sneaking healthy foods
sneaking healthy foods

Sneaking More Healthy Ingredients Into Your Diet

Posted on September 2, 2020 by Bethany Thayer

Whole grains, lean proteins, fresh fruits and vegetables, and healthy fats are all important components for a well-rounded diet based on healthy eating. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans outlines the recommended portion sizes for each food group – listing how much the average person should eat daily from each to maintain a healthy lifestyle. But if you know someone who is a picky eater (or if you are the picky one), it can be difficult to get all the essential vitamins and nutrients from these different food groups.

For adults, if you are preparing your own food, it is easy to skip out on essential nutrients if you aren’t buying healthy foods or consciously making healthy choices with your meals. For parents struggling with a picky eater, many look for ways to hide extra servings of vegetables in dishes that their child will eat.

Whatever your scenario, finding creative ways to incorporate more vegetables, fruits or plant-based proteins into meals that you would actually want to eat is a good place to start. Here are some recipe ideas and inspiration to get you started:


Sometimes sneaking healthy foods into a dish doesn’t have to be sneaky at all. Wow your guests or family members with these delicious starters with a colorful (and healthy) twist.

Brussel Sprout Tots with Plum Sauce

Carrot Hummus

Avocado Deviled Eggs


When it is time for the main course, adding in extra vegetables and plant proteins is great way to turn a favorite dish into something new. If you are looking to transition to a more plant-based diet, these simple substitutes are a good place to start.

Mushroom Meatloaf

Cauliflower Black Bean Tacos

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Burgers

Cauliflower Crust Pizza


Almost everyone loves pasta. While many dishes are often high in carbs with fatty or creamy sauces, pasta is also one of the easiest dishes to make healthier versions over. Whether you prefer swapping your classic noodles for whole grain varieties or vegetable alternatives, or if you are looking to lighten up typically heavy sauces, there are many options for you:

Squash Mac and Cheese

Turkey Ragu over Carrots and Spaghetti

Chicken Parmesan with Zucchini Noodles

Shrimp and Chicken Caulifredo Pasta

Spaghetti Squash and Meatballs


Your sweet tooth doesn’t have to suffer when you are trying to eat healthy! These easy-to-make desserts creatively incorporate healthy ingredients so well, you wouldn’t even know they are there.

Greek Yogurt Zucchini Bread

Banana Ice Cream

Carrot Cake Muffins

Black Bean Brownies

To find a doctor at Henry Ford, visit or call 1-800-HENRYFORD (436-7936).

Bethany Thayer, MS, RDN, is the director of the Henry Ford Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention. Learn more about Bethany.

Categories : EatWell

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