Manic Monday: 5 “Deceptively” Delicious Ways to get Your Kids to Eat Healthy {Guest Post}


I’m thrilled to have Erin from The Humbled Homemaker back again to share some of her tips, tricks and hints to make the week run more smoothly! If you’ve not checked out her blog, be sure to hop over there after you read these great nuggets for helping your kids eat healthy!

Do you ever have a hard time getting your child to eat vegetables, legumes or even certain fruits? I know I do. I used to pride myself on how my daughter wasn’t picky at all. She would eat anything I put before her. It must have been because I was so faithful in breastfeeding her. Because everyone knows breastfed babies turn out to be good eaters.
Ummmmm…NO. That was before she turned 2—and 3 has been even more challenging in the food department. Not only has she been in a picky stage lately, but she’s also recently been diagnosed with several food intolerances.
And the breastmilk? Yeah—the Lord has definitely toppled my pride on that one!
So what are some ways to sneak some healthy food into a toddler (or even an older child or adult) who doesn’t quite care for the healthiest of foods?
Here are 5 ways that have worked for me—and I hope they work for you!

1. Make an avocado-banana chocolate pudding. My daughter will eat ANYTHING with chocolate in it. I think she’s turning into a chocoholic. Toss half an avocado, a small banana and some cocoa into a blender, and voila—you have the healthiest chocolate pudding ever! Just make sure you blend things well enough that there are no chunks of avocado visible. “Mommy, what are these green things in my chocolate pudding?!” Yeah—that time didn’t go over too well. The pudding will have a slight banana taste. You can use honey to make it sweeter if you wish. I’ve used this recipe with success.
2. “Hide” chopped veggies in pasta sauce or pizza sauce. This is my personal favorite—and one that mothers everywhere have been doing for years! Just make sure you chop the veggies very finely. I love using my electric chopper for this. Carrots and greens are my favorite veggies to add to sauces!
3. Bake black bean brownies. This is Little Girl’s favorite. Ever since finding out she must be gluten free, black bean brownies have been a regular treat at our house. A child a little older may be able to tell the difference, but a young child may never know they are really eating a health food! I use Katie from Kitchen Stewardship’s recipe from her Healthy Snacks to Go book, but this recipe also looks yummy. I’ve even made up my own white bean blondie version (coming out in a free holiday treats eBook for my subscribers soon!). Here’s another version of it that sounds scrumptious as well.
4. Replace oil in a recipe with pureed zucchini or another pureed veggie. This is another fun one. I especially enjoy baking zucchini brownies, but Little Girl can’t eat those anymore. I took a batch to a holiday gathering with my husband’s family one time, and everyone raved about them! (And never knew the difference!) Kate at Modern Alternative Mama has a great recipe for a chocolate-zucchini cake. Here’s some more fun stuff you can do with vegetable purees in place of oil.
5. Use pureed pumpkin in place of eggs in baked goods. I just discovered this, and I don’t know if it works every time, but it definitely worked in these pumpkin-pear muffins that I had to modify to make egg/gluten-free for my daughter. Here’s more information on using pumpkin in place of eggs (or oil).

What are YOUR “deceptively” delicious ways to get your family to eat healthy?

Erin is a believer in Jesus Christ and stay-at-home wife and mom of two little redheaded girls. She loves mission work, speaking Spanish, breastfeeding, cloth diapering and researching how to live a healthier lifestyle. She blogs about parenting, natural living and homemaking at The Humbled Homemaker.

Photo Credit: Boy Eating
Photo Credit: Brownies

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Posted on November 14, 2011, in Guest Posts, Recipes and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 14 Comments.

  1. Really great post Erin! I’ve got Black Bean Brownies on my list to make….but I’ve been making so many things I haven’t gotten the chance yet! Glad you give them a thumbs up. :-)

    • The more I read of Erin’s work, the more impressed and encouraged I am! She is handling a major life area change with such grace, and views it as an exciting opportunity to learn and experiment t. I’m so glad to have her as a friend and guest blogger!

      • Jen, you are SO kind. Thank you a TON for letting me guest post on your great blog!! I think anyone would work hard to make these changes. It is very challenging, but you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do, right? Praise God for His provision!

    • Thank you, Stacy!! I LOVE the fact that EB enjoys the brownies so much! They are her favorite treat! My mom took her to the grocery store with her the other day. EB spotted some black beans and told my mom: “Hey–we should get some black beans, so we can make brownies!!” HAHAH!! My mom said the woman in the aisle next to them gave her a strange look!! I love Katie’s recipe! I can’t 100% vouch for any others, but the one I linked to looks similar!

  2. Excellent post and very encouraging! I love finding new ways to get healthy foods in our diet. Have you read the cookbook, Deceptively Delicious? It is an excellent cookbook packed with ways sneak in healthy foods.

  3. Thanks for linking up at Traditional Tuesdays! Take heart, I extended nursed both of my kids and they both went through picky phases, too. They also developed food allergies despite me doing everything ‘right.’ It was a long road, but we were able to heal the allergies and they did loose their pickiness. They now eat anything and everything put in front of them and they love veggies. They’re almost 7 and 9 now.

    • Thank you for this encouragement, KerryAnn! It helps so much to know that other moms have been in my shoes! It’s discouraging sometimes when I feel like she is getting all she needs when you combine her food sensitivities w/ a 3-year-old’s pickiness! She weaned at 22 months (self weaned), and my goal is to go a full 2 years w/ my 1-year-old. I’m so thankful we can all learn from each other. I pray she will be able to and WILL eat much more in a few years!! Thanks for hosting the link up!

  4. Great tips. I also replace the oil and sugar in my granola with applesauce.

  5. Nice post, Erin. I tried bean brownies myself last night. Two different recipes. Not great. Good, but not great. I have to work on this a bit more. Found another that looks like a winner, but it has LOADS of sweeteners so I’m not sure I want to go there.

    Take care!

    • Thanks, Adrienne! Have you tried Katie’s recipe yet? My daughter absolutely loves them! I just use the flax meal + hot water combo as the egg sub. Of course, my daughter is 3 and doesn’t really remember what “regular” brownies taste like. I still want to try your bean fudge recipe!! It looks so yummy! Hope you are well!

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