Getting Kids To Eat Healthy…Without Them Knowing It!

fruit collageI know I talk a lot about how No. 3 son is PICKY EATER, but let me assure you, I am NOT exaggerating. He IS a picky eater! Attempting to get him to eat fruits or vegetables is a losing proposition. That’s why this next story is so funny! (Well, to me at least.) :-)

I recently had the opportunity to try a new product from Kraft called Capri Sun Super V. What makes it SUPER you ask? Well, let me tell you. It actually contains vegetables. Each 6-ounce pouch contains a combined serving of fruits and vegetables (3/4 from fruit juice and 1/4 from vegetable juice) and 10% of the recommended Daily Value of fiber. Not bad compared to MOST fruit juice drinks that only contain 10% fruit.

A couple of weeks ago a package arrived in the mail containing a box of these new drink pouches for my family to try out. It just so happened, however, they arrived the day before I left on my trip to Harley-Davidson Summer Camp. I set the box aside and didn’t give it much thought until about a week later when I decided it was time to give them a taste and write this post.

Well, the box was nowhere to be found. I figured the hubster had put it away somewhere out of the way when the kitchen tile installation project began while I was gone. So I asked him about it and he said Sten drank every last one of them!

Sten = No. 3 son = WORLD’S PICKIEST EATER! The world’s pickiest eater had unknowingly consumed 10 pouches of fruit and vegetable juice! hahahaha! I had to laugh over that one. I actually didn’t have the heart to tell him what he’d done. It will remain our little secret. :-)

capri sun super v

Of course I’m not advocating SNEAKING fruits and vegetables into your kids’ diets. But hey, whatever works right? Statistics show that children are not consuming a sufficient amount of fruits and vegetables each day.

The US Dietary Guidelines recommends four servings of fruit and five servings of vegetables for a 2,000 Calorie diet. Less than 50 percent of children in the US are eating these recommended amounts for fruits or vegetables (PR Newswire). With no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives, a good source of antioxidant vitamins A, C and E, and three kid-friendly flavors (Fruit Punch, Berry and Apple)…think of Capri Sun Super V as a “secret weapon” in our battle to get kids to eat healthier!

And since kids cannot thrive on juice alone…here are some Fun Food For Kids ideas I have pinned to my “Little Ones” Pinterest board. Also, check out CHOOSEMYPLATE.GOV for more information on healthy eating.

Frozen Yogurt Dots

frozen yogurt dots

Homemade Pixie Sticks

pixie sticks

Grilled Cheese & Bananas “Ice Cream Cone”

banana ice cream cone

Apple “Fish” Snack

apple fish snack

Homemade Gummy Fruit Snacks

homemade fruit snacks

Owl Sandwich

owl snack

Snail Lunch

snail snack

Caterpillar Grape Kabobs

caterpillar grape kabobs

Snack Cars

Fruit Cars

Apples and Peanut Butter Teeth

apple peanut butter teeth

Hungry Caterpillar Snack

hungry caterpillar snack

Funky Fruits

funky fruits

Snowman on a Stick

snowmen snack

Peanut Butter-fly

peanut butter fly

Sunflower Snack

sunflower snack

Butterfly Snack Pack

butterfly snack pack

Palm Tree Snack

palm tree snack

Snack Flower

cucumber flower

Hummus and Carrots

carrots and hummus

LOTS of inspiration on how to sneak add healthy foods into our kids’ diets. And come to think of it…almost all of these snacks would pair well with Capri Sun Super V! To find out more visit their Facebook page.

So, I know I have a LOT of savvy readers out there…share with us your best tips for getting your kids to eat healthy (or at least TRYING to! I know how that goes!) and you will be entered to win a $1,000 Visa Gift Card (Grand Prize) or a $500 (runner up) gift card. Each comment posted generates an automatic entry into the sweepstakes.

Check out to find more Capri Sun Super V reviews!


