Secret Tricks to Get Your Kids to Eat More Veggies — and Love Them

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It’s that back-to-school time of year, which means it’s the perfect time of year to introduce your kids to a couple new comfort food dishes that are loaded with veggies. (But ssshhh! That’s our little secret...!)

Mom of three and author of The Happy Cook, Daphne Oz is the perfect person to help. (She’s also Dr. Oz’s daughter).

"The idea for these recipes is taking dishes that your kids already know and love and adding things that force them to try something new,” Daphne says. “Because a lot of the time, it's just the idea that they don't like, it's not the actual flavor of it."

"I think that you need to bulk up your kids’ meals by hiding the vegetables," Rach adds, "and if and if all else fails... lie to them! Or hide them under cheese."

Which is exactly what Daphne has in mind for her first tip!

1. Sneak Cauliflower In For Bulk In Mac & Cheese or Any Creamy Sauce or Soup

… which Daphne does seamlessly in this Cauliflower Alfredo Mac 'n' Cheese!

cauliflower mac and cheese
Rachael Ray Show

If you didn’t know cauliflower was the base for this creamy, bechamel-style sauce, you’d never guess.

“You’ve heard it hear first — cauliflower is the new kale. It is so versatile, so exceptionally nutrient-dense and neutral! So you can really do anything with it,” Daphne says.

“I love this trick! This is such a good trick,” Rach chimes in.

“I’m still going to add some cheese and some butter — I’m not depriving my kids of the good stuff! — I’m just doctoring it up with this bulking agent that’s so rich and flavorful,” Daphne says.

Sauces, soups, casseroles — cauliflower can be added to practically any recipe for a nutrition boost. Daphne even chops up raw cauliflower, freezes it, and adds it to her smoothies!

GET THE RECIPE: Daphne Oz's Cauliflower Alfredo Mac 'N' Cheese

2. Use Broccoli and Other Veggies to Add Moisture When Working With Ground Turkey

In her Italian-Style Turkey Meatballs recipe, Daphne adds minced broccoli as well as grated onion, fresh herbs and a couple of eggs to make sure the ground turkey stays nice and moist — a tip that could work just as well with a turkey meatloaf recipe or even turkey burgers!

turkey meatballs
Rachael Ray Show

“The inspiration for this was a broccoli cheese ball sort of thing,” she says, and Rach can’t wait to get her hands on them!

“MMMMM! This is a such a delicious meatball!” Rach says. “So moist and it’s made with very lean turkey. It’s delicious!”

GET THE RECIPE: Daphne Oz's Italian-Style Turkey Meatballs

BONUS TIP: Lighten Up Juice and Sodas to Reduce Sugar

If you’re worried about how much sugar is in some fruit juice beverages and sodas, Daphne has a great tip: Make your own sodas at home using fruit purees and seltzer water!

That way, you can control how much sugar they’re having, and better yet, it’s only natural sugars. In the case of her Homemade Fruit "Sodas" recipe, it’s just fresh raspberries, some lime juice and a splash of maple syrup or honey to balance the tartness.

homemade soda
Rachael Ray Show

Some of Daphne’s other favorite combos are orange blackberry and papaya lime — how delicious do those combos sound?!

“It’s so light and refreshing, and really great to have around the house,” Daphne says.

“It’s delicious!” Rach adds.  

Sounds like a win-win-win to us!

GET THE RECIPE: Daphne Oz's Homemade Fruit "Sodas"

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