5 Ways to “Sneak” More Fruits and Vegetables into Your Child’s Diet

Friday Nov 20 | BY |
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By Kevin Gianni

little-girl-eating-vegetablesAt times it may seem more likely that you’ll win a multi-million dollar lottery jackpot, than get your child to eat anything that is green.

As a parent, you must know that this is not any new phenomenon. Leafy vegetables and monsters under the bed have been the adversaries of parents all over the globe spanning many decades. Over this time, some techniques and ingenuities have failed, though some have worked making mom and dad happy and helping veggie-phobic kids get healthy while hardly knowing any better.

Here are 5 of the best possible tricks in the book, to get those essential vitamins, minerals and phytonutients into your child’s diet.

1. Smooth ‘Em Over with Smoothies

Most kids, and adults too, can’t resist the sweet, cool taste of a fruit smoothie. It reminds us of summer and pool parties and tropical islands.

By making smoothies in the morning you can get 2-3 servings of fruit past the gatekeeper – complaint free. What’s even better is that with a good high speed blender (Vitamix, Total Blender) you can make a good smoothie in 2-3 minutes, with the majority of that time used cutting the fruit.

To sneak in the greens, use a small handful of spinach or bok choy. Both have an unassuming taste and when mixed with sweet fruits like pineapple, mango or banana shouldn’t set of any alarms. Cilantro or mint have a lot of taste and can be a great addition as well.

Another way to get more nutrition is to add powders fruits and vegetables into the smoothie. This can double or triple the amount of nutrients in the same size serving putting 5-10 servings of vegetables and fruits into their tummies in no time. Make sure your powders (and for that matter your produce) is organic!

You can check out Kev’s Super-Delicious SuperSmoothie Powder which is made with organic ingredients and over 20 fruits, berries and cereal grasses. Click here: www.RenegadeHealth.com/smoothiepowder

Some Great Smoothie Recipes for you…

Pineapple Shake

½ of a ripe pineapple
Cilantro (amount to taste)
1 cup water

Optional:
1 Tablespoon of Kev’s Super-Delicious SuperSmoothie Powder

Slice down the entire pineapple and throw half of it into the blender. (If it’s organic, then use the skin too!) Be sure to include the core of the pineapple, as this part is especially rich in enzymes, such as bromelain, which helps dissolve old protein deposits in the body. Add as much cilantro as you’d like and blend with water. Enjoy!

Cream of Cantaloupe Creation

½ ripe cantaloupe melon
2-3 sprigs of Mint

Optional:
Handful ice cubes
Dash lemon or lime juice
Fresh ginger (amount to taste)
1 Tablespoon of Kev’s Super-Delicious SuperSmoothie Powder

Blend until smooth. If desired, add water to thin the mixture. Enjoy!

From “Smoothie Recipes for Optimum Health” – www.UltimateSmoothieRecipes.com

2. Juice It Up with Fresh Juices

Fruit juices and vegetable juices can give a serious boost of vitamins and nutrients per cup. Just one 8oz cup of fresh squeezed orange juice has 207% of the RDI of vitamin C. The trick is getting them to want them and even better getting them to help you make them.

The secret is getting them involved. You’d be surprised at how often your kids want fresh juices once you show them how to help make them.

Great juices that most kids will want are fresh orange juice or lemonade – made with a citrus juicer. Once they become pros, you can introduce a centrifugal juicer and juice carrots or apples for a sweet, fresh treat. And if you’re feeling like they need some greens, adding a little kale, romaine lettuce or spinach won’t change the flavor to much as long as the base it sweet.

Nutrient Value of Juices (1 Cup / 8 oz.)

Orange Juice – 10% Vitamin A, 207% Vitamin C, 19% Folate (B9), 14% Potassium

Carrot Juice – 520% Vitamin A, 35% Vitamin C, 25% Vitamin B6, 10% Phosphorus, 8% Magnesium

Apple Juice with 1 Cup Spinach (Approx 3 leaves) – 181% Vitamin K, 56% Vitamin A, 22% Manganese, 18% Vitamin C

3. Chop, Chop

Here’s a lesson for kids and adults alike. The best kept secret to getting more vegetables in your child’s diet (and yours) is to dice them up as small as you can.

Making a chopped salad will disperse the taste of the vegetables combined and is much easier for their little mouths to chew. Use lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes or cabbage as the base and add corn, carrots, raisins or red pepper to make it sweet to the taste.

If you’re not an expert with the knife, then a vegetable dicer by Tribest or Oxo will do it for you.

Here’s a great chopped recipe…

Raw Summer Corn Salad

5 Ears of Corn
1 1/2 cup Snap Peas
1 Pint Cherry Tomatoes
1/4 of a Red Onion
1 small Jalapeno Pepper
1 1/2 Lime, squeezed
Small handful Cilantro
Small handful Basil
About 1/4 cup olive oil
Pinch of sea salt or to taste

Instructions: Just chop, toss and serve!

4. Pick Your Own

sprout-for-articleSearch online for a local farm or co-op that allows you and your children to go out and get involved with your food. Local berry farms are a great way to get everyone outside for a few hours and help get some fresh berries into their bellies.

Contact a local cooperative farm and see if they’re let the family come down and see the vegetables as they grow. This will give them the opportunity to explore the garden and touch and feel their food. Snap peas and cherry tomatoes are always winners, so be sure to point them out if the farm has them.

