How To Hide Veggies So Your Toddler Eats Them
As every mama knows, sometimes no matter what you do your toddler will not eat the carefully laid out meals you have made for them- as nutritious as they may be. We try our best as moms to make sure our kids eat a healthy, varied diet (read how I introduced healthy food to my little one). But to be honest, toddlers call the shots and we know it. And while going with the flow seems obvious enough, it doesn’t mean you can’t cheat a little and hide some veggies in your kids food or reduce their sugar consumption (like in my sugar-free, dairy-free smash cake!).
For the most part, baby bear is an awesome eater. She loves green shakes, omelets, fruit and curries. But every so often I’ll notice that her week has been less than stellar in the nutrient department.
It’s rare that she won’t eat fruit or starch but veggies? Forget about it.
So I have made it my “mom mission” to make her meals as nutrient dense as possible… and that means I hide a lot of vegetables!
In fact, almost everything baby bear eats has some sort of vegetable in it. And while she’s a little young to notice such things, I figure starting the ball early is the way to go 😛
Below are the main tricks I use to hide veggies in everyday foods for my daughter (and yes, it makes me feel ever so slightly like a ninja double agent!).
Trick # 1 Muffins
Probably the most well known trick of the bunch. Hiding vegetables in muffins is a pretty common way to go.
Zucchini and carrots are the easiest but I’ve made a few god beet ones too! My advice is to make sure you use a recipe before just throwing things in wily nilly- otherwise the veggies may be in there but there’s no way your babe will eat it
Trick # 2 Sauces
Most sauces are half pureed anyways making them easy game for hidden ingredients. Keep it traditional and add some blended broccoli, carrots or mushrooms to spaghetti sauce.
Or, get creative with sauces like kale pesto and mushroom alfredo. There are literally so many ways to go about this.
Trick # 3 Bars
If you make your own energy bars you’re already halfway there! Just like with smoothies, it’s easy to add a veggie boosting powder into no bake bars and instantly feel good about the boosted nutrients.
Trick #4 Smoothies
Smoothies are a staple in my house and something baby bear has had since she was only seven months old. If she has one smoothie a day I feel comfortable she at least got a few veggies into her.
Spinach, kale and cucumbers are the easiest veggies for smoothies (check out my tips here). But if you’re looking for more, greens + or matcha powder can be added for an extra boost of nutrients.
Trick # 5 Soups
Again, most soups are already mostly liquefied so really, your toddler isn’t going to know what’s fully in there. Blending pre cooked veggies into the base of the soup is a perfect way to sneak in extra nutrients.
While it may seem like extra work, sneaking in veggies becomes second nature after a bit. Below are a few other tips to remember when trying to get more veggies into your day to day meals
- Chop small, in fact, julienne everything. Adding them to omelets or quiches only really works if the chunks are small enough that the toddler doesn’t notice or are too small to pick out
- Don’t make veggie based meals in terms of flavor. Instead, use richer tastes and flavors to mask the “veggie” taste.
- Offer something to dip. Cheese sauces, hummus, yogurt dips all go a long way
Lastly, don’t stress! Kids go in and out of phases like the rest of us. Do the best you can but don’t make it a big event.
Don’t forget to pin these veggie hiding tips!
Veggies are easy to hide once you become practiced at it. Not only will your toddler be getting a plethora of nutrients but they’re be much more full too!
Looking for more more healthy eating tips? Check out 15 Healthy Snacks For Toddlers and How To Build A Better Green Smoothie