If your kids are anything like I was as a child, getting them to eat their vegetables can be a significant challenge. If I smelled even the hint of vegetables in food, I would find some excuse not to eat it. When my nutrition started to become worrisome to my mom, she decided to play a few food tricks on me, and before I knew it, I started acquiring a taste for vegetables, both physically and mentally.
Her tricks didn’t consist of sending me to sleep without food or blending them up into a green machine smoothie. Her trick was to feed me dessert. But not just any dessert; she would feed me desserts packed with vegetables.
Start Off Small
I didn’t notice the new desserts right away. I saw standard brownies and ate my fill. I passed by a plate of chocolate chip cookies and stole a few. I was in dessert heaven as far as I was concerned. Little did I know, I was eating superfoods that were helping my eyesight, my cognitive development, my bone density and so many important aspects of my health.
The trick to my mother’s trick was starting off simple. She didn’t come right out with squash chips and cinnamon spread. She started me off easy, like training for a marathon. We would go on daily jogs, slowly increasing our time on the track, until eventually I could run for miles — or eat vegetables that weren’t hidden.
Small, But Strong
Although my Mom started out with simple recipes like cookies and brownies, those simple desserts were packed with highly nutritious vegetables. My mom made black bean and spinach brownies, topped with a creamy caramel sauce for extra taste.
I had no idea when I bit into those delicious, homemade treats that I was actually getting most, if not all, of my vitamins for the day. I learned to walk before I ran. My mom no longer had to worry that my picky eating was slowing down my growth and development.
Parents who have children who suffer from food allergies like celiac disease or nut allergies have to take extra steps to ensure their children are getting the proper amounts of key vitamins and minerals in their diet. Finding ways to add nutritious vegetables to their favorite foods could certainly help with this.
Nurturing a Healthy Lifestyle
As an adult, I recognize the impact this transition in my eating habits has made. My mom eventually told me she was hiding vegetables in my food, and I didn’t mind. I enjoyed the taste of the food I had eaten, and I was mature enough then to make the choice to eat more vegetables.
I owe my mom so much for creating this eagerness inside of me to live a healthier life. When I became old enough to grow my own garden, my mom and I would go out after my vegetables bloomed and pick some to add to the night’s meal. We even worked together to build an indoor garden during the winter months to maintain our new health standards.
I transitioned from a picky toddler, to a unknowing pre-teen and finally to a brand new woman who prioritizes her health and makes sure-footed steps to gain control of her nutrition. And I owe it all to veggie desserts.
Momma’s Old Recipes
My mom made so many different veggie desserts that worked so well to broaden my dietary horizons. Some of the desserts ended up being so memorable, I still make them as an adult and share the recipes with my friends. Below you will find some of the best recipes my mom used to trick me:
- Chocolate Chip and Date Cookies:
Before making your cookies, grind dates and walnuts until they are fine, using either a food processor or grinding stone. Once you have a fine paste-like substance, you can start adding the organic ingredients from your grandma’s favorite chocolate chip recipe The cookies will be soft and moist.
- Sweet Corn Pudding:
Make a delicious pudding base with organic sweet corn, cream and organic cornstarch. Once you have your base pudding, you can add additional ingredients for more flavor. You don’t even have to add sugar because the corn is so sweet. My mom would use Hershey’s chocolate syrup, and I would suggest using organic butterscotch chips or cinnamon for a kid-friendly twist. So yummy!
- Avocado Cake:
Avocado can be used as a substitute for eggs in many cake mixes. They are also a superfood that is loaded with nutrients that kids really need. Go ahead Mom and add an avocado to an organic cake mix, and to make it extra special you can a add a little avocado to your organic frosting with some fresh berries or other fruit on top, to give the cake a fun color, a nice texture and a nutritious secret. This is also an excellent option for kids who eat a vegan diet.
Do you have any unique veggie dessert recipes?
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