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Sneaky Avocado Options for Picky Eaters

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September 26, 2016

Pssssst! OK, stay cool, but you’re about to learn a classified secret: Even the pickiest of eaters will eat more nutritiously if you add avocados to their favorite foods. It’s true: toddler meltdowns (and, let’s be real, adult tantrums) over eating fresh produce or just anything green, really, can be prevented with a little ninja-ing in the kitchen.

Avocados are a powerhouse of nutrition, housing nearly 20 vitamins and minerals beneath their bumpy skin. They’re also a good source of fiber and have healthy fats — all good stuff for growing kids! And, importantly to parents everywhere, they’re squishable and mild enough to seamlessly blend into just about any picky eater’s existing (four or five) favorite foods.

Building good dietary habits in kids is imperative to supporting their growing bodies and brains. One way to ensure they’re getting what they need is to put good-tasting, good-for-you, nutrient-dense foods on the table — like avocado! So, secret-agent moms and dads — here are five sneaky avocado recipes for picky eaters.

 

1. Covert Quesadillas

Most fussy eaters will happily put away a mountain of warm cheddar. Cover the tracks of your secret avo operation with melty cheese inside a covert quesadilla! Spread thin slices of avocado on a flour tortilla, sprinkle shredded cheese on top, and fold in half. Microwave for about half a minute, or until the cheese melts into a gooey blanket to hug the avocados tight and — ding! Dinner’s done. Easy cheesy. To pump up the protein, add diced chicken or turkey.

Part of your secret-agent training is knowing how to slice an avocado like a pro. Here’s how:

 

2. Classified Refried Beans

Time to spill the beans. Avocado and refried beans are a fiber-filled pair perfect for keeping bellies full and satisfied. Simply mash an avocado into precooked refried pinto or black beans. The result is an even creamier, delicious mouthful none can resist. Kick it up a notch with the addition of a low-fat cheese or roll into a multigrain tortilla.

Avocados & Fiber

Why is the fiber in avocados good for you? Avocados are a great fresh-fruit option to help boost fiber intake. Diets rich in healthy foods containing fiber, such as some vegetables and fruits, may reduce the risk of heart disease, obesity, and type 2 diabetes.

 

3. Hidden Ranch

Usually, even choosey chompers will gladly top (or smother) any food in ranch dressing. And the creamy texture of avocado blends right in with the buttermilk flavor profile and texture of ranch. Try substituting mashed avocado for sour cream or mayo in your own recipe — or simply throw some premade lite ranch dressing into the blender with avocado — and voila! Your ranch is magically infused with your favorite fruit.

Avocado Arts and Crafts

Feed your little one’s body and imagination. Keep the skin and pit of the avocado to repurpose for a post-snack avocado arts and crafts project, like DIY avocado puppets, sailboats, or Christmas ornaments!

 

4. Mysterious Milkshake

Milkshakes elevate snack occasion to a treat and wholesome avocado takes things to the next level. This quick avocado recipe is a great after-school snack for growing kids growing impatient for dinnertime. Use plant-based milks, like cashew, oat, or almond milk for lactose-sensitive tummies.

Avocado Chocolate Milkshake

Makes two smoothies

Blend together:

  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 c. nonfat milk
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tbsp. honey
  • 1 c. frozen strawberries
  • 1 banana

Find more recipes for chocolate treats and smoothies that will satisfy your little one’s sweet tooth while covertly delivering the nutritional benefits of avocado.

 

5. Top Secret Lasagna

Even a glimpse of chunky fruits and vegetables can send picky diners running from the table. You can avoid that by blending tomatoes, avocados, carrots, and zucchini together to make a creamy lasagna sauce. Assemble the rest of the dish using ingredients that won’t make your fussy eater fuss. Meanwhile, the secret is in the sauce. Wink, wink.

What’s Good About Good Fats

The good fats in avocados help our bodies absorb more Vitamin A, D, and K from our foods, which is why it’s a good idea to pair avocados and other fruits and veggies together at meal time. And why A, D, and K, you ask? Here’s Y:
• Vitamin A supports our eyesight. 👀
• Vitamin D is good for healthy bones. 🦴
• Vitamin K is important for blood clotting. 🩸

Finding avocado recipes for picky eaters (or simply getting them to try new things) can be tough. Explaining why they should eat fruits and veggies can feel like an impossible assignment. We can help — or, at least the cool kids from our Mini Chefs video series can! These young avo-enthusiasts will show your little one how to cook basic avocado snacks, like avocado and scrambled eggs and avocado berry toast.

Get all kinds of other avocado recipes here.

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