Kids fussy about eating vegetables? Don’t worry, these hidden veggie recipes for toddlers are the perfect way to sneak in some veggies without the fuss!
Ask any parent what they struggle with feeding their kids the most and the answer is likely to be vegetables. Somehow, kids are more open to eating fruit, probably because they’re sweet and juicy. Vegetables, however, are a whole other story, and every parent is familiar with the sight of their fussy eater picking out bits and pieces of a certain color from their plate at every meal!
We know how important vegetables are, and most nutrition guidelines recommend filling at least half our plate with veggies. Vegetables are packed with lots of nutrients and prevent deficiencies. They are also filling and prevent overeating and unnecessary snacking. Kids who eat more vegetables are generally at a much lower risk of obesity and lifestyle diseases than kids who don’t.
So what’s a parent to do? There are many ways to create a love of vegetables in your child right from an early age. First of all, start as early as you can, from six months onward, introducing a variety of vegetable purees so your baby gets used to the flavor. Don’t offer sweets as a ‘reward’ for eating veggies – it sends the message that vegetables are something to be tolerated, not enjoyed.
If all else fails, go ahead and sneak them in! Today, we’ve got some hidden veggie recipes which include lots of vegetables that can’t be easily detected by our little detectives. The trick is to match the color of the veggie to the final dish as much as possible so it looks uniform. And finally – don’t mention the presence of the hidden veggies; unless you want the entire dish to be rejected!
20 Best Hidden Veggie Recipes for Toddlers
What’s one dish that every kid loves to eat? Macaroni and cheese, otherwise known as Mac n Cheese! While this dish traditionally uses a white cheesy sauce, Our Counter Top sneaks in some cauliflower that blends in beautifully with the remaining ingredients, thanks to having the same color!
You know how productivity experts suggest doing the biggest task on your to-do list first thing in the morning to get it out of the way? Well, Recipes from a Pantry seems to have the same idea, which is why we have this recipe where you can serve vegetables first thing in the morning! This recipe uses red bell peppers and spinach, which go perfectly with eggs.
Most kids enjoy pancakes for breakfast, but if yours are getting tired of the sweet versions, try out our savory pancake recipe. And this isn’t made savory simply by leaving out the sweetener, there are quite a bit of veggies involved! With broccoli, green peas, carrots and mushrooms, this is a nutrient powerhouse on a plate!
You can easily add veggies to dosa batter, like spinach and beetroot. However, that might give you away since the color of the dosa changes dramatically. If your kid is super fussy, try out this cucumber dosa from Cook with Khushi, which is milder and has a color that’s closer to regular white dosas.
You can make regular dhokla. It’s nice and spongy, and fun to eat with chutney. Or you could take it a step further by adding some cabbage to it. Trust us, your kids will hardly notice the difference! Some kids dislike the smell of cooked cabbage, so this is an easy way to include this vegetable in their diet.
When you think of vegetable pizzas, you probably think of a regular pizza crust topped with lots of veggies. While that description does fit the name, what we’re talking about is a little more hardcore veggie – we’re talking about a veggie pizza crust! Check out how Recipe This uses cauliflower to make a thin, delicious pizza crust.
After mac n cheese, the next favorite kiddie pasta has got to be one with a red sauce! Generally, red pasta sauce contains just tomato and herbs, but this particular recipe from My Purple Plants has lots more! This recipe very cleverly incorporates zucchini, carrots and celery, along with tomatoes. Make a batch of this so you’re always ready to toss up a pasta dish or a quick bread pizza.
When you think about sneaking things into pancakes, most parents think about fruit, like mashed banana or applesauce. However, veggies work just as well too! This recipe uses the natural sweetness of both carrots and apples in a delicious recipe that also makes use of the Multi millet pancake mix from Little Moppet Foods.
You can have aloo parathas, or gobi parathas. But Spice India Online tells us that we don’t need to restrict ourselves to any one vegetable when we can have them all! This vegetable stuffed paratha is a great way to get kids to eat a variety of vegetables since they won’t be able to pick out the individual ones from the mixed stuffing!
If all else fails, there’s always dessert! And if you thought you could include only fruits and not veggies in dessert recipes, think again! Rhian’s Recipes gives us a fudgy brownie recipe that uses beetroots! We love this recipe since it doesn’t use white sugar, which is usually abundant in brownie recipes. The natural sweetness of the beetroot and dates make this a delicious sugar-free dessert!
When you think of baked goods, you’re sure to think of cupcakes and muffins in the same breath. However, they’re vastly different, and one of the reasons being that muffins can be sweet as well as savory. That’s lucky for us, because it offers us scope to sneak in some veggies, like A Baking Journey has done in this recipe with spinach!
Some kids love potatoes, but reject sweet potatoes. Now, sweet potatoes are loaded with Vitamin A and beta carotene, so you would want your kids to eat them. We’ve got an easy solution – a sweet potato dosa in which the sweet potatoes are almost unrecognizable!
Kids love fries – there’s no two ways about it! However, eating too many potato fries can lead to weight gain as they’re quite high in carbohydrates and calories. Morgan Manages Mommyhood has a much healthier option that’s also quite light – butternut squash fries! If you can’t find butternut squash, you can use pumpkin as well – the cooking process should be similar.
14. Eggplant Nuggets
When eating out, most kids enjoy chicken nuggets, and you’ve also probably bought those frozen packaged varieties. If your kids are nugget-fanatics and refuse to eat any veggies, Brooklyn Farm Girl has your back! You won’t believe that these nuggets are made from eggplant, and neither will your kids!
15. Beetroot Laddu
You can make laddus from nuts, seeds, dry fruits and fruit. But can you make them from veggies? We show you how you can! Beetroot is a vegetable that lends itself beautifully to these laddus by not just bringing their gorgeous color but their inherent natural sweetness along with a truckload of nutrients!
There are many things you can make with meatballs, like spaghetti and meatballs, or kofta curry. However, if you’d like your kids to eat more veggies than meat, Tasting Page has the solution – lentil veggie meatballs! These meatballs contain mushrooms which give it that ‘meaty’ flavor and texture which is certain to fool your kids!
17. Vegetable Burger
So far, we’ve offered you healthy, veggie alternatives to fries, nuggets, pizza and mac n cheese. What’s left? Oh yes, burgers! Enjoy Cooking Diet Recipes has a recipe for a vegetarian burger that is quite hearty and filling that no one’s going to miss the meat! This burger includes chickpeas, sweet potato, peas, corn and spring onions. That’s a lot of veggies in one burger!
When you think of veggie smoothies, the images that come to mind are often green drinks, packed with all kinds of green stuff and looking totally unappetizing. However, this cauliflower cashew nut smoothie proves that not all veggie smoothies are bland and boring! The cauliflower is hard to detect and the cashews add a nice nutty flavor.
Broccoli is a vegetable that most kids have trouble eating, and parents are often at a loss about how to feed this to kids. Inspiralized has an easy solution that effectively disguises the broccoli in these ‘bread sticks’. This recipe is healthy for many reasons, one of them being the use of chickpea flour, making this a super protein-packed recipe.
When it’s hot and your kids aren’t in the mood to eat a full, heavy meal but you still want them to get their fill of veggies, soups are a great option. This sweet corn recipe will make them think they’re at a Chinese restaurant, and they’ll enjoy it without realizing how many veggies they’re eating in the process!