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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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        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 January 11, 2021

              11 Hidden Benefits of Using Oil Diffusers

              11 Hidden Benefits of Using Oil Diffusers

              Affordable, relaxing, and healthy, oil diffusers are gaining popularity with people everywhere due to their extensive benefits. Oil diffusers work through the simple process of oil diffusion, which uses heat to turn oil into a vapor that is then spread around a living space. Diffused oil can have several relaxation and health-related benefits, including safe scent-dispersion, mosquito and mold defense, stress relief, and more!

              Read on for 11 hidden benefits of using oil diffusers.

              1. Safe Scents That Make Sense

              Unlike candles or air fresheners, oil diffusers release cleansing molecules into your air that work to purify it, not overload it with unhealthy chemicals. Electronic diffusers also do not pose the fire risk that candles do. Plus, they contain the added feature of interchangeability, which means you change oil types for different scents and health benefits.

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              2. Stress Relief

              Several lab studies have confirmed that diffusing essential oils like lavender have been shown to reduce stress and help relieve anxiety in medical patients. Preliminary studies have also shown that oil diffusers can help alleviate symptoms of depression.

              3. Improved Sleep

              Diffused oil has relaxing properties that can help people of all ages fall asleep quicker and sleep more soundly. Electronic diffusers not only have the option to mix and match different oil blends (Try a lavender, Bulgarian rose, and Roman chamomile blend to help with insomnia), they also run at a gentle hum that helps relax an agitated mind. Many also come with an auto shut-off feature to help conserve oils once you have fallen asleep.

              4. Appetite Control

              Much like gum, oil diffusers can help stimulate the senses in a way that works to curb appetite. New research has shown that diffused peppermint oil can help curb appetite by inducing a satiety response within the body. Diffused peppermint oil has also been shown to increase energy.

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              5. Bacteria and Mold Killing

              When essential oils are diffused in the air, they break down free radicals that contribute to the growth of harmful bacteria. Eucalyptus, thyme, and tea tree oils are especially good for this purpose. Diffused oil is also highly effective when it comes to combating fungal yeast threats, as the oil help makes the air inhospitable for yeasts such as mold. Pine and red thyme essential oils are best for combating mold.

              6. Decongestion and Mucus Control

              Ever tried Vick’s Vapo-Rub? Its decongesting powers come from active ingredients made from the eucalyptus tree. In principle, oil diffusers work the same way as Vapo-Rub, except they diffuse their decongesting vapor all around the room, not just on your chest or neck. Oil diffusers have been known to cure pneumonia in lab mice.

              7. Mosquito Repellant

              Nobody likes mosquitoes — but when the trade-off means using repellants full of DEET, a toxic chemical that can be especially harmful to children, mosquito control can often seem like a lose-lose. However, scientists have shown that oil diffusers can be used as a safe and highly effective mosquito repellant. Studies have shown that a diffused oil mixture containing clove essential oil and lemongrass essential oil repelled one type of Zika-carrying mosquito, the Aedes aegypti mosquito, at a rate of 100%.

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              8. Pain Relief

              While applying oils directly to areas of your body may be the most effective way to alleviate pain, diffusing essential oils can also be an effective means of pain relief. When we inhale healthy essential oils, they enter our blood stream and can help internally relieve persistent pain from headaches, overworked muscles, and sore joints.

              9. The New Anti-Viral

              Research into the anti-viral effects of oil diffusion is now just gaining steam. A recent study showed that star anise essential oil was proven in medical experiments to destroy the herpes simplex virus in contained areas at a rate of 99%. Another study showed the popular DoTerra oil blend OnGuard to have highly-effective influenza-combating powers.

              10. Improved Cognitive Function

              Diffusing essential oils has also been shown to improve cognitive function. Many essential oils have adaptogenic qualities, which can work twofold in soothing us when we’re stressed, and giving our bodies a pick-me-up when we’re feeling down or sluggish. By working to level out an imbalanced mood, diffused oils also help us to focus. There are also several essential oils which have been shown to help balance the body’s hormones. With prolonged use, these oils can work to repair the underlying causes responsible for hindering cognitive function.

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              11. Money Saving

              With ten clear benefits of oil diffusers already outlined, there is one more that should now be obvious: using an oil diffuser will help you to save money. As an anti-viral, bug repelling, and stress-relief solution rolled into one safe product, an oil diffuser used with the proper oils will save you money on products you might otherwise be buying to help cure those pesky headaches or get your kids to fall asleep on time. If you’re wondering just how affordable oil diffusers can be, check the buyer’s guide to the best oil diffusers — you’ll be sure to find one that fits your budget!

              Featured photo credit: Jopeel Quimpo via unsplash.com

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