I love “health-boosting” foods… that’s what I call it when I add healthful ingredients to my favourite foods. It’s important to note though, than when I “health-boost” our family meals, I am completely upfront about it with my family. I never try to sneak the healthiness in.
Getting “caught” sneaking healthy food into your child’s food is a sure-fire way to lose their trust. Trust is the foundation of a healthy feeding relationship that will set your child up for long-term success in eating.
For example, you might be tempted to add spinach into a smoothie, without telling your child. It can sound like a clever idea, a simple way of getting your child to ingest a nutritious vegetable without putting up any fuss. And sure, you would meet the short-term goal of getting the child to swallow vegetables, but what does it do for your long-term parenting goals?
No one likes to feel tricked, and that includes children. Breaking someone’s trust has consequences. If your children wise up to your tricks, they may become wary of the other foods you feed them, uncertain if you have snuck something unwanted into it. They could start rejecting more foods than before. This could even negatively affect your broader relationship with your children in other areas of life.
I’m not saying that you shouldn’t put spinach into smoothies. It’s a great idea! If you are upfront about it, your children will probably even learn that they like spinach!
How to health-boost your foods without being sneaky:
a) Get your kids involved in food preparation. Let them see that you are adding healthful ingredients into the foods they know and love.
b) Make sure to also serve the spinach (or other healthful food) in ways that allow your child to taste the food for what it is. How will a child learn to like spinach if they’re never exposed to the way it tastes?
c) Give this recipe a shot!
If you give this recipe a go, let me know! Leave a comment, rate it, or snap a photo and tag it with #smartnutritionrecipes on Instagram! I’d love to see your creations! Knowing someone has enjoyed one of my recipes always makes my day brighter.
Lentil Garlic Cheese Toast
8 slices of whole grain bread
garlic powder in a sprinkling container
½ cup canned lentils, drained and rinsed
400 g of cheese, thinly sliced
Lay the slices of bread on a baking sheet.
Sprinkle each slice with garlic powder.
Distribute 1 tablespoon of lentils on each slice of bread.
Cover with the cheese.
Place in the oven. Turn the oven on to broil.
Watch the toast carefully. Remove when the cheese bubbles and starts to turn brown.
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