Tricking Your Kids into Eating Healthy Foods: 5 Snack Ideas

Tricking Your Kids into Eating Healthy: 5 Snack IdeasI don’t have kids—nor are they anywhere on the radar—but sometimes when I’m coming up with new recipes, I find myself thinking of ways I’ll trick my future spawn into eating healthy foods. Like telling them green juice is actually slime from Nickelodeon (as a 90’s child, this totally would have worked on me); or calling anything with pureed chickpeas in it “cookie dough”; and stirring flax and chia seeds into anything and everything. Maybe if I start the brainwashing at a young enough age, I can even convince them that raw kale tastes good. Kids, c’mon, it’s like a Snickers bar, only green, I promise…

Now I’m well aware none of these are going to work because I have the strongest picky eater karma ever coming my way (as a kid, I would eat nothing but plain pasta with butter and sugar cubes…seriously), but hey, a girl can dream. And when Nasoya asked me to write a post about back-to-school recipes, I decided to roundup some P&I snacks that have made me think “this will be awesome for tricking my future kids into eating healthy.” This post is based on 0 years of parenting experience (unless you count that one time I petsat my friend’s dog…no? Not the same thing? Ok…), so let’s have some fun with it. :)

Shhh Don’t Tell Them It’s Healthy: 5 Snack Ideas for Kids

Frozen Banana Treats

greek-yogurt-almond-frozen-bananasSo many directions to go with these! Wanna keep it easy? You can melt some semi-sweet dark chocolate chips; dip sliced banana chunks in it; and pop in the freezer for a health(ier) sweet snack/dessert. Wanna keep it easy but also win Parent of the Year? Make these Greek Yogurt & Crushed Almond Banana Popsicles. Your kids will love them, you’ll love them—it’s a win-win.

Fun Hummuses (Hummus? Hummi?)

chipotle-tofu-hummus-4

Chipotle Tofu Hummus using Nasoya Tofu

Neither my spellchecker nor I know what the plural of “hummus” is, and while Google says “hummuses,” I think we can all agree “hummi” sounds best. But anyway…

Do I think most kids are going to voluntarily eat plain hummus? Probably not until they’re a bit older. But there are so many flavor variations out there, you’re bound to find one your kids enjoy. Sweet Potato Hummus is a great one to try because it’s just that—sweet! It’s great to eat as a dip with carrot sticks or to spread on crackers and top with sliced grapes (trust me on that—sweet potato + grapes = $$$).

If hummus as a dip just isn’t going to work, you can use it as a healthy sandwich spread to replace that awesome creamy texture usually provided by mayonnaise and/or cheese. I’d skip the flavored varieties and use plain hummus on sandwiches if you’re trying to sneak it passed the kids. And if your child is lactose intolerant (or you’re just trying to cut out some dairy), try this Chipotle Tofu Hummus as a melted cheese replacement on burritos. Tofu is a great addition to hummus for giving it a smooth, almost cheese-like texture, and the subtle smoky chipotle taste blends well with traditional Mexican food ingredients.

Just Call It a Muffin and Don’t Say the “Q” Word Outloud…

Apple Banana Quinoa Breakfast CupsThese Apple Banana Quinoa Cups makes for a delicious breakfast muffin replacement or a snack any time of day. And they’ve been approved by tons of real kids, so I don’t even have to waste another sentence defending their place on this roundup. :)

Chickpea “Cookie Dough”

Chickpea Chocolate Chip "Cookie Dough" Bites (gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, no added sugar)Between my obsession with hummus and the following recipe, it’s surprising I haven’t yet turned into a chickpea. These Chickpea “Cookie Dough” Bites are dairy-free, grain-free, and use no added sugar—yet are delicious! And they’re super filling, so your kids won’t need more than two or three in their lunchbox to make it through snacktime.

Smoothies

peanut-butter-berry-smoothie-2I asked my mom about sneaking healthy food into my and my brother’s diet as a kid, and she said smoothies were always her go-to. She’d even put powdered acidophilus in them if one of us had been on antibiotics or had any GI issues (news to me—ha!). There are COUNTLESS smoothie combos out there that will get the thumbs-up from kiddos, but if your kid loves PB&J sandwiches, you might try swapping them for this Peanut Butter Berry Smoothie—it’s a winner!

Can’t wait to hear from all the moms out there in the comments section today!

  • What are some ways you sneak healthy foods into your kids’ diets?
  • Have you had any hilarious failed attempts?

Also, feel free to crush my dreams and tell me which of these recipes would never get the green light from your little ones. :)

This post was sponsored by Nasoya. I was given full creative control over the content, and all opinions are my own…as always.

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The Ripe Stuff 3-Day Juice Cleanse (My Experience)

The Ripe Stuff jucie cleanseIf you follow me on Instagram, you might already know that I did a three-day juice cleanse last week. My friend Rebecca from The Ripe Stuff asked if I wanted to try one out, and since (as you’ve probably noticed) I’m a huge fan of juice, I was eager to take her up on the offer. Every once in a while, it’s nice to give your digestive system a break, hit the reset button, and let your body balance itself out. I’ve done a few juice cleanses and always feel amazing afterwards—this one was no exception!