5. Start Your (Their) Own

Finally, if you really want them to be involved and asking you if they can have more vegetables, you can help them grow their own garden. This is simple when you make it a small project to start. So begin with a little herb garden from AeroGarden and move up from there.

They’ll love watching the plants grow from seed and once they get the bug will be asking about what else they can grow. Lettuces, cucumbers and tomatoes are the next step from here.

As you know, each child has a different set of taste buds, so not all of these will work all the time. Though it’s nice to know that you have a bag of tricks up your sleeve to help your growing child get the nutrients he or she needs.

Fruit and vegetable powder for kids

About the Author: Kevin Gianni is an internationally known health advocate, author, speaker and uncle. He spends most holidays and special occasions sneaking vegetables in to his niece and nephew’s meals.

Nutrition Facts from Nutritiondata.com and NutrientFacts.com

Kevin Gianni

Kevin Gianni is a health author, activist and blogger. He started seriously researching personal and preventative natural health therapies in 2002 when he was struck with the reality that cancer ran deep in his family and if he didn’t change the way he was living — he might go down that same path. Since then, he’s written and edited 6 books on the subject of natural health, diet and fitness. During this time, he’s constantly been humbled by what experts claim they know and what actually is true. This has led him to experiment with many diets and protocols — including vegan, raw food, fasting, medical treatments and more — to find out what is myth and what really works in the real world.

Kevin has also traveled around the world searching for the best protocols, foods, medicines and clinics around and bringing them to the readers of his blog RenegadeHealth.com — which is one of the most widely read natural health blogs in the world with hundreds of thousands of visitors a month from over 150 countries around the world.

10 COMMENTS ON THIS POST

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  1. claudia de fino says:

    Kevin,

    My daughter and I belong to a csa farm in our area. The saddest day of the year is our last pickup for the season; but on a high note, our farm has a “pig out” weekend. That is when members are allowed and encouraged to glean what is left from the fields before the frost sets in (NJ). We are allowed to pick all we can use or up to 50 lbs.

    Yesterday the boys (two grandsons, age 9 and 12) and I took to the fields. After 2 hours of foraging with map in hand we went home and cooked part of our bounty. Jon, the youngest, is becoming a real pro in the kitchen. In fact, I suggested that we start a food prep (both cooked and raw) show called Jon and Gram in the kitchen! As of now, he feels too “shy” to do it.

    Really enjoy your tapings. You are both an inspiration to all, but especially to your age group which is much needed.

    I am 70 years young (love seeing them move that life expectancy chart up to 120) and a health minister for Hallelujah Acres. It was fun to see your tape on George. Since I have known him (7 years), he has not strayed from his teachings about health. Bottom line..our bodies are made to be in a state of homeostasis always. We just can’t hinder it through our choices.

    I lost 50 lbs. on this diet 7 years ago, and have not gained it back or looked back on the food I used to cook both in a small restaurant that I owned and for my family. When I realized diet is not something you go on and off of, but rather is a choice of foods to eat, I was successful.

    My goal is to teach others that the choice they make today will translate into their health or sickness of tomorrow.

    I just finished getting my Naturopath degree from Trinity College in Warsaw, Indiana, and my ultimate goal is to have a csa and/or lifestyle center. (As you can tell, I have a hard time keeping quiet about health.)

    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family.

    Blessings,
    Claudia De Fino

  2. Marie1225 says:

    Kevin,

    That was a wonderful article! Can you please tell me what type of juicer do you use?

    Thanks!

  3. Karen Pruneau says:

    Great ideas, will most likely do for myself. My trouble is getting my mother to give raw veggies to my daughter! Daughter keeps sneaking raw veggies while they are being prepared, Mother keeps getting upset that granddaughter is eating before supper and not eating her cooked veggies at suppertime. My suggestion to both was for the veggies to be placed on her plate for her to eat during supper. Neither one has listened to me and the battle continues.

  4. Wendy Silver says:

    I love what you wrote about serving chopped salads to kids – it happens to be true! I am a mother of two and about 10 years ago I invented a chopper especially for chopped salads. It’s called the Toss and Chop Salad Chopper and my company is Silvermark. My little ones are now 14 and 15 and they still are eating chopped salads! Thank you for a great articles. – Wendy Silver

  5. Susan says:

    I like the smothies idea, I think I will subsitut her water with a smoothie as long as it’s not green. I would love to know how to get her drink a green smoothie.

  6. Marie1225 says:

    Hi Susan,

    If you use spinach, she won’t taste it. As far as the color, if you use enough berries, then it should be pink or purple. For a tiny bit of extra sweetness, you can add a bit of dark, unfiltered, raw honey.

  7. Cherry says:

    Thank you for the idea Kevin! I have a regular blender. Is it going to work?

  8. Jill says:

    Great article! I am a veggie hater and I love the smoothie idea 🙂

  9. Debra says:

    I love Kale Chips – the recipe on your site is something I make all the time.

  10. JKVMI says:

    I’m trying out green smoothies because, unlike green juices, they retain the fiber and are easier to clean up. There is a free 3-day course on green smoothies available at http://www.greensmoothiequeen.com/gogreen/0310ripplemaker

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