How to Sneak Greens In For Kids

Sneaking in extra greens as an adult is simple- you just add Super Greens. But for kids? Not quite as easy.

“Picky eater” is a term thrown around often when it comes to children’s eating habits, but did you know food neophobia is a real (and potentially serious) issue?

Neophobia is the fear of eating new or unfamiliar foods and is particularly common in young children. When this issue is prevalent, parents can begin to feel helpless when it comes to ensuring their little ones are getting all the nutrition they need. So whether you’re simply facing a fussy eater or a more serious issue like neophobia, we’ve come up with a few tips to help you sneak in some extra greens to keep your children healthy and happy.

1.) Smoothies

Smoothies are a saving grace for veggie haters because they’re easily disguised among the sweet flavours of bananas and berries. Pro-tip: Serve your child’s smoothie in a colourful cup with a lid and a straw- they’ll never know what goodness lies inside!

Beginners Luck Green Smoothie via SimpleGreenSmoothies.com
Ingredients:
2 cups spinach, fresh (tightly packed)
2 cups water
1 cup mango
1 cup pineapple
2 bananas

Directions:
1.) Tightly pack your leafy greens into a measuring cup and toss into blender.
2.) Add water and blend together until all leafy chunks are gone.
3.) Next add in mango, pineapple and bananas and blend again.

2.) Muffins

Zucchinis, sweet potatoes and carrots can all be easily baked into your favourite muffins without affecting the taste! We’re big fans of this recipe- each muffin contains 1/3 cup of veggies.

Garden Vegetable Muffins via HiddenPonies.com

Ingredients:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup brown sugar, lightly packed
⅓ cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup grated sweet potato (about 1 medium sweet potato)
1 cup grated carrot (about 1 large carrot)
2 cups grated zucchini (about 1 large zucchini)
1 tsp grated lemon OR orange zest
1 Tbsp chia seeds or ground flaxseed
¾ cup chopped walnuts

Instructions:
1.) Preheat oven to 350. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners and set aside.
2.) In small bowl, whisk together flours, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
3.) In a larger bowl, cream sugars and oil on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing after each addition. Add the vanilla, vegetables, zest, seeds and nuts. Gradually add in the dry ingredients with the mixer on low speed, mixing just until combined. (Overmixing will make your muffins tough).
4.) Divide batter among prepared muffin tins and bake for 22-25 minutes, until golden brown and toothpick comes out clean.
5.) Cool in pans for 10 minutes before removing to rack to cool completely. Best eaten warm!

3.) Pasta Sauce

Serving pasta for dinner? Blend in a few veggies with your sauce for a hidden boost of extra nutrients! Your little ones can enjoy their favourite dish and you can rest assured they’re getting the nutrition they need.

Pasta with Tomato & Hidden Veggie Sauce via bbcgoodfood.com
Ingredients:
1 tsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 celery sticks, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1 leek, chopped
2 peppers, deseeded and chopped
2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes with garlic
1 tbsp each caster sugar and balsamic vinegar
300g dried pasta shapes
Parmesan, shaved

Directions
1.) Heat the oil in a large non-stick saucepan and gently cook the onion, celery, carrots and leek until soft, about 20 mins.
2.) Add the peppers and cook for 10 mins more, then tip in the tomatoes, sugar and vinegar. Simmer for at least 20 mins – the longer the better.
3.) Cook the pasta following pack instructions.
4.) Meanwhile, blitz the sauce with a hand blender until smooth, season and return to the heat to keep warm while the pasta cooks.
5.) Drain the pasta and toss through the sauce. Serve in bowls topped with shaved Parmesan.


How do you sneak in extra greens for kids? We’d love to hear your tips below. 

Dakota Barber
Dakota Barber

Dakota is the Social Media Coordinator for Nested Naturals. You can most often find her with her phone in one hand and a coffee in the other. ☕