Sure, you might try to keep the foods your kid eats as healthy as possible, but sometimes his sweet tooth (or yours!) is a force not to be reckoned with. The good news? Sweets don’t have to be all bad—in fact, many vegetables can actually be used as a partial substitution for the butter or oil in some desserts, says Missy Chase Lapine, author of The Sneaky Chef: Simple Strategies for Hiding Healthy Foods in Kids’ Favorite Meals. Try one of these simple swaps to up the health factor of your favorite dessert:
RAW BABY SPINACH Combine with fresh or frozen berries to make a nutritional powerhouse puree that helps retain just the right amount of moisture in brownies or chocolate cake.
SWEET POTATO AND CARROT Make as a puree to substitute for the oil in any lighter dessert: muffin mix, yellow cake, or even pancakes.
AVOCADO Okay, this one is technically a fruit—but combined with frozen raspberries and Greek yogurt, it makes a great base for a soft serve–like treat.