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Get Your Kids to Eat Their Vegetables

By Sara Butler

Parenting is all about balance. You have to find the right balance of so many things from your children, from screen time to nutrition. Some are easier to maintain than others, especially if you have a picky eater in the house. Luckily, there are a few tricks you can use to ensure your kids get the vegetables they should -- tricks so good your kids won't even realize they're eating something so nutritious!

Do Your Kids Get Enough Vegetables?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 90 percent of kids don't get the one to three cups of vegetables they should be getting each day. And the vegetables they do eat, such as white potatoes in the form of french fries, aren't as nutritious as they could be.

Vegetables are important because they're full of antioxidants, fiber, minerals, and vitamins that can help with brain development, aid in digestion, and support a robust immune system. While your children may be resistant to trying out new things, you simply have to keep trying. In the meantime, try a few of these vegetable hacks to your children's meals.

Mashed Potatoes

Most kids love mashed potatoes and a great way to make them a little more nutritious is with cauliflower. Cauliflower is a vegetable that's very easy to mask and so it makes a great addition to mashed potatoes and other dishes.

For cauliflower-spiked mashed potatoes, simply steam some cauliflower and go half potatoes, half cauliflower for the mash. Adding in other flavors such as garlic and herbs will make it pretty identical to the original version.

Grate Vegetables into Meat

Are your kids big fans of meatloaf, burgers, or meatballs? You can easily grate up some zucchini or carrot to add in. All you need to do is grate the vegetable finely and then incorporate it into some ground meat with the other ingredients. It'll make for some very moist and vitamin-packed food.

Pro tip: Grated vegetables are also a great addition to baked goods such as bread, cakes, and even cookies!

Sauce Them Up

Most kids love the sauce that goes on spaghetti, so use this as an opportunity to swap out half the meat for a vegetable many kids don't like -- mushrooms. You can also add vegetables to the cheese sauce for macaroni and cheese by adding in some pumpkin or butternut squash puree. Either way, sauce is a great vehicle for vegetables!

Talk to your kids about nutrition and encourage them to try new things. But it doesn't hurt to sneak in a few extra nutrients!

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Englewood, Colo.

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