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For Busy People: Simple Hidden Vegetable Recipes For Kids

For Busy People: Simple Hidden Vegetable Recipes For Kids

Everyone needs fruit and vegetables as part of an ongoing balanced diet, and kids are certainly no exception. The trouble is, children can be notoriously picky eaters and sometimes spurn the nutritious meals you set before them. You don’t want to fall back on junk food or cut out the veggies entirely, but at the same time it’s important to make sure that they enjoy their food. The solution? Sneak in more vegetables using the simple tips and tricks below!

1. Sneaky Spaghetti

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    Photo Credit: Joshued/Pixabay

    Most kids love pasta, so why not take the opportunity to squeeze a few vegetables into a basic sauce? Cook 2 onions and 4 cloves of garlic in olive oil until they are soft. Add in 1 can of whole tomatoes, a pinch of oregano and a few finely-chopped carrots, zucchini and bell pepper. Season with salt and pepper, stirring in a couple of handfuls of spinach toward the end before serving with wholewheat spaghetti.

    Health benefits: Carrots and bell peppers are high in Vitamin A, which is essential for healthy vision.

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    2. Make A Kale Smoothie

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      Photo Credit: NGi/Pixabay

      Kids will love the bright green colour of this super-healthy smoothie. It’s so simple that they can help in the making process too!
      Blend together 1/2 coconut milk, 1 ripe banana, 2 cups chopped pineapple, and 2 cups chopped kale in a blender until smooth. Additional water can be included to ensure a smooth consistency.

      Health benefits: Kale is high in iron, which is essential for healthy blood cell development.

      3. Potato Gratin With A Broccoli Twist

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      broccoli-498600_1280

        Photo Credit: ImageParty/Pixabay

        Spread 1 large broccoli and 1 large cauliflower, cut into florets, on a baking dish. Combine 1/2 cup milk, 1/4 cream, 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg, 2 cups Gruyere cheese and 3/4 cup Emmentaler cheese and cook over a medium heat until the mixture reaches a smooth, thick texture. Pour this over the cauliflower and broccoli. Lightly sprinkle with Parmesan before baking at 350°C for 40-50 minutes.

        Health benefits: Broccoli contains Vitamin C, essential for a heathy immune system. Cauliflower is a healthy, low-fat, low-carbohydrate alternative to rice and potatoes.

        4. Roasted Butternut Squash Salad

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          Photo Credit: catherineford/Pixabay

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          Butternut squash has a sweet flavour and soft texture, which often appeals to children. Make it the basis for a salad with this simple recipe. Slice 1 large butternut squash, a few red onions and a couple of peaches. Drizzle with olive oil, and roast at 350°C for 15-20 minutes. Arrange the squash on a plate before garnishing it with feta cheese and the remaining roasted components. Add a few fresh salad leaves for additional flavour.

          Health benefits: Butternut squash is high in fiber, essential for healthy bowel functioning.

          5. If In Doubt, Soup It!

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            Photo Credit: Catkin/Pixabay

            Soften 1/2 cup celery, 1/2 cup onions and 3 cloves of garlic in 1 tablespoon olive oil over a medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring. Stir in 1 can of tomatoes, 2 cups of vegetable broth, pepper, salt, and a pinch of sugar. Simmer for 10 minutes. Finally, take the pan off the stove and add 2 cups of cheddar cheese, 1 tablespoon of butter, and 1/4 cup evaporated milk.

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            Health benefits: This soup contains high amounts of lycopene, an antioxidant which can improve the skin’s ability to handle UV rays. This may, in turn, reduce skin damage and the risk of premature ageing.

            6. Get Dipping

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              Photo Credit: bhuman34/Pixabay

              Take 1 cup of soft cream cheese and stir in a dash of salt, a pinch of red pepper, 1 teaspoon of garlic, 1 cup spinach, 2 cups artichoke hearts, 1/2 cup plain yogurt, 1/2 cup grated Parmesan, and 1/4 cup sour cream. Serve on crackers or bread.

              Health benefits: Spinach is an excellent source of Vitamin K, which aids in maintaining healthy bones and blood. Artichoke is high in fiber.

              Featured photo credit: Chip Griffin/Flickr via flickr.com

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              Jay Hill

              Jay writes about communication and happiness on Lifehack.

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              Last Updated on May 28, 2020

              How to Overcome Boredom

              How to Overcome Boredom

              Have you ever been bored? Restless? Fidgety? In need of some inspiration?

