Let’s face it, mamas — sometimes getting our kids to eat vegetables is simply not worth the fight. When our kids start becoming picky eaters, it’s a win if they eat ANYTHING, let alone a vegetable.
Luckily, with some clever cooking, there are some ways to make sure that your kids are getting their veggies even while scarfing down their favorite unhealthy meal. If you’re struggling to get your kid (of any age) to eat some vegetables, consider one of these ideas.
Eating more vegetables (especially in hidden places) is becoming a bigger trend, even for adults. A lot of grocery stores are now carrying pasta made with zucchini, chickpeas, black beans, carrots and other veggies. If your picky eaters are younger, they might be even more excited to eat pasta that’s green or orange!
This almost seems too easy, but it’s worth it! Add in plenty of fruit, yogurt, milk or fruit juice and some light vegetables like spinach, cauliflower, or carrots in the blender and make a smoothie. Your kid will love the sweet fruit flavors and not even realize there are any vegetables in it. It feels like a treat, but it’s a big win for mom.
Macaroni and Cheese
You don’t have to make your macaroni and cheese from scratch to hide vegetables in it, though you certainly can if you want to! To get some secret veggies in this dish, puree light-flavored vegetables that are white or orange, like carrots, butternut squash, sweet potatoes or cauliflower. Then add some milk and your cheese sauce (even the blue box cheese powder) and blend with the noodles. Boom!
If your kid has a sweet tooth, they’ll be super excited the mom made brownies. If you mix in a small amount of pureed black beans, chickpeas, peas or avocado into your batter, you’ll add texture and the vitamins and nutrients your kids need without changing the flavor. There are a lot of recipes online — check them out!
If your kid loves hamburgers or cheeseburgers, this is an easy place to add in hidden vegetables. Add in beans, chickpeas, finely chopped bell peppers or onions or shredded carrots to your beef before you make the patties.
Spaghetti sauce is great because your kids are already getting the vitamins and nutrients from the tomatoes. Add even extra veggies by stirring in pureed zucchini, bell peppers, broccoli or peas.
Muffins, Cakes and Cupcakes
Muffins, sweetbreads like banana bread, cakes and cupcakes usually go over well with kids — and they’re also an easy place to add in some hidden veggies. Add in finely chopped or shredded zucchini, cauliflower, chickpeas, squash or sweet potatoes to your kid’s favorite muffin, bread, cake or cupcake batter. They won’t notice any difference in taste or texture. Win!
Like other desserts previously, mentioned, cookies are a great place to hide some veggies and kids usually can’t get enough of them. For cookies, make sure you’re adding pureed vegetables like squash, pumpkin, avocado or sweet potatoes.