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Entries from all participating blogs will be pooled for winner selection; only two entries per household. This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.

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I was compensated for my time in conducting this review, but the opinions are my own.

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  1. Vicki Fisher says

    My grandkids love muffins and quick breads, so we make zucchini bread, applesauce muffins, etc. I also replace oil in cakes, etc. with pureed pumpkin. I don’t actually hide the healthy ingredients from the kids, but even the picky one is willing to eat zucchini bread.

  2. Winterflame says

    My daughter (3) is addicted to yogurt smoothies (just frozen fruit and greek yogurt), so I made her a large mouth cup of it to drink with healthy meals she doesn’t care for. After she drinks about half I let her use it to dip her veggies, or meat in. She will devour anything that she can dip in her sweet.

  3. Jenny says

    My sister introduced me to green smoothies. Every morning I blend fruits and greens (romaine, spinach, etc) and share half with my kids (4 and 7). There is no sneaking the greens in…both kids watch me make them and see how much “salad” goes in. Even if the smoothie turns out dark green or brown, the kids slurp it all up and beg me for more.

  4. MichelleH says

    When I serve something new I don’t say what’s in it until after everyone has taken a bite. I just made the kids chocolate chia seed pudding. After a few bites and saying ‘it’s good’, then I told them what was in it. My ‘picky’ eater helped himself to two more scoops. He’s the one I worry about getting protein and iron so I was thrilled for him to eat two helpings of the healthy pudding. If I had said ‘chia seed’ before eating, he wouldn’t have even tried it.

  5. Amy M says

    For some reason, my son has no problem eating the vegetables and beans in homemade vegetable soup. If the veggies are presented in any other way, he won’t touch them. Whatever works!

  6. Wendy says

    I started them young. At small finger food stage I let them have a “special treat” of frozen peas in a bowl as a snack. They still like to eat them that way as teens. Frozen corn is a favorite snack as well. Frozen grapes are a treat too! Frozen banana rolled in yogurt and rolled in crushed cheerios on a stick is a asked for dessert. Parmesan sprinkled on any cooked veggie is a key. Mostly I feel I can get them to eat veggies because they have always eaten them since they didn’t know better. I eat them too as an example (but I love them) and that goes a long way.

  7. says

    I think the very best way to get kids to eat vegies is to grow a vegetable garden. My kids ate fresh carrots, peas, beans, corn, lettuce, zuchinni, etc all because they had helped in the garden!

    I live in Mexico now and still grow a fair bit of food in pots…my kids are grown but they still love their vegies!

    I Tweeted this post on my iPad and can’t seem to find the Tweet url… But it is there, you can check my Timeline. @NancyDardarian

  8. Stacy Smith says

    My youngest son wont eat anything “green” or raw carrots (the kid literally gags on them …I know right) BUT he loves fruit smoothies…….so when I make a smoothie for him I toss in a handful of spinach & a baby carrot or 2 & he never even notices that he just consumed the gag-able stuff!!! :)
    Sneaky I know….but it makes me feel better knowing he is getting his veggies!!

  9. says

    My DD is a pretty finicky eater as well. The rules are: No desert unless she eats -most of- her meal, veggies included. She is not obligated to eat what is served, but for desert, she’ll try just about anything :-P (yeah, I know… she is still eating more ice scream than I would like – just keep the serving to a reasonable size).
    I love Wendy’s ideas and we did a few of them when DD was young (ie, Cheerios & yogurt), unfortunately she decided one day F&V were not her thing and became very focused on texture more than taste. We just keep trying… If tastes change one way, they can change back. Right?

  10. kellylynn says

    I am so lucky my boy loves his fruits and veggies. But there are times that it is a bit more difficult, so I may shred some zucchini and add it to the sauces I make with a meal. You really do not notice it at all.

