My stance now is more relaxed. As long as my munchkins eat well most of the time, I am all for ice cream after dinner and a dessert in their lunch.
In our house, the majority of snacks need to come from the refrigerator, because yogurt, cheese, and most fruits and vegetables require refrigeration. Fresh food isn't chillin' in the pantry. The pantry isn't awful, but most of it's contents are to be enjoyed in moderation.
During my mommy travels, I have picked up a few tricks to squeezing in fruits and vegetables when children are picky eaters. My personal experience is that all kids will eventually try new foods, and life is much easier when you aren't badgering them about their diet.
Power struggles with toddlers are no walk in the park.
When all else fails, here are my favorite tricks to sneaking in fruits and vegetables:
1. Make brownies with black beans. Standard brownie mix bakes just fine with a can of pureed black beans (15 oz can). It actually bakes fudgy, dense and delicious. No need for extra ingredients. Just drain the beans, place back in can, fill to rim with water and puree. Grease pan, add pureed beans to brownie mix, stir and bake.
2. Bake breakfast muffins, and add apples or blueberries. Or carrots. Try zucchini and pumpkin. Muffins and breads are an excellent place to hide nutrient rich fruits and vegetables.
3. Do your kids love mashed potatoes? Or mac and cheese? Puree cauliflower and stir it right in.
4. Pasta is king when it comes to kids. Puree carrots, spinach or peppers and add to pasta sauce.
5. Last but not least, the almighty smoothie. Nothing beats a smoothie made with organic yogurt, milk and fresh fruits. For a real treat try blending a milkshake after dinner with vanilla ice cream and strawberries.
Share your tips and tricks. I'd love to hear them!