Healthy Toddler & Kid Food Tricks


Our son is almost two now and we’ve learned some tricks for sneaking in healthy foods he won’t usually eat, like green veggies and beans, into the food he loves.

We live in Vermont and try and have a very good diet with as much local, natural, and organic food as we can get/afford. We’re members of the local COOP, as well as a food buying cooperative and we have a garden. We also love comfort foods and I’ve got a weakness for salty snacks and pasta and my wife for chocolate and ice cream.

Our son of course loves mac and cheese, or as he says “mac-n-cheese-noodles-pasta!” and can seem to pick all the fatty chicken out of any surrounding vegetables and beans.

Here our our favorites tricks.

  1. Mash canned chick peas into mac and cheese! They are same color, not to noticeable, but filled with fiber and protein.
  2. Blanch fresh Kale or Spinach in hot water, de-stem, and puree into a pesto like mush. Add to Mac and Cheese. The vegetable parts are so small they stick to the cheese sauce and he doesn’t notice.
  3. While in full view at the table for entertainment value, put Cinnamon on apple slices, or mayo, mustard, catchup (depends on your kids preferences) on veggies, fish, etc. Our son will eat them to get to the “sauce” as he says.
  4. Pretend to sprinkle salt on peas, corn, carrots.
  5. Put little dab of butter on hot veggies and watch it disappear.
  6. Buy high fiber, whole wheat, Kraft or other brands that have started to have the choice.
  7. Hummus seems to work well with Triskets or other very simple 3 ingredient high fiber crackers.
  8. Use opening fun cans to attract. Norway, bristling (smallest kind) sardines are salty and smokey, but also incredibly good for growing humans due to their calcium, Omega 3s and other nutrients. We use King Oscar “cross pack bristling” in Olive Oil and BPA free cans.
  9. Add Shredded Wheat, or Naked Wheat squares crumbled up to vanilla yogurt. Or put a drop of honey on each one.
  10. Eat veggies and salad with joy at the table to model good behavior!

That’s it for now.


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