  11. Linda says

    Like Vicki, I also make breakfast muffins. I add bananas, applesauce, pumpkin, squash, sweet potato or tofu to make them more healthy. I find it easier & less wasteful to use pureed baby food-all the work is done-then add vanilla and/or cinnamon for the bland veggies. I slowly weaned us off of iceberg lettuce. Now our salads have romaine, spinach, kale and/or green & purple leafy lettuce. I also add a jar of baby food carrots to my spaghetti sauce when I make up a batch & a bit of finely chopped kale or spinach in place of the parsley. Jillee, you’re fun with food ideas are sooo cute!

  12. Heather says

    We have a Vitamix and are well known for making smoothies for our children (including foster kids who are often used to eating nothing but junk!). Here’s the recipe: Add 1.5 c. calcium fortified OJ, 1.5 c. organic carrot juice, 1 c plain greek yogurt (protein too!) and 1 very ripe banana. Blend on medium speed. Add a HUGE handful of organic spinach and a few ice cubes. Again, blend- this time on medium-high speed. In the end, add about half a dozen ice cubes and 1.5 c frozen mixed berries (we get the mix at Costco w/ no sugar added.) The berries make the whole smoothie turn purple & the children have no idea they are consuming 3 fruits and 2 vegetables! We especially do this if we’ve got to pick up something ‘fast foodish’ on a really busy evening– we don’t feel quite as guilty ;o)

  13. says

    Last year, I noticed that right around 4 pm, my kids started complaining about starving to death. I began setting out a tray of cut up veggies and fruit around that time. Every time someone said they were hungry, I directed them to the tray. Now, at first, it went untouched, but by weeks end they were actually eating from the tray and better yet, not whining to me! Double win!

    I know snacking before dinner is a terrible habit, but I figure if they’re filling up, at least it’s on something good for them!

    • mdoe37 says

      Amazing isn’t it. They will eat if that’s all there is.

      As someone who was a very picky eater when growing up and who developed a nasty sweet tooth (grandma plied me with sugar), do yourselves a favor and just make them try a little of everything every time, period. A slice of cooked carrot or 10 peas won’t kill them, despite their saying to the contrary. Eventually they’ll just eat without thinking about it.

      My step child was picky, but came into the picture at an older age. The only thing I mentioned was that sometimes there would be social situations that he would need to eat things that he might think are icky. And he certainly would not want to hurt someone’s feelings. Some time later, I was told I was right and broccoli was served. . . and . . . it was okay. Score!!

      I was allowed to be picky as a child, especially vegetables. Finally, I was in a restaurant for my 40th birthday and was served a salad with the usual ickies of cucumbers and tomatoes. I don’t know why they were icky because I had never eaten them before. Really. So I ate them with the salad because I was weary of picking them off. Now, I’m not going to rush out take a bit out of a tomato, but I can certainly do better than I used to.

      Honestly, I wish I had been told to sit up and eat a little more often.

  14. says

    I am somewhat lucky, my daughter prefers apples or any fruits to candy most of the time. Vegetables are a completely different story. And it is hard to argue as I do not like a lot of vegetables. So sneaky them in is an options…. Since having to go gluten free, i have been looking and gearing up trying the different ways to hide vegetables.

  15. says

    My best tips for getting my kids to eat healthy:

    1. Include them – growing a garden, picking produce at the market, making meals, etc.
    2. Ditch the junk food – if it isn’t in the house, they can’t eat it.
    3. Let them choose – “Mom, I’m hungry. What can I eat?” tends to be followed in my house by: Fruit. Would you like an apple or a banana. Peaches or plums? Pineapple, or watermelon?
    4. Juices, smoothies, and ice cream treats are excellent made in a food processor or blender.
    5. Sneak them into foods. When I want to get rid of a lot of greens, I’ll make black bean soup and thicken it with an immersion blender. The spinach and other greens are gone in an instant, along with the onion, garlic, etc. Everyone loves it and I am happy, too!

