I don’t find myself craving bowls of veggies or fruit & I’ve never been good at eating either. As an adult and knowing how beneficial they are to my health; I try my best to eat as much of both as I can. This is how I’ve found ways to sneak the veggies into my diet.
When my boys were advancing to solids I gave them nothing but veggies and I don’t give them any refined sugar and try to keep unrefined sugar to a limit.
Thankfully thus far Sebastian and Theo are great eaters with diets packed full of veggies and probably a bit too much fruit; I can’t have it all! They’re also charitable sleepers, in the fact they do it a lot, giving us a nice break! I sound like one of those asshole mothers who have perfect kids but I definitely don’t.
They are HARD work. They never sit still when they are awake and they have my house destroyed. They climb everything and cover the floor in lego. They have to eat everything I’m eating so I have to hide when I want food and they like to pile on top of me just when I sit down with a cup of tea even if my husband is trying to get them to come to him, they just know….. I believe they can sense when I want to just have 5 minutes to myself and then they pounce with books or for a chat or in Theo’s case just to stick his fingers in my eyes, ears and mouth….
However I wouldn’t change these bountiful magnanimous little boys for the world and I know how lucky I am, I’m thankful every single day.
1. Juices, smoothies and soups
I usually give my boys The Lo-cal Ultimate health booster daily in their cups and they guzzle it down. But if its something lighter they need I will blend some berries and mix with water to make a cordial style drink. My boys are 1 and 3 so still a bit young for soups but a great option for older kids or adults trying to squeeze in the goodness. The main thing to avoid with soups is cream and excess salt. The wrong kind of salt such as table salt can be another issue. Stick to sea salt and natural salts like Himalayan pink salt. I love a smoothie in the morning and so do the kids, you can add things like super greens blend, protein powders and various other superfoods; but when its too cold I’ll blend a small smoothie and add it to a small bit of warm porridge, kids love it and adults!! I add lots of greens like spinach and kale to berries and banana in a smoothie so I sneak a bit of everything in!!
2. Porridge and granola
Following on from the smoothie in the bowl, adding blends to your porridge and granola are great ways to add nutrients to your food. You can add fruits, nuts and seeds to these and even super foods like goji berries, bee pollen, cacao powder, maca powder, lucuma powder, pea and rice protein and natural sweeteners like acacia honey, dates, banana, maple syrup and sugar free jam or nut butters.
I pack bolognaise and curry sauces full of fresh veggies. In fact any sort of sauce I make I pack full of veggies. This means a tasty comforting dish that the whole family enjoys can be nutritious too! I load veggies into curries, lasagne, meatballs, chilli, shepherds pie, cottage pie, spaghetti, pasta bakes and any form of pie. I even make pizza and add a few veggies like carrots and onions to the tomato sauce before I blitz it to use on the base, I layer the sauce with spinach leaves and then lots of tasty toppings!
There are healthy ice-cream options such as nobo made using avocados and flavoured with natural fruits. Other options would be chia seed pudding, apple slices with almond butter, banana and peanut butter, yoghurt with mixed berries and seeds, fresh fruit ice-pops and sorbets; and avocado cacao mousse.
One of my best-loved! veggies in cakes are amazing. Courgette cupcakes, sweet potato brownies, pumpkin cookies and many many more. I make delicious refined sugar free icing, jams, cream and chocolate to pair with these too! It’s a super way to get the veggies into kids but also adults (just don’t tell your audience until they’ve tried it). Sweetening with natural sugars like honey, maple syrup, agave, xylitol, bananas, apple and dates. We have a snickers pie in the café which we created using cacao, almond flour, maple syrup, cashew butter, maca powder, cacao butter and dates to name a few. These slices are jam packed full of nutrients, filling you up without the guilt and hitting the spot when a sweet tooth craving comes about! We also have sweet potato brownies on the menu and we regularly bring out carrot cake, courgette cupcakes, lemon drizzle cake and many more. I will post some recipes in future blogs.
These are all my tricks but there are many more ideas out there and I will share when I pick them up! Please share any ideas in the comments below.