It’s no secret for those of you who know me, that I’m a snosher. (I may have actually coined that term.) “Snoshing” is the noshing that I sneak behind the open refrigerator door. I do this to block my kids’ view from me eating the things I tell them they can’t have. But there’s something else I’m doing sneakily with the food around our home. You see, I have always and continue to sneak super food items into my kids’ food.
When they were very small, they were none the wiser. However, at 7 and 10 years old they’ve come to expect my culinary shenanigans. They ask me to leave certain taste-impacting ingredients out of their dishes, but still eat my super-food laden foods!
Here Are My Top 3 Kid-Approved Super Food Add-Ins!
Gelatin is a surprisingly diverse secret superfood ingredient! You can use it as popularized by Jell-o! Or, lessen the quantity of liquid, add in natural sweeteners like maple syrup (also chock full of amazing minerals) use some liquid vitamins or even elderberry syrup and you have homemade gummy vitamins! I also pop powdered gelatin into smoothies, chamomile tea and my own coffee in the morning.
With much of the same amino acid content as collagen, gelatin is great for inflammation, your hair and skin, and helps seal your gut from prior gut damage. Why Grass-fed? Not to get political, but grass-fed animals are typically treated with more respect, healthier and these farms are usually supporting the environment better with their choices. There are always exceptions! But also, grass-fed gelatin is higher in nutrients, vitamins, and omega 3’s!
Probiotics are the bare minimum we should be consuming for improved gut health. Best consumed in whole food form, these superfoods in fermented foods can have a strong flavor. (My kids happen to love kombucha, water kefir, and fermented sauerkraut, I know this isn’t normal!) However, plain full-fat greek yogurt is something I regularly add to their smoothies or frozen banana ice cream. They also love when I blend up fruit, mix it into their yogurt and drizzle it with raw honey.
But for starters, you can transition your kids to lower sugar yogurt by mixing in plain yogurt, in small increments, to their current favorites. Don’t be afraid to pop open a probiotic gel cap and add it to a smoothie, yogurt, chocolate milk, or just about any way you can sneak it in!
There are so many studies on the connection between full-body and mental health and the gut! Here’s the problem with counting on our kids’ sugary yogurt to provide them with enough of this good bacteria: Sugar feeds the bad bacteria. So by consuming sugar-laden yogurt, you are breaking even in your gut health balance. Maybe even tipping to the negative.
I know. This superfood actually works. But you MUST be sneaky! Make sure your cooked and pureed veggies are color matched to their host meal! (I freeze prepared veggies into tiny cubes to have handy) Carrots and cauliflower are undetectable in mac and cheese, and spinach is practically invisible in a cocoa-inspired smoothie. The key is not getting carried away with your quantity of healthy add-ins! I’ve also been able to add in pureed veggies to meatballs and scrambled eggs!
I would be remiss if I didn’t remind you of the power of sneaking healthy stuff into homemade baked goods. There are the obvious veggie breads with grated zucchini and carrots; however, my kids wouldn’t eat those. I had to puree the ingredients so they were not recognizable. Once I used the pureed veggies in the predictable recipes I began sneaking them into everything! Brownies are perfect because they are dark, but remember, match those colors!
Try some of these other ingredients that have played a role in my strategic superfood implementation! Let me know how it goes!
- Chia Seeds (Grind them up in your coffee grinder first)
- Real cocoa or cacoa (with no sugar)
- Nettle Tea (try pre brewing and chilling it)
- Vitamin D drops
- turmeric (don’t forget to use a shake of black pepper to amplify it’s effectiveness), elderberries
- green tea
- coconut oil
Here’s to a healthy and happy New Year!
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