Kid Friendly Recipes – easy tips to sneaking fruits and veggies into your kids’ tummies

vegetablesAt times it can seem like kids are programmed to automatically hate fruits and veggies, and love things like candy and cookies. But there’s ways for you to change that. Here’s 10 easy tips for kid friendly recipes with fruits and vegetables. And trust me, they actually work. Take it from the mommy of a toddler that usually craves cookies and candy. I’ve been able to follow the tips below to get him to demand the good stuff instead!

  1. Get rid of the junk – Seems like a no-brainer, but it’s actually harder for moms to do. It’s easy for us to buy things like cookies and potato chips if that’s what we crave. If you stop buying junk food and start buying things like craisins, apples, and mini carrots, your kids will have no choice but to eat them. And for moms-to-be, if you stop having the junk food around now, your kids won’t be introduced to it, therefore won’t crave it. But if you really have a sweet tooth like me, just hide your stash away from tiny prying hands!
  2. Add cheese – This used to be a technique of mine before I started to suspect that my toddler was lactose intolerant. I would top broccoli with lots of Parmesan cheese and mix it. He would see me mix it, and would end up eating pieces of the broccoli to get to the cheese.
  3. Veggies First – Don’t present them a plate with the chicken fingers and side vegetables  next to them. Serve them a small plate of veggies first, that way they think that’s their meal, and they’ll eat it rather than going for the chicken first and then demanding more chicken rather than eating their vegetables.
  4. Peanut Butter and Caramel Galore –Serve things like celery, carrots, apples with a side of natural peanut butter or hydrogenated-free  caramel. Show them how to dip the vegetables and then bit off the dipped part. They’ll love it.
  5. Special Sauce – Make some steamed vegetables, and then pure’ them into a food processor. Add your favorite spaghetti sauce, and mix that all together. Use that as your spaghetti sauce, and your kids will never know the difference!

  6. Apple Crisp – My husband sneaks apples into my toddler by baking them into an apple crisp. The Food Network’s web site is full of great recipes.
  7. Smoothies – My toddler and now even my baby girl love love love smoothies. I have a couple great recipes in one of my blog entries. And the great thing is, you’ll love them too!
  8. Local Farmer’s Market – My local farmer’s market has fruit and veggie picking events from their own fields. Call your local market to see if they’ll let you do that. That way, your child makes an activity out of it. They’ll pick their own fruit and be proud of it, so it’ll be fun for them to eat it, too.
  9. For the Love of Ice Cream – Your kids love ice cream, but you don’t like the fat in them or in yours, so you could visit Oak Lawn’s Best fitness and wellness clinic in Dallas. A healthier alternative to it is making gelato. Here’s some great recipes. And it is absolutely delicious.
  10. Layer it up – My toddler loves yogurt. I let him watch while I layer strawberries and berries with his favorite yogurt. I put the fruit on top, so he has to dig through it to get to the yogurt I even got a yogurt machine from to prepare it everyday. Using a clear glass helps too, because your child can see through it and it’s kind of a cool visual for them to see what their spoon is doing as they mix things up.
  11. Sneak veggies into a frittata – Beat some eggs in a bowl – about two eggs per person. Then, in an oven-safe non-stick pan, fry up some veggies – broccoli, onions, mushrooms, spinach, etc. Once the veggies are done, pour the eggs onto the frying pan on top of the veggies. Put it in the oven at 350 for about 10 mins. Once it’s done and out of the over, sprinkle on some cheddar cheese. Voila, you have a delicious frittata, and if your kids like eggs and cheese, they’ll never notice the difference!

I’ve used all these tips, and they have worked successfully to make  fruits and veggies kid friendly, but always remember the number one tip. Get that junk out of your house, and stock your pantry with fruits and veggies! But to stay sane, feel free to have a secret box of cookies stashed in your closet! ; – )

How I Used My Meatball Recipe for Bribery – and How You Can Make Your Own

So I bribed my twin bro to help me haul my hated dishwasher out of my house by making him meatballs. Lucky for me, my meatball recipe is pretty easy.

After I offered the meatball bribe to my bro, he said, “You know you could have just used the whole me being your twin brother card, and I would have just done it for nothing in return.” But then when he found out he also had to help me get my back seat out of my minivan, he asked for extra meatballs, so I dunno about the whole twin brother theory he was offering! But I did also make him sugared strawberries to sweeten the deal of also having his girlfriend watch my kids eat their dinner while we hoisted that darn thing outta my house and into the beloved grocery van.

But anyway, the point here is, the meatballs turned out awesome, and you guys know very well that if I can do it, anyone can. I’ve talked about my lack of patience and attention to details in cooking before.

I decided to also make a gravy out of the meatball grease to use as a sauce for rotini and peas. So here’s what I did…by the way I don’t have step by step pictures because there was already a screaming baby girl clawing at the baby gate and screaming for food as I rolled the meatballs, and my toddler continuously trying to knock her over so he could scream at me about his desire for meatballs. Lesson learned: don’t announce to your kids that you’re making meatballs until they are ready to eat on the table. Anyway…

Meatball recipe – keep in mind I made double the portion so I could keep half of the rolled meatballs in the freezer to just heat up in the over for future use.


  1. Three pounds of ground beef (For a leaner option, used ground turkey)
  2. One medium-sized Spanish onion
  3. One garlic clove
  4. One tablespoon of sea salt
  5. One teaspoon of black pepper
  6. One fourth of a cup of Parmesan cheese (If there are no dairy allergies)
  7. Three large eggs
  8. Two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  9. One table spoon of butter spread (You can skip this for less fat)


  1. Place ground beef in a large bowl.
  2. Dice Spanish onion into small cubes, and mince the garlic. Mix together on cutting board, and then pour on top of ground beef.
  3. Mix together by hand.
  4. Sprinkle on the rest of the ingredients with one hand while you knead the meat with the other hand.
  5. Crack eggs in separate small bowl and mix together with a fork.
  6. Pour eggs onto beef mixture and mix well with both hands.
  7. Roll meat into one-inch diameter sized balls. The smaller you make the meatballs, the faster they’ll cook. The larger you make them, the harder it will be to cook at an even temperature on the inside and out.
  8. Heat oil on deep frying pan. Once oil is heated, melt butter on top of it.
  9. Arrange meatballs in single layers. Cook until bottom has browned, and then flip.
  10. Take meatballs out of pan once the outside has browned, and put onto cookie sheet to finish cooking in the oven for about 10-15 minutes.

To make gravy:

  1. Keep the pan that you used to cook the meatballs heated on the stove once you take the meatballs out.
  2. Add a half cup of water onto the pan that still has the meatball remnants and grease and use a spatula to scrape and mix together the water with the grease until the bottom of the pan is smooth, and you have a watery meaty mixture.
  3. Add one eighth cup of flour (Gluten free if necessary) onto the water/grease mixture. Mix until you have a gravy consistency.

Then, all I did was make a box of rotini by following the directions on the rotini box. Then I also made a cup of frozen peas by following the direction on the peas’ bag. Once both were cooked, I poured them in the pan with the gravy mixture until it was mixed well. And for the finishing touch, I put the prepared meatballs on top.

And that, my friends, is how I bribed my brother with meatballs. And they were pretty darn good!

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Voila! The finished product!