Are you worried about your child’s nutrient intake? Does their love of beige food concern you? Fear not, as I have some clever tips and tricks to help you sneak more nutrition into their favourite meals and snacks. From bolognaise to ice lollies, you’ll be surprised at the creative ways to enhance your child’s diet.
I’ve included some suggested recipes, but please feel free to experiment and remember to go slowly, take one step at a time and never force your child to eat something they really don’t like.
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Transform a classic bolognaise sauce by adding finely chopped vegetables like carrots, butternut squash, courgette and peppers to the meat or lentils. You can also buy frozen lumps of spinach which you can mix into the sauce for an extra nutrient punch. Why not try adding some pureed chicken liver to boost up the iron and vitamin B12. Your child will never know they’re eating a nutrient-packed meal!
- Recipe suggestion – Borlotti bean nomato sauce and add beef mince
Terrific tomato sauce
When preparing tomato sauce, blend in steamed vegetables like cauliflower, butternut squash, or sweet potatoes. The mild taste of these veggies won’t overpower the sauce, and they’ll contribute valuable vitamins and minerals to your child’s diet. Also try adding in red lentils at the start of the cooking and blend well at the end. This adds protein, fibre and some iron.
- Recipe suggestion – Supercharged tomato pasta sauce
Sneak extra nutrients into your child’s favourite pizza by using a whole wheat, spelt or cauliflower base. You can buy the base ready-made but I like to make mine and I often add in grated courgette and flax seed. Use the Terrific Tomato Sauce (above) and top the pizza with colourful vegetables like spinach, red onions, and mixed peppers for a delicious and nutritious meal.
- Recipe suggestion – Spelt courgette mini pizzas
Incredible ice lollies
Make your own nutrient-dense ice lollies by blending fruits like strawberries, blueberries and kiwis with a splash of orange juice. It may sound usual but add in a handful of spinach or kale – trust me, the flavours don’t overpower. Then put in nut butters, coconut milk, tahini or ground seeds for an extra nutritional kick. Pour the mixture into ice lolly moulds and pop into the freezer. Your child will love these healthy, refreshing treats!
- Recipe suggestion – Chamomile apple ice lollies
Sneaky ice cream
Create a healthier ice cream option by blending frozen bananas, a spoonful of nut butter, and a splash of milk (dairy or plant-based) until smooth. Mix in some finely chopped fruits, ground seeds for added texture and nutrients. This sweet treat will satisfy your child’s ice cream cravings while delivering essential vitamins and minerals.
- Recipe suggestion –Salted caramel pecan nicecream
Waffle making is great fun and if you haven’t got a waffle maker in your kitchen, you may want to think about purchasing one. Waffles are a great way to incorporate nutrients into your child’s diet. Make the waffle batter with whole grain, chickpea flour or oat flour and add in mashed bananas or apple puree for natural sweetness. You can also mix in finely grated courgette or carrots for a sneaky dose of vegetables. Serve with fresh fruit and a dollop of Greek yoghurt or a big squeeze of peanut butter for a protein-packed breakfast or snack.
- Recipe suggestion – Apple cinnamon buckwheat waffles
Bake up a batch of healthy muffins by using whole grain flour, adding mashed bananas or apple puree for sweetness, and incorporating grated courgette or carrots. Mix in chopped nuts or seeds for extra protein and healthy fats. These tasty muffins will keep your child full and nourished throughout the day.
- Recipe suggestion – Green goodness muffins
With these simple tricks, you can supercharge your child’s diet and sneak more nutrition into their favourite foods. Get creative in the kitchen and watch your child enjoy their meals without even realising they’re packed with a bounty of essential nutrients!