“Picky eaters are made, not born,” my smug pre-motherhood proclaimed.
Joke’s on me.
And while I do fully believe this is the case most of the time, I am also 100% guilty of creating a picky eater. My oldest is finally starting to warm up to the idea of vegetables, after many years of not eating anything green. Getting this child to eat healthy – well – it’s been the bane of my existence. Here I am, on a health and wellness journey, and my own child won’t even look at a cucumber.
These 10 hidden vegetable recipes are a surefire way to get some more nutrition into your little one, and could potentially end mealtime tears and tantrums for good.
Vegetables at breakfast? Absolutely. These incredibly delicious whole-grain muffins are packed with not one but two hidden veggies: carrots and butternut squash. If your little one raises an eyebrow over the fact that the small carrot pieces are visible (virtual fist bump to you, mama, from mom of a “I think I see a vegetable in this, therefore I will not eat it,” child), you can do a finer grate on them, or lightly steam so that they blend in a bit more.
You’re really not going to believe this one. But trust me. I would never steer you wrong. These. Brownies. Are. Insane. In the best way possible. No one, not even the most discerning child, will know that there is a vegetable in these brownies, let alone beets. Ladies and gentlemen, we present, fudgy beetroot brownies.
I’ve been so pleasantly surprised by the humble rutabaga. This spring, I learned how to make rutabaga French fries, and my life has been forever changed. That might be a bit dramatic, but it’s pretty powerful to swap out a carby potato for an actual vegetable. These barbecue baked rutabaga chips do not disappoint. Tell your child that these are potato chips, and they’ll be none the wiser.
As a newly gluten-free, dairy-free family, I’ve been on the prowl for baking recipes that are either already compliant with our nutrition needs or can be easily modified to fit. This healthy zucchini bread is the latter, and it is incredible. I can’t tell you how many bread/muffin recipes I’ve had to pass up because they were laden with sugar and drowning in vegetable oils. Hashtag NOPE. This one is delightfully healthy and has the perfect amount of zucchini blended in. No gluten (if you choose), no dairy, no refined sugar, and lots of flavor.
Okay, the very heavy dairy is not super healthy in this creamy butternut squash macaroni and cheese, but, and this is a big but, your child will be eating a vegetable and a lot of it. The butternut squash blends in perfectly with the creamy cheddar cheese, making it virtually indistinguishable, but also adding a mellow extra flavor.
There is nothing like a big plate of spaghetti to sneak vegetables into your child’s stomach.
You might get a raised eyebrow over the green color of these broccoli cheese sticks, but if you can get your child to try a bite, it will be love immediately. Also, these are made with 4 ingredients that you probably already have in your house. You can make them in any shape you want, like the sticks shown here, or try using some cookie cutters for fun.
This cauliflower pepperoni pizza casserole is so absolutely divine, your kids will devour it and ask for more. It is actually astonishing how delicious this one is. And if you’re following a low-carb or keto meal plan yourself, this fits within those parameters.
Fair warning, you probably will fight your kids over these, and you might eat them all before you get a chance to serve them. Make a double batch. The kids will go crazy for these cheesy “breadsticks” made with loads of zucchini.
I’ll admit, I saved this for last because you might be skeptical of a vegetable in its original form. It’s not disguised at all, but I promise it’s delicious to even the pickiest of kids. These maple-glazed carrots will become a staple on your family’s meal plan rotation.
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