There may be nothing more frustrating as a parent than trying to get a child to eat nutritious meals. We have all faced the struggle, especially when they are younger. Picky palates mean that one day they may like something, only to absolutely despise it the next. In the meantime, their favorite foods leave a lot to be desired in the nutrition department.
Don’t despair. Whether you hide veggies in tasty foods so your children eat them without ever knowing they are there or use alternative ingredients, there are healthy versions of the most unhealthy junk food. Here are five quick hacks to health-ify your kid’s favorite foods.
1. Mac & Cheese
Macaroni and cheese is one of those easy to make meals that exhausted mommies everywhere rely on for those hard days when cooking more just isn’t in the cards. But it leaves a lot to be desired on the nutrition front. This version has plenty of veggies to make it more filling with fiber, not to mention the vitamins and minerals in each one.
All kids love pizza, but it is one of the most unhealthy foods we can eat. But you don’t have to strike it off the meal list. This version of pizza crust uses buckwheat for a fiber-filled twist. Add that to this brilliant, hidden veggie version of toppings and you will be making a much more nutritious version that your kids will demolish.
Buckwheat groats are the secret ingredient to these incredible, high fiber pancakes. But it doesn’t stop there. They also use well-blended ricotta to make them lastingly filling, protein-packed and full of energy for your little one. Throw some berries in there for the antioxidants and add sugar-free syrup or compote and you have a breakfast for the fittest family.
Healthy cookies? No way. That can’t be possible, right? You’d be surprised by just how far this version kicks things up a notch. The almond butter gives each cookie a nice protein boost and the dark chocolate and natural maple syrup cut down on the sugar. You won’t worry about giving your kids sweets ever again!
5. French Fries
Perhaps the worst fast food staples are fries. They are deep fried, simple carbs and offer nothing substantial at all. They are also salty and delicious, which is why we (and our kids) crave them. Sweet potatoes are a healthier alternative to regular potatoes, with vitamins, minerals, and complex carbs to keep the body moving. These baked sweet potato fries are a tasty alternative to their greasy cousins.