Fortunately, there seems to be a growing trend in restaurants, grocery stores, and with consumers to focus on healthy foods. Organic, all-natural, superfoods, farm-to-table, GMO-free, gluten-free—these are all terms that have gained popularity over the past few years, and food manufacturers and marketers are trying to capitalize on these trends.
Consumers must use caution in discerning which heavily-marketed trendy health foods are truly healthy and which are not. For parents, it is sometimes difficult to convince our children to eat some of those nutritious foods which are of great benefit to them both physically and mentally.
To help parents wondering if their children will eat anything green, we’ve tested out five healthy kid snacks using trendy foods like black beans, avocados, spinach, kale, old fashioned oats, and more. We had these kids taste the snacks not fully knowing what was in them, and here are the results!
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While not all kids were in agreement on what tasted great, overall, it was surprising just how well most of these healthy kid snacks were received. Have some fun playing around with different ideas, foods, and recipes, and find the ones that work best for your family. High-powered blenders are a great way to get in fruits and veggies without kids knowing, and introducing these healthier foods early on helps to develop more nutritious palates before junk food wins out.
Here are the recipes we used in our taste test, including why they are a smart choice for your family!
[divider]Tropical Skin Cleanser Smoothie[/divider]
Recipe By: Simple Green Smoothies
Featured Ingredient: Coconut water is gaining popularity and is a flavorful addition to this smoothie.
Health Benefit: Along with the nutritional benefit of spinach and avocado used in this smoothie, coconut water adds electrolytes for hydration, improves skin condition, and aids in digestive health.
What Kids Thought: Overall, this was the most-liked snack. The green color was a little scary for some, but this smoothie was a winner!
[divider]Black Bean Brownies[/divider]
Recipe By: Chocolate Covered Katie
Featured Ingredient: Using black beans instead of flour not only allows for a delicious gluten-free alternative, it also serves as an excellent source of all the nutritional benefits of black beans.
Health Benefit: Black beans are rich in fiber, full of phytonutrients, and have been proven to improve digestive tract functioning.
What Kids Thought: For the most part, the kids liked these. One was unable to eat it at all, but the majority thought it tasted good, even as good as “regular” brownies.
Recipe By: Ours were store-bought, but you can make your own for an even healthier chip!
Featured Ingredient: Kale is used to make this crunchy, salty snack.
Health Benefit: Kale is full of antioxidants and nutrients, and its glucosinolates have been proven as a cancer-preventative.
What Kids Thought: To our surprise, these chips were a hit across the board! Before making the homemade (which may taste a bit stronger of kale), try easing your kids into them with the store-bought version.
[divider]Chocolate Peanut Butter Avocado Pudding[/divider]
Recipe By: Minimalist Baker
Featured Ingredient: Avocados are the base for this pudding and are a healthier alternative for most recipes calling for dairy, cream, or mayonnaise.
Health Benefit: Avocados are high in vitamins, and the antioxidants are proven to lower cholesterol and triglycerides. They also contain healthy fats that help with heart health and have significant amounts of fiber and potassium.
What Kids Thought: The only complaint we received on this pudding was that it was odd having it taste like banana and peanut butter when it looked like chocolate. Perhaps removing the banana would help to make this seem more like a chocolate pudding. Other than that complaint, the kids liked this one, too!
[divider]No-Flour Banana Muffins[/divider]
Recipe By: Just Think Fitness
Featured Ingredient: These contain old-fashioned oats instead of flour, so if you are looking for gluten-free muffins, these are a great alternative.
Health Benefit: With a rise in gluten intolerance, it’s sometimes difficult to find recipes for flour-filled favorites such as muffins. Using old-fashioned oats is a great replacement for flour, as oats are considered high in fiber and help to lower cholesterol.
What Kids Thought: Again a couple of kids did not like the strong banana taste. Applesauce could be substituted for the banana to make it a more neutral muffin. For the most part, this was liked as-is, though.