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How to Get Kids To Eat Healthier - Without Them Knowing!

Updated on December 2, 2014

Ways to Add Hidden Healthy Ingredients to Kid's Favorites Foods

Do you despair because you cannot get your kids to eat healthier foods? Does it take an act of Congress to get your child to eat anything green? Are you sick and tired of fighting with your children about junk food and high fat snacks ? If you answered yes to any or all of these questions, then I may be able to help you. There are ways to add healthy ingredients to kid's (and adult's) food, without them ever knowing, or even suspecting. Below I have several methods on how this can be accomplished and how you too can eat healthier without having to force yourself. It takes a small extra effort, but in the long run it is better for everyone, you, your kids, your whole family and even the family pet!

I will also be reviewing some books that will move forward and extrapolate on the ideas I have listed, and provide delicious recipes and even more hints and tips on how to introduce more healthful ingredients into the diet of you and your family.

~photo courtesy of Collage by Jadelynx

Tip #1 When Using Meat

When making meatloaf, hamburgers, sloppy joes or meatballs, mix finely grated vegetables in with the meat. Dense vegetables like carrots, onions and peppers are best. Switch ground turkey for ground beef whenever you can.

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Tip #2 When Making Soup


Dice peppers, onions, mushrooms and other vegetables super small and put them in soup. To thicken soup, puree navy beans for light colored soups, and kidney beans for darker colored soups. You can also puree rice or quinoa and use it to thicken soup without changing the taste. Doing these things increases protein, fiber and good carbs.

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Chops Veggies for Salads or Soups in a Jiffy

Tip #3 When Making Sauces


Spaghetti and macaroni and cheese are usually family favorites. Make them healthier by pureeing vegetables and adding them to the sauce. Puree onions, peppers and spinach in spaghetti sauce, and squash, carrots and cauliflower in macaroni and cheese.

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Tip #4 Use Zucchini Instead of Oil

Puree zucchini and use it to replace half the oil when baking chocolate cake, cupcakes or brownies.

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Tip #5 When Making Rice


Replace white rice with brown when making fried rice. Use extra virgin olive oil and low sodium soy sauce. DIce onions, peppers, mushrooms and carrots, very very fine. The soy sauce hides that the rice is brown, and finely chopped veggies are hidden in the rice.

~photo courtesy of

Tip #6 Use Fruit Instead of Sugar


Use pureed fruit instead of 1/3 of the sugar, when baking. Such as if the recipe calls for 1 cup of sugar, use 2/3 cup of sugar and 1/3 cup of pureed peaches or pears. The fruit will sweeten and moisten the finished product.

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Tip #7 Use 1/2 Whole Wheat Flour

Increase fiber and protein by substituting half of your regular flour with whole wheat flour, when baking.

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Tip #8 Buy Calcium Fortified Juices - Juices

Try to use calcium fortified juices. Everyone can use more calcium, especially kids, to make strong bones and teeth.

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Tip #9 When Making Smoothies


Puree vegetables and fruits of your choice, add ice, low-fat milk, and a bit of honey if you like more sweetness. Protein powder can be added if you are making a meal replacement.

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Tip #10 Delicious Frozen Treats


Mix chunk or pureed fruit with low-fat milk and freeze into popsicles. or ice cubes for a cool and healthy snack.

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How to Puree Using a Food Processor


The Sneaky Chef

she has done all the

research for you and provided


The Sneaky Chef

Simple Strategies for Hiding Healthy Foods in Anyone's Favorite Meals

The Sneaky Chef is Missy Chase Lapine, former publisher of Eating Well magazine. Like so many other parents, she had a very hard time convincing her two daughters to eat vegetables and healthier types of food, so she decided to do something about it. And so, the Sneaky Chef was born. Her books have hundreds of recipes that "hide" exceedingly healthy ingredients. You would never know they are there.....and neither will your kids or husband! WIth a few simple replacements, sustitutions and purees, you will be surprised at how much fiber-enriched, lower calorie, and vitamin packed you can make any meal.

Below is a quick review of some of her books and a link to see the rest:

The Sneaky Chef to the Rescue

101 All-New Recipes and "Sneaky" Tricks for Creating Healthy Meals Kids Will Love

This book includes specially crafted meals that are targeted for specific needs, such as:

1. Sneaky Chef Light - low fat, lower calorie meals for those wanting to lose a few pounds

2. Sneaky Chef for Food Allergies - recipes that are gluten free, egg free, dairy free, etc.

3. Sneaky Chef for More Variety - make ahead purees, and the like.

4. Sneaky Chef for Celebrations - recipes for holidays and parties!

The Sneaky Chef: How to Cheat on Your Man (In the Kitchen!)

Hiding Healthy Foods in Hearty Meals Any Guy Will Love

These guy-loved meals include special hidden ingredients that are especially for men's health problems, like cholesterol, prostate health and other issues that affect men.

The Speedy, Sneaky Chef

Quick, Healthy Fixes for Your Favorite Packaged Foods

This book is wonderful ! Down to earth advice on how to do damage reduction when buying pre-packaged foods.

1. Simple and easy fixes you can do to pre-prepared tomato sauce, and box mac and cheese, cereals and pancake mix.

2. Shortcuts to speed up weeknight dinner preparations.

3. Tips to make grocery shopping easier and faster and advice on what to buy.

4. Recipes that are good for you and your body and taste great!

5. Original "Sneaky Swaps" and "Sneaky Supercharges" that will make your meals rock!

Find The Sneaky Chef Cookbooks Here

Click here to see all The Sneaky Chef Cookbooks:

Healthier Ways of Cooking Your Food - At Great Prices!

This mister allows you to choose your own kind of oil and you can mist your food or pan as light or heavy as you want. Also good for lightly misting oil on a salad.

The Sneaky Chef - How To Videos

This Makes Grating a Breeze!

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Do You Have Any Tips on Helping Kids Eat Healthier? - Please Share Them

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  • Lady Lorelei profile image

    Lorelei Cohen 3 years ago from Canada

    Love a few of these suggestions especially putting diced vegetables into meat. I am a firm believer in making food fun for kids so they want to eat. There are a lot of foods that kids will eat simply because they are finger foods ie: pizza.

  • Just Ask Susan profile image

    Susan Zutautas 3 years ago from Ontario, Canada

    Luckily I never had to bribe my boys to eat veggies. They saw us eating and enjoying them and they just followed suit. Great hub with so many great suggestions!

  • Erin Mellor profile image

    Erin Mellor 3 years ago from Europe

    I've used many wheezes for getting veggies into everyday meals, but the one non-sneaky trick that often works is calling them to the table a little early, then giving them carrot sticks, pepper strips and cherry tomatoes to nibble on whilst I finish cooking and serving the meal.

  • MissRubyStars profile image

    MissRubyStars 4 years ago

    Love the ideas! I'm going to try a few on my boys!

  • aviwolfson profile image

    Avi Wolfson 4 years ago from Massachusetts

    I have to do this with my daughter sometimes. I've wrapped mac&cheese around greens and my daughter is secretly getting the nutrition she needs.

  • profile image

    anonymous 4 years ago

    Thanks for the rice idea, hasn't thought of that one!

  • ismeedee profile image

    ismeedee 4 years ago

    Really good ideas and a big step in the right direction- excellent work!! Blessings!!

  • profile image

    gradientcat 4 years ago

    Great suggestions for getting kids to eat healthier.

  • techmom profile image

    techmom 4 years ago

    I would say just repetition. For our kids, it can take several times of presenting a food before they start enjoying it.