Picky Eaters: Trickery!

How do you get picky eaters to eat nutritious foods? Trickery (is that a real word?).

Yes! Trick them into eating better food.  How is it possible to trick kids into eating more nutritiously?  You hide the food into the dish you make.  Now, many of you might say, “well, my kid will find it and won’t eat the entire dish.”  If that is the case, go back to my first post on dealing with picky eaters.  It doesn’t always work, but many times, it is a success.  Here are some examples:

  • Eggplant Marinara: I broiled the eggplant, removed the “meat” and mixed it into the marinara sauce.  Not only was it a delicious and nutritious pasta dish, my kids ate it and loved it!  (Recipe coming soon.)
  • Rice Pilaf: I have a great recipe for homemade rice pilaf that is allergy-free, and much cheaper and better tasting than the boxed rice pilaf you buy in the store.  I often add diced carrots (you can add peas too) into the rice before it cooks.  While my kids see the carrots (so it’s not hidden), they always eat it (plus I don’t give them the choice to refuse).  It tastes good because they are cut into bite-sized pieces and they absorb all the flavors of the rice pilaf.  This is an easy way to have a veggie serving in your meal.
  • Beans: My kids love beans, so I don’t have the issue of having to hide them in a dish.  To “hide” them, you can mix them into taco meat or soup.
  • Spinach: Again, my kids love spinach.  I have a few wonderful recipes that call for spinach and my kids have never fussed about them.  Ways to “hide” spinach is in spaghetti sauce or soups.
  • Avocado: Over the years, my kids have liked avocado in varying degrees (sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t).  I have successfully hidden small diced avocado in Mexican dishes (tacos, taco salad, fajitas, etc).  Just load a small amount into the layers and hope your kids don’t find them.  Avocados have such a rich, buttery texture and flavor, that you’d be surprised by kids enjoyment of them if given the chance.
  • Gourmet Burgers: Don’t forget about this wonderful burger recipe and “hiding” carrots and zucchini in it.  My kids love these burgers!

So, how do you feel about all this? Last week, manipulation…this week, trickery.  Hmm…perhaps I should adjust some of my parenting tactics?  Oh well.

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