Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Superize your meals! {health}

Hi again from Kristin! So I’d like to claim that I have perfect eaters at home who eat 5 fruits and vegetables a day and don’t complain about one thing that I serve at the dinner table. But alas, the opposite is so true. Even last night as I brought out dinner, one child gave me a pouty face, one child told me about 30 times how much he hated my meal, and the youngest just cried and cried for the ENTIRE meal because I had dared try to give him something nutritious. This is a pretty familiar scene at my house. Anyone else? So if I am to get my children to eat more healthy, I have to resort to the “hiding” of nutritious foods. I’m sure many of you have already been using this tricky but brilliant morsel of information for years, but me, I have only just stumbled onto the concept since my 2 year old won’t even as much touch an apple chunk or banana slice. It is a new world to me consisting of blenders, fine chopping, and juicing!

So on this subject of “hiding” foods, I thought it would be fun to revisit this lovely picture today…

And see how we can turn an ordinary high carbohydrate meal into a vitamin and mineral enriched, high fiber feast that is sure to win brownie points at the dinner table. This monster spaghetti man is about to be SUPERIZED (not supersized) ...

The first thing that I would do to my little monster is substitute whole grain pasta for the regular stuff.

Now I am definitely not the biggest fan of whole grain pasta because it tends to be a little bit grainier and not as tasty, but I have found that if you are smothering it with yummy pasta sauce and meatballs, it’s not that bad. And what are the benefits of whole grain pasta? It is high in fiber, there are more micronutrients because they are not removed during processing that is involved with producing regular, white pasta, it’s more filling (and not as tasty) than the white stuff so hopefully you will eat less, and it is associated with lowering blood pressure and reducing risk of chronic diseases.

Well, that is a step in the right direction! The caloric intake and net carbs are not much different than regular pasta, but you can’t beat an extra 4 grams of fiber per serving!

Next, if you are making homemade meatballs, why don’t you try chopping up some fresh spinach into tiny pieces and mixing it in with your hamburger? 

The kids probably won’t even notice and you have added: amazing amounts of vitamin K, vitamin A, magnesium, folate, manganese, calcium, vitamin C, vitamin B2, potassium, and vitamin B6, protein, phosphorus, vitamin E, zinc, dietary fiber, copper, selenium, niacin, and omega-3 fatty acids.

Wow! That’s a lot of vitamins and minerals to add to just a little meatball. And not only that, it has been shown to be a heart-healthy food, full of antioxidants to help prevent cancer, and even keep your brain young and healthy. I definitely need that one, my brain seems to be all over the place!

Finally, the last thing that I like to do when making my spaghetti sauce (even if it is from the jar) is to add some pureed sweet potatoes to the recipe. Sweet potatoes are one of the most nutritious foods in the entire world! 
And by adding them to your spaghetti sauce, you are adding: Lots of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and fiber. And not only that they can help prevent chronic inflammatory diseases like arthritis, help stabilize blood sugar, and even help with stomach ulcers.

So there you have it. We have made an ordinary monster Halloween dinner into a SUPERIZED monster Halloween dinner by just adding a few ingredients that no one will ever know are there. And you, as the mastermind chef, can bask in the glory of tricking your little ones without one tear shed. Now enter evil laugh…

What kind of tricks do you use to make mealtime a happier and healthier place??


The Miller Five said...

Wow! Great ideas. Never thought of mixing in tiny pieces of spinach. We also use ground up turkey instead of hamburger. Lower in fat and cholesterol.

Chiara said...

Hi Kristin!! I totally stalk your sister-in-law's blog....(I'm in LOVE with everything she does!) and have been for a long time. I love reading your posts! Will you just convince Bill about all this healthy stuff....he doesn't buy into it!! ;)-