Dehydrated Foods Add Variety to Kids’ Diets

dehydrated-fruitsMost kids don’t beg for fruits and vegetables and integrating these foods into their diet can be difficult and sometimes frustrating. When fruits or vegetables are prepared and kids choose not to eat them at the time, the dishes can go bad. This is a waste of money and time. A food dehydrator may help parents to solve this tricky issue, at least in part.

Dehydrated Favorite Foods

The flavor and nutrient content of foods is condensed when foods are dehydrated, so it is best to start out dehydrating kids’ favorite foods. Strawberries, apples, grapes, bananas, and kiwis all make tasty sweet treats when dehydrated. Beef can also be dehydrated to make a tasty jerky that most kids will like when seasoned with barbecue sauce or other sweet flavors. Although potatoes do not dehydrate well, sweet potatoes and butternut squash make a tasty substitute for potato chips when dehydrated with a little sea salt.

Getting Started

The best way to add dehydrated foods that have a high nutritional content into a kid’s diet is to purchase a dehydrator and dehydrate the foods fresh. Dehydrators can be obtained for under $50 from many retail stores. Once the dehydrator has been acquired, it is simply a matter of playing with different foods to see what the child likes best. Involving the child in grocery shopping and preparing the food for the dehydrator can help to generate enthusiasm.

The Waiting Game

A dehydrator works in similar fashion to a crock pot, food is prepared and then left for 8-12 hours, after which the food is usually scrumptious and nearly unrecognizable. While kids may enjoy being part of the process of making the food, they may not understand that you have to wait to eat it. The taste and texture of food will not be as good when it is partially dehydrated as when it is either fresh or completely dehydrated, so kids that are picky should be left out of the “trying” stage. The best bet is to prepare the food before school or bed so that it is ready when the kids get home or wake up.

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