself. HERE is an article she wrote a few months ago describing why school breakfasts are so important for all students. Take some time to read over it. I love that she points out how parents should get involved making sure their schools offer breakfast even if your kids are able to eat breakfast at home.

School Breakfast

You can also check out her blog HERE which is full of great information.

Last week I teamed up with Dairy Max, Fuel Up to Play 60, and Oklahoma Action for Healthy Kids to promote school breakfast at Oakridge Elementary here in Oklahoma City. We had such a great time. We wore our #breakfastslippers, ate breakfast with the kids, and even had former Dallas Cowboy Larry Brown there helping us out!

Former Dallas Cowboy Larry Brown eating breakfast with some students at Oakridge Elementary.

Former Dallas Cowboy Larry Brown eating breakfast with some students at Oakridge Elementary.

One of the school breakfast trays students were getting. Looks delicious!

One of the school breakfast trays students were getting. Looks delicious!

Rockin' my slippers to breakfast with Larry Brown!

Rockin’ my slippers to breakfast with Larry Brown!

 

I encourage you to make breakfast a priority in your family. Also take this time to look closer at your child’s school and the meals they offer. Your child succeeds not only when they get a nutritious breakfast but when their peers are getting a nutritious breakfast as well!

For more great information on School  Breakfast and how you can get involved CLICK HERE.