    After a while the question will be, “Mom, what’ can I have to eat that’s NOT fruit?” That’s when I break out the other goodies. Celery or carrots with peanut butter. Flax crackers with hummus. Veggies and hummus. Kohlrabi fries. Etc.

    Note: if kids are craving, they won’t like your choices and won’t eat. You’ll see tantrums and other interesting behaviors until they realize junk isn’t an option. If kids are truly hungry, they will eat what you give them.

    GIVE IT TIME: It takes time for tastes to change. After a while of eating foods often, they will begin to develop a taste for it. It takes a lot to get rid of the overly sweet and saltiness of junk foods.

  16. Kathi says

    As my kids are teenagers, I’ve had years to work on their eating habits. I’ve always kept a big bowl of fruit on my kitchen table and told my kids (and all other kids who enter my home) that I will never say no if they ask me for a piece of fruit–cookies, chips, etc. are a different story. My kids now will get a fruit snack first before raiding the pantry. I’ve also insisted that they have a fruit serving at every meal. And because we eat dinner together most nights, I can serve 2 or more types of veggies. They now fight over who gets the last of the steamed broccoli!

  17. says

    so far i’ve learned two things while trying to get kids who are not our own to eat better.

    one, asparagus=disgusting and inedible ’cause vegetables are gross. polka-dots, on the other hand, are exciting and tasty. nevermind that polka-dots are asparagus cut into 1/4-inch rounds instead of 2-inch pieces.

    two, i am not beyond a bit of bribery. matchbox cars for a clear plate seems fair so far. because i’m not going to give the kids a complex about food by forcing them to eat, but making it worth their while is different (and respects that sometimes you just really dislike something).

  18. Lyndsay says

    My only problem with these and other fruit and veggie juices is that they almost all contain apples, and I have a guy who is allergic to apples. This isn’t a big deal, because amazingly enough, my kids really haven’t met a fruit or veggie they don’t like. Seriously. Even spinach and peas. I have no problem getting even my 4 year old to eat his veggies. Mac and cheese or scrambled eggs? He won’t touch them. Peas and broccoli and cauliflower? Inhaled! I think it’s because my husband is a veggie lover, so they have always had them. If you start them early, I think it’s just a natural thing for them to eat.

  19. Kimberlee Miller says

    I have a younger brother who was a super picky eater when he was younger. Our parents started a garden when we were young and started seeds in the house early then planted in the spring. We would go out and water and weed all the time! We found it fun to pick the fruits of our labor and eat most but my parents would also make baked zucchini fries-we thought they were an awesome treat unknowing we were eating gross zucchini

  20. April says

    My 4 year-old son loves fruit, but not so much the veggies (greenbeans are the exception!) So I do sneak them in foods when I can… I’ve started really getting into making smoothies for us lately, and I kept reading that you can add spinach to them and you won’t even notice it…. so I tried it a few times, and I have to agree, you can’t tell at all! I add good handful of it to our fruit smoothies now, and my guy drinks them right up!

  21. Lisa says

    I don’t like sneaking veggies into my kids’s food, because who is going to do that for them when they are older? They need to learn good eating habits now. Planting a garden really made my kids excited about eating their veggies.

  22. Arlene says

    Such adorable ideas!! Thanks for a great blog!

    How to get the kids to eat healthy? Start early. A handful of peas on the tray of the high chair is as exciting to the baby just learning to self-feed as the Cheerios are.

    Be a good example. It’s pretty hard to get anywhere saying do as I say, but not as I do. And require the child to eat at least one bite (more as they grow older) each time a food is served. It will not kill them, and is great self-discipline practice. It takes time to acquire tastes, but it can be acquired with exposure. Dessert is the reward for a cleaned off plate– a very effective motivator for my second son, a finicky eater with a real sweet tooth.

    Keep fresh fruit and nuts on the counter for between-meal snacks and don’t buy the junk. You tend to eat what you see, and if it’s not even in the house, it’s not a temptation. Peanut butter is my friend. It makes apples, celery, whole wheat bread, and whole wheat pancakes hard for my kids to resist.

