So what's a parent to do? We've all read that it can sometimes take 10 tries with a new food for a toddler to accept it, but I just don't have the stamina for that. And we all have friends whose kids will eat anything, putting ours to shame (How does this happen?! And is it every kid but mine?). And then there are all those good-for-you foods that come in cute shapes meant to trick kids into liking them, or at least tolerating them, and I've tried those too. They tend to work for about 45 seconds in our house and then it's over. So short of bribing, cajoling, screaming, crying and eating everything myself, I've resorted to ice pops. Yes, ice pops -- after breakfast, after lunch and dinner, in between and sometimes before bed. But before you stop reading, rest assured that these are the good-for-you sort of pops, and our one rule is that they're never a meal themselves, but they are an anytime treat.
|Zoku Fish Pop Molds|
Frozen fruit works great in these -- I usually buy frozen berries, nuke them until they're slightly soft (about a minute or so) and puree them in the food processor.
I always add a banana for sweetness. I let them practically rot on the kitchen counter and then freeze them. Nuke them for 30 seconds or so, peel and puree.
100% juice (blueberry, carrot or whatever other sort works for your child) can be added to enhance the flavor or stretch out the puree.
A squeeze of lemon juice adds a nice tartness to the pops.
VEGETABLES! I've added butternut squash, zucchini and carrots with great success. Again, cook in microwave until soft and puree. I keep batches of pureed vegetables in the freezer to add to the pops (and sauce, as it turns out, which works well), which saves a lot of time. You would be hard pressed to know there are vegetables in these pops, and even a toddler wouldn't know. My son once ate so many of the carrot pops that his poop was orange the next day. Success!
And here are some of his favorite varieties:
Banana, pineapple, carrot
Blueberry, strawberry, banana, butternut squash
Blueberry, banana, carrot
Banana, strawberry, zucchini
Mango, banana, butternut squash
A word on sugar. I rarely, if ever, add sugar to these pops. The banana takes care of the sweetness, but if you must, try coconut sugar, which is a healthier option than refined, white sugar.
Other healthy additions include almond or peanut butter, Greek yogurt, pumpkin puree and ground nuts.
|The cute shapes are perfect for toddlers|
Have good ideas for getting kids to eat their vegetables? Please share!