Quick Tip to Trick Kids to Eat Vegetables

My daughter, and most kids I am sure, loves macaroni and cheese. Heck, I love macaroni and cheese. It’s a great comfort food and so easy to make. I usually make a skinny version, but sometimes I’m lazy and sometimes I’m craving full fat cheesy goodness. It’s 12° today, I’m cold and I have a sinus infection. That calls for some unhealthy comfort food! Want to indulge on that comfort food without feeling guilty about what your kids eat? Here is a quick tip to trick kids to eat vegetables.

I was being a “bad mom“ and making a box of they’ll Velveeta shells and cheese for lunch for Livvy when I had a lightbulb moment. I could help the monotonous flavor of the macaroni and cheese a little bit and get Livvy to get a serving of veggies in, which is quite the struggle lately. I grabbed a frozen bag of peas and carrots and dumped a little bit in, just enough that it’s not going to overpower the macaroni, and now I feel a little better about gorging on full fat cheese for lunch. It’s a good way to bribe our kids and indulge now and then, while still getting some nutritional value.

This is obviously not rocket science, but I thought I’d share because it hadn’t occurred to me until today. I have also pulled this trick with other sauce-heavy meals like Hamburger Helper, spaghetti, and soup. It turns out, my daughter actually loves peas, go figure!

A few more sneaky ways to trick kids into eating vegetables:

  • Puree veggies or buy them already pureed and add them into sauces. This is the same as above, but they are more hidden this way.
  • Buy hidden vegetable pasta. I have tried this and it worked!
  • Bribe! This is univerally true with children. They will learn or do things if there is enough motivation. Offer a favorite TV show, book, or activity if they eat a portion of their veggies. (I would never force it, that had the opposite effect with me as a child). Kids do have the biological need to seek approval from parents or loved ones. Use it to your advantage!

 

I indulge much less now that I’m a mother. It’s been a positive influence on my diet. However, I have found this is a way to get the best of both worlds. I can indulge now and then (ie when I’m sick) and not feel like my daughter is eating horribly. What tricks do you use to get your kids to eat better?

 

Comments

  1. My mom and dad did this growing up! add a can of tuna and now it’s tuna casserole! lol. we loved it, but i have not had since I became an adult. I cook a lot of our meals from scratch, and sometimes feel like a fraud when i give my kids boxed mac and cheese, but i also see it as at least they are going to bed full. We live in a very poor urban area, and there are a lot of local kids that do not have that luxury.

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