Fool others (and yourself) into healthy eating

April Fools – conspicuously blend vegetables into your food for an increased nutrient value.

Do you often find that you have a lot of left over vegetables after dinner? Are you bribing your kids (or yourself) to eat their vegetables? Is it a battle to just to get them to try a bite?

Try the following creative ideas to add more veggies into your life, without the battle!

Hide the veggies

Add vegetables to places where you wouldn’t normally think to add them. This can be a great way to add nutrients to otherwise less healthy foods.

Hiding vegetables in other foods is definitely a great way to increase nutrient intake, but don’t let it be the only way you are serve vegetables. You don’t want your kids to think they’re running the household and no longer have to eat their veggies. After a couple times of serving hidden, let them know that there are beans in their brownies and spinach in their smoothies. Once they become aware they have been eating vegetables, they will be more likely to choose them even when you are not around.

Let them pick

Most people, including children, like at least one or two vegetables. Let your kids and/or family members pick the vegetables served for dinner. This will let them have some control and input as to what is served. This gives you the opportunity to add an additional vegetable to the one that you know they already like.

Add veggies to favorites

Try adding vegetables to already favorite foods. Introducing new vegetables with a food that is already familiar could increase the chances that you or your kids will like the new vegetable. Start out with smaller amounts of veggies and slowly increase them over time.

Make it fun

Including your family in the cooking process is likely to increase the chance of them actually eating the vegetables. Young children can stir and cut soft foods with a plastic knife. Older children can help cut and cook foods.

Michigan State University Extension offers nutrition education classes for adults and youth that include information about healthy choices consumers can make. More information can be found at http://msue.anr.msu.edu/topic/info/nutrition.

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