This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Ragu®. The opinions and text are all mine.
We all know that vegetables are important, but let’s face it, it is often hard to fit enough vegetables into the diet of our children. I want to show you 7 ways to easily sneak vegetables into dinner. Life is moving fast, and so I often look for simple and quick ways to bring healthy ingredients into our family dinners.
With summer quickly coming to a close and a more scheduled fall approaching, there are ways I need to think ahead about how to make meal times easy and yet healthy. I also want to make meals affordable and convenient, so Walmart is often the choice for one stop shopping.
7 Ways to Easily Sneak Vegetables into Dinner
- Pasta Sauces – Pasta sauces are a fabulous way to get your veggies. Did you know that Ragu® offers a variety of fabulous flavors and each half-cup of Ragu® offers a full serving of vegetables? Your kids would never guess. I have found that my kids don’t mind knowing vegetables are included once they know and trust the great flavors of Ragu®. I was able to head to Walmart to pick out my own Ragu® Spaghetti and Pasta Sauces. Pasta is always a quick meal, and you can add whole grain or brown rice noodles to make the meal that much healthier. You can chop up extra vegetables to add to your sauce if desired, and your kids will never notice. No guilt if you don’t have the time since Ragu® already has the veggie servings provided in the sauce. Serve with a Caesar salad, and you have another serving of vegetables right there. Visit this post to see how we have paired a fun family dinner game with the great taste of Ragu® in the past. Visit Ragu® for great recipes and product information. You can also follow Ragu’s® Pinterest page for more inspired ideas.
- Smoothies – Smoothies are a great place to stuff vegetables. I use frozen broccoli, cauliflower and carrot in mine. Spinach or Kale is also a great addition. Pair this with a lime to cut through the bitterness of the vegetables and add frozen berries and a banana for a great taste. I often add a powder probiotic or flax seed to my smoothies as well. This is another quick and easy option for when you are running out the door to take your kids to after school activities or other events. We often serve a smoothie alongside our main course. I call the green ones “Hulk” or “Tinker-bell” smoothies. I freeze the extras and turn them into healthy popsicles that the kids love.
- Salsa and Guacamole – Kids don’t realize they are getting vegetables while they are eating salsa. Add salsa and guacamole to a much loved and easy chicken quesadilla or your favorite tacos. There are easy crock pot chicken recipes that include a jar of salsa. Do chips and salsa as an afternoon snack. The onions, tomatoes, peppers and garlic in your average salsa add a lot of flavor and health.
- Cauliflower – Cauliflower can be snuck into any variety of meals. Puree it and stick it in mashed potatoes, chowder, casseroles, mac & cheese, Ragu® pasta sauces and more. If you Google “sneaky cauliflower recipes” a number of ideas will pop-up. I’m sure there is a way to sneak it in to your own child’s favorite meal.
- Breads – My kids love breads. It’s easy to make breads ahead of time and freeze for later use. Some great bread options for vegetables include zucchini bread, sweet potato biscuits, or pumpkin banana bread.
- Zucchini – Zucchini is another vegetable that is easy to sneak into foods. Shred it finely and add it to casseroles, lasagna, Ragu® pasta sauces, omelets, or soups.
- The Ground Beef or Ground Turkey Sneak – Tacos, burgers, meatloaf and lasagna are all made with ground meat. Bulk up the meat by adding onions, mushrooms, sweet potatoes, peppers or zucchini. These quick meals are often in our recipe arsenal, and adding vegetables to these well-loved dinner items will add the healthy component every mom loves. Burgers are great to accessorize with vegetables too.
I hope you are inspired to find ways to get more vegetables into your child’s diet. The produce section at Walmart has great vegetables and is more affordable than other grocery stores.