              I have a theory on boredom. I believe that the rate of boredom has increased alongside the pace of technology.

              If you think about it, technology has provided us with mobile phones, laptops, Ipads, device after device – all to ultimately fix one problem: boredom.

              What is Boredom?

              We have become a global nation that feeds on entertainment. We associate ‘living’ with ‘doing’. People now do not know how to sit still, and we feel guilty when we are not doing anything. Today, inactivity has become the ultimate sin.

              You might not realize it, but boredom stimulates a form of anxiety and stress. It evokes an emotional state that creates frustration and feeds procrastination.

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              It’s a desire to be ‘doing something’ or to be ‘entertained’ – it’s a desire for sensory stimulation. What it boils down to is a lack of focus.

              If you think about those times when you’re bored, it’s usually because you did not know what to do. So, indecision also plays a big part.

              When we are focused on what’s important to us and what we want to achieve, it’s pretty hard to be bored. So, one answer to boredom is to become focused on what you want.

              Sometimes It’s Good to Be Bored

              If boredom is a desire for sensory stimulation – then what’s the opposite of that? To be content with no stimulation – in other words – to enjoy stillness.

              Sometimes, it’s not boredom itself that causes the frustration but the resistance to doing nothing.

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              Think about it. What would happen if you were to ‘let go’ of the desire to be entertained? You wouldn’t be bored anymore, and you will feel more relaxed!

              In my experience, it’s often the most obvious, simplistic solutions that are the most powerful in life. So, when you’re bored, the easiest way to combat this is to enjoy it.

              It may sound weird but think of ‘boredom’ as a form of ‘relaxation’. It’s a break from the constant stimulation that 21st-century living provides – constant TVs, mobile phones, radios, internet, emails, phone calls, etc.

              Who knows, maybe ‘boredom’ is actually good for us?

              Next time you’re ‘feeling bored’ instead of feeding the frustration by frantically looking for something to do, maybe you can sit back, relax, and savor the feeling of having nothing to do.

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              In this article, I’ll share with you my 3-step strategy on how to overcome boredom.

              3-Step Strategy to Overcome Boredom

              1. Get Focused

              Instead of chasing sensory stimulation at random, focus on what’s really important to you. Focusing on something important helps prevent boredom because it forces you to utilize your time productively.

              You should ask yourself: what would make good use of your time? What could you be doing that would contribute to your major goals in life?

              Here are a few ideas:

              • Spend some time in quiet contemplation considering what’s important to you.
              • Start that creative project you’ve been talking about for the last few weeks.
              • Brainstorm: think of some ideas for new innovative products or businesses.

              2. Kill Procrastination

              Boredom is useful in some ways because it gives you the energy and time to do things. It is only a problem if you let it. But if you use it to motivate yourself to be productive, then you can more easily overcome boredom.

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              So, the next time you’re bored, why not put this good energy to use by ticking off those things that you have been meaning to get done but have been too busy to finish? This also presents a great time for you to clear your to-do list.

              Here are some ideas:

              • Do some exercise.
              • Read a book.
              • Learn something new.
              • Call a friend.
              • Get creative (draw, paint, sculpt, create music, write).
              • Do a spring cleaning.
              • Wash the car.
              • Renovate the house.
              • Re-arrange the furniture.
              • Write your shopping list.
              • Water the plants.
              • Walk the dog.
              • Sort out your mail & email.
              • De-clutter (clear out that wardrobe).

              3. Enjoy Boredom

              If none of the above solutions work, then you can try a different approach. Don’t give in to boredom and instead choose to enjoy it. This doesn’t mean allowing yourself to waste your time being bored. Instead, think of it as your time to relax and re-energize, which will help you be more productive the next time you work.

              Contrary to popular belief, we don’t need to be constantly doing things to be productive. In fact, research has shown that people are more productive when they take periods of rest to recharge.[1] Taking breaks once in a while helps boost your performance and can help make you feel more motivated.

              So, take some time to relax. You never know, you might even like it.

              Final Thoughts

              Learning how to overcome boredom may be difficult at the beginning, but it can be easier if you make use of some techniques. You can start with my 3-step strategy on how to overcome boredom and work your way from there. So, ready your mind and make use of these tips, and you will be overcoming boredom in no time.

              More Tips on Overcoming Boredom

              Featured photo credit: Johnny Cohen via unsplash.com

              Reference

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