Here's how to sneak vegetables in when they're not looking.
Sometimes it’s hard to get your kids to eat their veggies. The minute they get a whiff of something green and squeaky, they run a mile. The good news is that you can sneak ‘em in, so kids eat their veggies and still enjoy their favorite foods. Here are 7 clever ways to add some extra veggies and nourishment to classic kid-friendly recipes.
1. Quick Breads
Veggies add a lot moisture and sweetness to quick bread, making it almost taste like cake, which is definitely going to appeal to the kids.
At least three whole zucchini go into every loaf of this top-rated zucchini bread. "Great recipe," says reviewer ADEYOUNG. "my husband and kids loved it.
Pumpkin puree makes this quick bread moist and tender while bumping up the vegetable goodness. "Super recipe!" says reviewer Laurie Fontaine Bennett. "My kids love it! You're right. It was even better the next day! Freezes well, too."
2. Cheesy Main Dishes
It's a good idea to add some extra veggies to a cheesy potato dish, or a macaroni cheese, to slowly win your kids over. Once the veggies are all wrapped up in a creamy cheese sauce, it’s hard to even taste the veggies -- cauliflower is especially easy to hide in a creamy baked dish.
Recipe creator BOOKCHICKADEE says this hearty dish is like a loaded baked potato.Reviewer tengle says, " I have 3 kids (7-11) who gobbled it up and asked for seconds — they normally won't eat cauliflower. Will make again and again."
Zucchini noodles take the place of regular pasta noodles. "The family enjoyed it," says reviewer IrishMule. "I grilled the squash before assembly, eliminating the excess moisture."
Reviewer momm_s says, "I have to double this recipe each time I make it so we can have seconds and leftovers! This is the only way I can get my 17 month old son to eat broccoli."
Who can resist a cheesy pizza! Instead of trying to offer pizza laden with veggies, why not try to make the crust out of vegetables. You can make or buy a cauliflower pizza crust, which tastes almost like the real thing. Fun bite-size veggie base pizzas are also a fun way to get kids interested in vegetables. Let them make their own personal portobello pizzas or zucchini pizzas with whatever toppings they like.
"My husband and kids all liked it, and we are from NY, so we are picky about pizza." — Jude
Reviewer RACHEL1070 says, "Everyone really liked this, even my eight year old. We used pizza sauce and everyone put on their favorite toppings."
" This recipe was so easy and tasty" says reviewer MMMILLER62. "Grilling the zucchini gave it a marvelous flavor that even the kids loved!"
4. Morning Waffles
"Followed instructions as written and loved this recipe," says reviewer lararobin2000. "Was so much easier than others I found online for sweet potato waffles."
Recipe creator Lillian says, ""A gluten-free waffle using zucchini and dry potato flakes "A gluten-free waffle using zucchini and dry potato flakes — think green eggs and ham. Serve with sour cream, tart jam, onion chip dip, or applesauce. They can be breakfast, brunch, lunch, or a side dish."
It's not hard to get kids to eat regular fries. The trick is to introduce a new vegetable and make it look like fries. You can also bake the fries rather than deep frying, making them extra healthy.
"I breaded with half almond flour half Parmesan cheese mixed with salt pepper and Italian seasoning. These were a crowd pleaser at my house!" — cookin'md
Recipe creator DRUMNWRITE says, "These are so tasty your family won't believe they are eating healthy! Nothing this good for you should taste so good...or be this easy to cook."
You can hide a lot of goodness in a muffin. These toddler muffins are packed with carrots and squash, and these delicious blueberry muffins hide an entire cup of beets.
"Mini muffins for finicky toddlers with the addition of fruit and veggies," says recipe creator Lori. "My son is 2 and has been eating these for a year. I always keep a supply in the freezer, he loves them frozen especially when new teeth are coming in!"
Recipe reviewer Boymom77 says, "These were delicious and the beets were well disguised (as I have kiddos who 'don't like' beets yet scarfed these muffins down)!"
Imagine your kids eating giant spoonfuls of cooked zucchini or beets -- well, it can happen once they are hidden inside a luscious chocolate cake. These cakes look good enough to be served at a birthday party. One is full of zucchini and the other has lots of sweet beets. Mystery cake is the perfect name for this type of cake ;)
Reviewer nadya says, "I work in an elementary school and the cooks make this recipe for the kids... Of course, they just call it 'Chocolate Cake.' Anyhow, the kids LOVE it and the leftovers go to the staff lounge, where we fight over the last pieces. They do not put frosting, just dust some confectioners sugar, and it's delish!"
"An absolutely simple and delicious cake," says reviewer 557766. "The best way to fool children into eating something nutritious." (Spoiler alert: The mystery ingredients is...BEETS!)