7 Delicious Recipes That Sneak Veggies Into Your Kids Favorite Foods
Today, Jennifer Landis, from Mindfulness Mama, shares some delicious recipes that will help your children eat veggies, even if they think they don’t like veggies. When your kids won’t eat salad, carrots sticks and peanut butter on celery, try some of these creative and healthy recipes.
No matter how good babies eat at 10 months or a year, by the time they’re 2 and a half, they start to develop their own opinions about food. They seem to suddenly develop a deep hatred of all things green and healthy or anything that has touched something else on their plate.
You’ll likely resort to sneaking your kids the healthy stuff. Carrots in the mashed potatoes and spinach in a fruit smoothie are classics. It’s better to make them food they’ll actually eat instead of turning meal times into battle grounds.
With that in mind, consider these recipes for new ways to sneak some veggies to your kids.
Everyone loves pizza, especially when it’s bite-sized. Toppings are the important part of this dish, so the kids won’t mind when the base is a sturdy slice of zucchini. Slice the zucchini fairly thickly, so it will stand up to the baking. The crust is a vegetable, so you’ve swapped out unhealthy carbohydrates. Most kids try to live exclusively on carbs and sugar, so this is a great option.
Sweet potato fries aren’t exactly sneaky, but they’re an excellent healthy version of French fries. They’re easy, taste great and much healthier than regular fries, especially when baked. Like regular fries, a tiny bit of salt makes the flavors stand out, and your kids will probably smother them in ketchup or barbeque sauce anyway. Leave the salt off if you want — the kids won’t be able to tell.
Homemade mac and cheese is delightful. You could add almost anything to it, and kids would still eat it. Cauliflower is an easy choice. You can taste it a little, but the cheese removes the bite of feeling like you’re eating gross vegetables. Add some sour cream, cottage cheese and summer squash and you have one sneakily healthy meal.
Fruit leather is the healthy version of fruit roll-ups, so why not add some veggies to the mix? If you use carrots or sweet potatoes, the change in taste isn’t noticeable because both of those vegetables are slightly sweet. You can adjust this recipe to fit your needs, which makes it versatile. Plus, you can pack them and take them along with no refrigeration — perfect for lunches, picnics or hikes!
If you want your kids to eat their veggies throughout the day, start with breakfast. This recipe uses applesauce instead of oil, so it’s a healthier option overall. Pack the mini-muffins full of zucchini, apple and carrot, and you can serve them for breakfast — guilt free! Another option is to swap out traditional cupcakes for this healthy alternative.
Tater tots are delicious, and kids usually gobble them down gleefully. They’ll do the same when you mix a bit of grated zucchini in with them. A mix of potatoes, zucchini and cheese, baked zucchini potato tots are a sure-fire way to encourage your kids to eat their veggies. And let’s be honest, there’s no reason to limit yourself to zucchini. Try different veggies and see what you can get away with. Your kids will likely dip them in ketchup anyway, so there’s no real harm in experimenting.
Another food that kids will eat no matter what you add to it? Grilled cheese. Simply create a classic grilled cheese sandwich but add roasted broccoli. This recipe goes over particularly well if your kids already enjoy cheesy broccoli, making it a fusion dish.
Even the pickiest of non-veggie-eating kids can make progress if you learn to experiment with the right foods. Keep trying, and you’ll eventually find something that goes over well with your picky child. It’ll save your sanity in the short-term, and prime their taste buds for the long-term. Don’t be afraid to experience and create different options. You’ll eventually be rewarded as your child learns to enjoy veggies — even if those veggies are cleverly disguised.