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A Little Green Lie: How to sneak your kids their veggies

August 8, 2011

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Can you spot the veggies? Neither can she.

Kids are notorious for looking at anything leafy and green as their dinner-table enemy. They'll sooner forgo dessert than willingly eat their recommended servings of vegetables.

Short of force-feeding, what is a concerned parent to do? Researchers at Pennsylvania State University may have found a solution - and your kids may never be the wiser!

In a three week study, the research team substituted pureed zucchini, broccoli, tomatoes, cauliflower, and squash into childrens' meals, increasing their intake of vegetables up to 73 grams and reducing their caloric intake by up to 12 percent!

The best part? On of a scale from yucky to yummy, 70 percent of the children rated their vegetable infused meals as O.K. or yummy!

It may be a little deceptive, and kids still need to learn how delicious vegetables  can be in their original form, but sometimes taking the "stealthy vegetables" route can be a stress-saver for parents and kids alike.

Here are a few ideas to season your kids' favorite dishes with healthy veggies:

  • Hide pureed spinach in tomato sauce for pizza or spaghetti
  • Add pureed cauliflower in mashed potatoes or cheesy pasta sauce
  • Sneak pureed zucchini into chili
  • Fortify brownies with pureed black beans or pumpkin
  • Substitute our "Sweet Sensation" vegetable sauce for sugar

You get the idea! Go nuts, you sneaky cook, you.

How do you get your kids to eat their veggies?