    Cook frozen veggies rather than canned, they taste ever so much better. Of course, fresh is by far the best, when in season. Experiment with seasonings and flavors- garlic, oregano, parmesan cheese, dill weed, bacon, etc, to put a new twist on those veggies. Seasoned olive oil turned green beans into a favorite veggie at our house.

    Desserts– how we love them! Fruit smoothies, of course! Apple crisp, banana bread, pumpkin cobbler, apple cake, zucchini bread, blackberry cobbler– satisfy that sweet tooth and lower the guilt factor with these! Substitute half the flour called for with the WHITE whole wheat flour when baking– it’s made from a white wheat rather than red and is finer. You will hardly notice the difference in texture and in time will actually come to prefer it- it has more flavor. Cut the sugar back by a fourth– you’ll never notice the difference. Or experiment with using honey (use about 1/2 C per cup of sugar called for) or stevia. Use butter instead of shortening or margarine– the flavor and health benefits are worth the extra price.

    Spinach salad is my children’s very favorite salad. Spinach, bacon bits, diced apples, craisins, and sometimes cheese and/or hard-boiled egg in a dressing of miracle whip, sugar, and milk. I know, it’s not exactly a sugar-free salad, but, hey, they will eat and eat it, spinach and all, and request it for special occasions/birthdays.

    Make small changes, a little and a little there. Don’t get discouraged at slow progress. Any change for the healthier is better than nothing! And last, but not least, show your children lots of love in ways that don’t involve sweets. Sometimes the craving for a sweet something is actually a craving for love and attention– we get food confused with love, and seek to drown out loneliness or boredom with a sugar high.

  23. Rachel says

    I have a very picky son who will only eat a couple of veggies, and no fruits at all. I’ve never bought, what I call, fake juice – little or no real fruit juice, only 100% juices so he at least gets a couple of servings a day. A couple of months ago he came home with a packet of Kool-Aid and asked me to make it for him. Since it was the last day of school, I made it for a treat, and he took about two sips before deciding it was just too gross. I can’t wait to try these Super V pouches. He loves the other fruie and veggie juice blends, but the pouches will be so much easier to pack in his lunch, and his school collects Capri-Sun pouches so that’s an added bonus! I also substitute vegetarian options where I can. He loves the fake chicken nuggets for an after school snack, and I add ground beef substitute to spaghetti sauces instead of meat, and he never notices the difference.

  24. says

    My son’s (he’s 4) favorite dessert is healthy cake. It’s a chocolate cake made with cabbage, carrots, celery, and radishes! It is amazingly good, he knows exactly what is in it, and he eats it up! Eat slice is only 53 calories and 1.5 grams of fat, that includes the frosting! He even likes it for breakfast!

    Now if I could just get him to eat spinach…

  25. Jessica Smith says

    My son (4) is super picky about veggies but likes most fruits, and my daughter (2) will eat anything. I’ve tried cauliflower in homemade mac and cheese and he sniffed it and knew immediately that it wasn’t “right”. When I told him what was in it he refused to eat it. He went to bed hungry, but that was his choice. Mama’s not a short order cook! I do try to substitute unsweetened applesauce or pumpkin puree for oil in baked goods recipes.

  26. Maile Montierth says

    Green smoothies! We love fruit smoothies and I add spinach and carrots to it they love it!i also have one that I add oat groats so there is their fiber. We love banana bread made with ww flour, zucchini and carrots added to it yum!

  27. Veronica says

    My families favorite meal is mini pizza’s. I make the pizza sauce with kale, spinach, carrots and tomatoes. I put the sauce on top of a whole wheat english muffin and they add the toppings. Since they are involved in selecting the toppings they never look at the sauce.

