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Here we are at the end of a another week. That means that it is time for this week’s Friday Five.
For today’s Friday Five I’m heading into the kitchen and sharing five foods that I never thought my kids would even eat, let alone love, that your kids just might like, too.
Now, typical preschooler “yellow food only” phase aside, my kids aren’t terribly picky eaters (though they do, of course, have their moments).
In fact, they impress me all the time by trying new foods and by eating things that I’m not so sure I would have tried when I was a kid living on a steady diet of spaghettios and garlic bread. (We won’t talk about what I lived on as a teenager. Good grief.)
Here are five surprising foods my kids love that yours just might like, too:
1. Chocomole (a.k.a. avocado banana pudding)
We discovered this recipe in the Healthy Snacks to Go book and my kids love it! I was a little skeptical, because it seems like such an odd food combination, but the truth is that I really like it, too. It is a nice guilt free sweet treat, and I love that my kids know what it is made of and they don’t care because it is just that yummy to them.
Erin Chase, of $5 Dinners, does a take on this pudding with pistachios that my kids love, too.
I can say with some degree of certainty that when I was a kid there is no way I would have touched an avocado, let alone considered it dessert material, so this is impressive to me.
Other avocado based recipes my kids love:
- chocolate shakes (I think adding some frozen strawberries or raspberries makes this even better!)
- BLT’s with avocado
2. Purple Potatoes
My brother Nate has a life rule, and I think it is a good one: never eat anything the color of highlighter.
In the case of purple potatoes, though, I know even Nate makes an exception. Coming by their color naturally, purple potatoes have turned into a family favorite at our house. I’m sure the fact that they are in my five year old’s favorite color has everything to do with it.
I was surprised by purple potatoes in our local foods box earlier this year and didn’t know exactly what to do with them. I found that they are fun to cook with and they have a distinct flavor that is a little unexpected, given their hue. When these gorgeous spuds show up in our box now, we roast them with garlic and rosemary, following this recipe.
Note: purple potatoes do seem to be a bit on the tricky side as far as texture and flavor, and there are some beloved traditional potato dishes, such as mashed, that they don’t seem to be suited for. At least my attempt at serving purple mashed potatoes didn’t go over well. Rats, because that would have been SO cool.
For us, roasted is the most delicious way to serve them.
Other foods in wild hues (especially purple) that my kids will eat:
- purple asparagus
- smoothies in every color of the rainbow
- purple carrots
3. Grated Carrots
My kids aren’t big carrot eaters, though Lucy and Amelia do like raw carrot sticks as long as there is dip to go along with them. They like carrots okay, but “more carrots please?” isn’t something I’m used to hearing at my house.
However, grated carrots are an exception. My kids go crazy for carrot cake, carrot cupcakes, and carrot raisin bread. Sure, a little cream cheese frosting doesn’t hurt. Carrots as dessert? Oh, yes, they love them!
But what surprised me is that, thanks to a bumper crop of carrots from my dad’s garden this year, I have been putting grated carrots into our smoothies, our spaghetti sauce, and even our taco meat and no one has said a negative word. In fact, they eat those meals dinner-as-usual, and I’m not even sure they noticed my sneaky little carrot trick. (I wasn’t secretive about it, I just didn’t make a big pre-meal announcement).
So, there you go: grated carrots for the win!
This faux grain (did you know it was actually more closely related to beetroot and spinach than traditional grains?) with the funny sounding name cooks up a little, uh, weird. In fact, the first time I made it my whole family did a double-take. “It is supposed to look like that? What’s that little string thing on it?”
But, the thing is, quinoa is pretty tasty, with a subtle nutty kind of flavor. What’s more, quinoa lends itself well to things like salads (where I can mix in veggies to up the healthy factor) and as a stuffing peppers and artichokes (another food my kids will eat that six year old me wouldn’t have touched with a ten foot pole).
Quinoa even jumps into the baking game, such as these pumpkin quinoa muffins that are on my “must try” list this Autumn.
5. Green Smoothies
I’ve mentioned smoothies a few times in this post. We are smoothie fanatics at our house, even green smoothies, full of leafy wonderfulness. I couldn’t believe it when we first started to experiment with them years ago, but yes, my kids do love green smoothies.
In fact, I wrote a post on my other blog sharing some tips for kid-friendly green smoothies and it is still one of my most popular today. A little bit dessert plus a little bit health food equals a kid-pleasing combination.
So, there you have it: five foods that I never thought my kids would love that yours just might like, too.
What foods have your kids surprised you by enjoying? What healthy treats are regulars on your menu plan that you never imagined you’d be serving up on a regular basis?
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