In addition to their signature cleanses, The Ripe Stuff offers a seasonal cleanse that incorporates some in-season produce and changes every three months. For summer, they have the Beet the Heat cleanse, and as soon as I saw watermelon-mint juice on the menu I was sold!

Here’s what the six juices each day were:

The Ripe Stuff jucie cleanse

All the juices were delicious! Green juice is my jam so those two were probably my favorite, but the watermelon-mint was a real treat, too. And I loved that there was so much variety—two green, an earthy beet juice, a sweet watermelon drink, a fiery cayenne lemonade, and a satisfying cashew drink to finish the day.

How I Felt during the Cleanse

I had a ton of energy throughout the cleanse and was able to workout each day. A few days prior, I stopped drinking coffee so that I could get the caffeine withdrawal headaches/sluggishness out of the way—something I highly recommend you do before any cleanse. On day one I went for a short run and did a 15-minute HIIT workout in my living room (I’m posting it to the blog later this week!). On day two, I took it easier and hit up a yoga class. On day three, I did a class at Btone in the morning and then was invited to a free indoor cycling class at SoulCycle that night on behalf of Women’s Health Magazine and Birchbox. I was surprised I had enough energy for a double-session workout day, but I felt great!

I was only hungry for a little while the first day, and I think it was probably because I ate a big dinner the night before my cleanse—something I wouldn’t recommend. It was a healthy dinner, but I ate a lot. Whoopsies. Other than that, I wasn’t hungry, and the heavier cashew drink helped me go to bed satisfied each night.

How I Felt after the Cleanse

The Ripe Stuff jucie cleanseMy favorite thing about juice cleanses is how any cravings for unhealthy foods I may have had are totally gone by the end. You wake up the next morning and just want more juice! There’s a heightened awareness of what you’re putting into your body, and the next couple days, I pretty much just wanted smoothies, juice, veggies, fruits and nuts. When the weekend hit, I added in eggs and some bread…and, ok, beer…but all in all, I’m still eating super healthy. And I haven’t had any coffee since before the cleanse! I don’t think there’s anything wrong with coffee necessarily, but I don’t think you should be dependant on something to feel awake in the morning. I go through no-coffee phases a lot, so we’ll see how long this one lasts.

As a result of no coffee and habitually drinking a ton of liquids for three days, I’ve found myself drinking a ton of water since the cleanse, which is great because it’s something I often neglect. Three days of juice + lots of water = clearer skin! The little bumps around my chin look so much better.

The number one question I get asked about juice cleanses is weight loss. I don’t weight myself, but I definitely looked a little thinner after the juice cleanse. How much of it is “real” weight and how much of it is water weight and bloat? I don’t know, and it doesn’t really matter to me—that’s not why I do juice cleanses. When you take three days off from digestion, your body can direct its energy to repair. Cleanses flush out and repair the bad, while helping you kickstart a healthy routine. It’s like hitting the reset button. And anyone who ever owned a Nintendo64 knows how essential a reset button can be from time to time.

More About The Ripe Stuff

The Ripe Stuff is a local company, and is delivered throughout the Boston area Sunday through Tuesday. I decided on a Sunday delivery so that I could start my cleanse on Monday morning. The produce used is locally sourced and hydraulically pressed. For any Boston readers, I’d highly recommend The Ripe Stuff! You can get 1, 2 or 3-day cleanses, as well as a-la-carte juices. Check The Ripe Stuff out online HERE to order and see their other juice and cleanse options. :)

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Refreshing Mint Watermelon Juice

Refreshing Minty Watermelon Cucumber JuiceHope you all enjoyed Friday’s entertaining little detour from the health & fitness posts–let’s get back to what I’m drinking 99% of the time (i.e. not beer). :)

Nothing says “summer” like watermelon, right?? Growing up, my cousins and I would have watermelon seed spitting contests, and in case you’re wondering (I know you are, since we’re all eight years old here…), the key to getting maximal distance is to roll the seed in your tongue to create a chute, and launch it from there with a forceful exhale.

WIth knowledge like this, I’ve pretty much got “The Cool Aunt” title on lock. Not that I’m an aunt, but you get where I’m going.

Refreshing Minty Watermelon Cucumber JuiceRefreshing Minty Watermelon Cucumber JuiceThis juice is so refreshing! And would taste amazing as a cocktail. Make a big batch, throw in some vodka, and you’ve got a summer BBQ home run.

Refreshing Mint Watermelon Juice

Yield: 14 oz (roughly)

Refreshing Mint Watermelon Juice

Ingredients

  • 2 heaping cups chopped watermelon
  • ½ cucumber
  • 1 lime, peeled
  • 1 handful mint (about 5 sprigs)

Instructions

  1. Peel the lime. Use a peeler to remove the green, but keep some of the white coating underneath (lots of nutrients in there!).
  2. Run everything through your juicer.
http://pumpsandiron.com/2014/07/13/refreshing-mint-watermelon-juice/

Refreshing Minty Watermelon Cucumber JuiceHope you had a fun weekend!

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