  28. says

    I have no problem with sneakiness! Hide veggies in casseroles, substitute purees for oils, tell them tomato sauce in ketchup, and only buy 100% juice pouches. I also hide fruits in pastries for breakfast, freeze cut-up fruits to make all-natural popsicles and add extra fruit to yogurt. My kids (mother of two toddlers and two tweens) eventually figure out it is all in there but by then the picky toddler stage is over and they can’t live without it anyway.

  29. says

    I let my 5-yr old use ketchup or ranch dressing to help the veggies go down. Not the best tactic, but it works. (Surprisingly, my 4-yr old hates ketchup and dip so that doesnt work on her. But even more of a surprise, she loves peas and broccoli. In fact, I often use it as a ‘treat’ to get her to eat other foods! “If you eat two bites of hamburger, I’ll let you have more peas”. Yes, she’s weird!) We also freeze ygurt cups with spoons in them as an alternative to ice cream.

  30. says

    When our two godchildren come to visit, and we’re out and about sightseeing, I pack a go-bag of frozen grapes, orange slices, and other finger-ready fruits which travel well. It helps stave off the cravings for fast food and saves me money as well!

  31. spitefulilsprite says

    I’ve found that, with my daughter at least, a no-pressure approach is best. I have always served veggies and have never acted like they are something to be feared. If she didn’t know she wasn’t “supposed” to like something, the ick factor was never there. Of course, she has vegetables that she’s tried and honestly didn’t like the taste of, like brussel sprouts, so instead of forcing her to eat them I give her the ones I know she likes, like sweet peas, mushrooms, carrots….with her it’s pretty much anything but b-sprouts, raw onions, and any kind of pepper. She’ll eat salad like it’s going out of style even if we are out of dressing. I truely believe it’s because I never acted like she “shouldn’t” like them. They are just part of eating to her.

    She used to eat liver and onions (which I love) like it was a McDonalds burger, until one day my father (who HATES it) made a big deal out of her eating it, He told her it was gross, said eww quite a few times and she just stopped eating it. I still can’t get her to try it again and it has been at least 2 years. Ever since then, I’ve realized just how much the attitudes of the adults around her come into play when she chooses what she is going to eat.

    I also accidently discovered that if I leave a bowl of fruit on the counter, (or easy to reach containers of cherry tomatoes in the fridge) and put the less healthy snacks out of sight, every single time she wants a snack she will head to the bowl. She knows where the other snacks are, she could get them if she really wanted but having that fruit right there is a temptation. She will even “sneak” it without asking. As if I care!

    The other thing I’ve learned inadvertantly from my fathers interaction with my daughter, is that the same way she’ll stop eating something because someone said it’s gross is that if it’s a weird concoction she will jump at the opportunity to gross us out. In other words, if I tell her to eat something someone told her is gross, it’s a no-go. But if I tell her NOT to eat something, she’s all about it. Lebanon Bologna and peanut butter? She is in heaven (yuck yuck yuck). Ditto for animal crackers and ranch dressing, cottage cheese and apple buter sandwhiches, syrup on eggs. I gag at the thought, but I let her experiment, because that is how she is going to broaden her tastes and discover new things.

  32. Krystal says

    Whenever I fry ground beef, I add as many vegetables as I can because they are well hidden in the final product. I typically add onions, peppers, shredded zucchini, but have added carrots and eggplant as well!

  33. Tiffany Winner says

    make a chocolate peanut butter ‘milkshake’ with a handful of fresh spinach, a frozen banana, plain yogurt and/or milk/or ice cream, a big dollop of peanut butter, and about a 1/4 c cocoa powder. Just blend it smooth and serve, i add coffee to mine and it’s soooo good and good for you too

  34. anonymous says

    I try to add a little cheese sauce to steamed broccoli and cauliflower to make it more tasty. I sneak lettuce, tomato, or spinach onto sandwiches. Anything to get the family to eat healthier. altern147 [at] yahoo [dot] com


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