Sneaky Healthy: Veggies & Pasta
It seems like everyone loves pasta, especially kids. Unfortunately, it isn’t always the healthiest option for them. With a few simple tricks, however, busy parents can feel good about feeding kids their favorite foods! Check out our sneaky healthy pasta dish we hope your littles will love.
- Whole grain or whole wheat pasta
✿ There are great non-wheat pasta options on the market now, including quinoa, mung bean and lentils. This is important both from a nutritional point and especially if you are concerned about wheat or gluten sensitivities. These may cost a little more than the traditional white pasta but they are a much healthier option.Traditional pasta is highly processed and most of the nutrients from the wheat grain are stripped in the process. We love the Ancient Harvest brand available at Vons, Albertsons, Food for Less and other markets.
- Your choice of fresh or frozen vegetables
✿ While fresh vegetables are preferred, they are not always easy or simple to use. Frozen vegetables are a great option as they maintain their nutrient content. The organic varieties of frozen are also more affordable than organic fresh veggies and they can be kept in the freezer for a long time. You can find these in bulk at Costco at a reasonable price.
- Olive oil
- Your favorite pasta sauce
- Herbs & spices of your choice
- Cook the frozen veggies in a pot with olive oil, herbs, and spices
- Once the veggies have cooked through, mash them with a potato masher
✿ For very picky eaters, place the cooked veggies in a food processor or blender.
- Add in pasta sauce and keep mashing the veggies
- Add cooked pasta to your sauce & veggie mixture. Cook for a minute or two and let sit until the pasta has absorbed sauce with veggies.
If your kids are as clever as mine, they’ll pick out the pasta and leave the larger pieces of veggies. This is OK because they are still getting the nutrients that absorbed into the pasta and the occasional veggie does sneak in.