With kids, it’s sometimes so hard to find that balance of allowing them to eat a what is essentially “junk”, homemade sweet stuff and healthy wholesome meals. If I had my way, sweets would be banned and they would just eat all natural food; but in my busy life and my kids even busier social lives, I know it’s not remotely possible, so I try to balance everything out. My kids are at that age where they understand what healthy food is and what treats are, they also understand that there is a stash of sweets from the party they went to last week….and their location! So, it’s a tricky one. Do I ban them, risk ostracising them from their school friends or let them have sweet treats, with a balance of protein, vegetables and fruit too? With one child gluten free and the other who gets a bit wired on anything sugary, as a family, we have to manage what we eat and when (timing for the sugar boy is key!)
I find adding sweet vegetables into traditional meals helps with the sweet cravings. If they’ve had a pasta bolognese with extra grated carrots, courgette and broccoli in, typically they don’t ask for any pudding….
Anything using mince is perfect for hiding vegetables. Blitz in a blender, add in at the beginning of cooking. My daughter watches intently and knows they’re in there…but also thinks they’re supposed to be in the recipe! Bolognaise, chilli, lasagne – switch out the pasta sheets for squash sheets or courgette.
Another big winner is the spiraliser. When the kids are arguing over who’s courgetti strip is the longest, I know I’m onto a winner!
My smallest monkey will also demolish anything with spice on. Vegetables disguised as a curry? Winner. Vegetable chili? Sorted.
The main thing, I think, is to workout the best way for YOUR kids to eat them. Hide them, spice them, slice them, roast them, eat them raw (stolen carrots whilst doing a roast). Find what works for your family. #whatsyourbalance