That’s right, when it comes to nutrition, I am a sneaky mama. And I know I am not the only one. I have friends who puree veggies into pasta sauces and make foods into fun shapes to give their kiddos a nutritional boost.
I like to keep these Tasty Tuesday posts light because I believe food should be fun. Stress is worse for the body than any food could be (well, maybe not worse than deep fried butter, but you get the idea…..) But, in order to be completely transparent, I have to share what inspires my planty ways when it comes to my babe.
During a nutrition course I took while T was just getting into solids, I learned that children in the US today are the first generation with a predicted life expectancy shorter than their parents. This took my breath away. I realize that food isn’t the end all and be all when it comes to health, but I also know that what we do or don’t put into our bodies can be a major factor when it comes to many chronic diseases.
Truth bomb #2: Heart disease begins in childhood. Most children in the US already have fatty streaks in their arteries by age 10. Scary stuff I know, but at the risk of being a downer it seems important enough to share.
Now for the happy part: Consuming more plants can prevent and/or reverse many chronic diseases. So, now that you see the method to my madness, I’ll share a few sneaky secrets:
-Sly Smoothies: Since children vary in what they deem an acceptable smoothie, mom knows best when it comes to this one. I will share that baby spinach blends beautifully and leaves little to no aftertaste, as do hemp seeds and frozen cauliflower (we use the riced kind). Sweeter fruits help mask greens and veggies, so things like bananas, mango, and pineapple are a sneaky mom’s best friend. This one has been my go to for a while now. You may want to skip the spirulina* and go light on the greens if you have a green-averse child.
-Secret Sauces: This sauce is perfect for pasta. T won’t eat pasta (weird right? Isn’t pasta on every kid’s menu in the world?) but loves it on pizza. The main ingredient is cauliflower, but you would never know.
*update: we’ve since switched from spirulina to wheatgrass since possible concerns about certain spirulina suppliers and safety. The science on the benefits of wheatgrass is stronger and there are no concerns on safety to date.
For more plant based ideas head over to the Joyful Gym Rat page on Facebook
Full disclosure, T knows there is avocado in there, he just thinks that’s where ice cream comes from……