We set aside an entire day each year that is devoted to fooling people. For some people, being sneaky has to become a daily endeavor when it comes to making recipes for the family. Getting kids and sometimes even adults to eat healthy food can be a challenge. But what if we tell you there are some simple tricks to feeding healthy food to the unsuspecting?
No fooling, there's more to sneaking in the good stuff than just putting veggies in a blender and mixing it with tomato sauce. Since so many picky eaters develop more of a mental aversion to certain foods than a true taste aversion, it is possible to promote change.
You've probably experienced the scenario where kids scoff at the mere sight of a certain food before they've ever even allowed it to cross their lips. Perhaps you know an adult who so strongly dislikes a food they haven't eaten since they were five years old. Taste buds change, and so can most people.
But what's the best way to prompt that change? Force feeding is not the best idea. But with 3 simple strategies to fool people with healthy food, you can soon have them eating their former "food nemesis" with a smile.
Sometimes, the best plan is a sneak attack. Disguising foods and feeding them to the unsuspecting is the simplest way to keep them healthy. While we don't advocate dishonesty, a little slight-of-hand is akin to keeping the secret ingredient of an old family recipe. It sort of follows the "what they don't know won't hurt them" strategy.
- Put greens like spinach into smoothies. Just make sure that no one sees you do it!
- Grate Carrots and slip them into muffin mixes, or even brownie recipes. It makes them moist and provides healthy beta-carotene.
This is the middle ground of sneaking in something healthy to any recipes for the family. It's not necessarily hidden, but is not an all out swap.
- Steam and mash some cauliflower in with mashed potatoes.
- Mix some healthy cereal in with the sugary kid stuff.
- Combine tofu with chicken and veggies in a stir fry.
If you think your family is ready to try a healthier version, but not quite up for the full switch, try slowly introducing something new mixed with their favorites. Gradually increase the portion of the healthier food until you reach the point where it is all they get.
- Use a bit of soy-protein crumbles with ground beef when preparing tacos, burritos, or even spaghetti with meat sauce. As you increase the proportion of soy, your family will get used to the slightly different flavor and texture.
- Combine whole wheat pasta with regular pasta and gradually increase the amount. Over time, they will come to accept the new dish.
- Substitute flaxseed oil for butter. While it is still has a high fat content, it is a healthy fat that is better than butter. Be careful about using too much, this is a true quantity for quantity swap. It is good on breads, veggies, even snack food like popcorn.
If you want some more ideas, check out these 15 tips for sneaking superfoods into your diet from WebMD.
So don't stress over keeping your kids and any other picky eaters healthy and happy. Get a little creative, and yes, a bit sneaky with your healthy recipes for the family, and Happy April Fools Day!
In spite of the April first posting date, this blog is no joke!