If you have picky eaters at home that refuse to eat vegetables, you might need to find sneaky ways to hide veggies in your food. Yes, it’s always better for kids to become accustomed to openly eating vegetables. However, sometimes you just need to do whatever it takes to get your family to eat them. Desperate times call for desperate measures, so finding ways to hide veggies in your food might be the only way to make sure your kids are eating a healthy, well-balanced diet.
Pumpkin is a very versatile vegetable that works really well in baked goods. Substitute pureed pumpkin for oil and water in brownies, cakes and other baked treats. You will never taste it at all. Plus, the pumpkin keeps your baked goods incredibly moist and delicious. Pumpkin is a wonderful addition to baked goods, even if you are not trying to find ways to hide veggies in your food.
2. Leafy Greens
A quick way to add leafy greens, like spinach, to your diet is by adding them to fruit smoothies. I do this almost every morning and cannot taste the spinach at all. The downside with kids is that spinach will change the color of the smoothie to a muddy-brown color. If you add plenty of blueberries to it, you can create more of a purplish color. Either that, or use an opaque cup with a lid when serving the smoothie to children.
When my daughter was young, getting her to eat cauliflower was like pulling teeth. Because of its subtle flavor and color, cooked cauliflower is really easy to add to mashed potatoes. Add a couple cups of pureed cauliflower to a batch of mashed potatoes. Even if your kids are picky eaters, they will never realize the cauliflower is there. Slowly mix it in, so as not to change the texture of the potatoes too much.
4. Butternut Squash
Butternut squash is a great form of potassium. Hiding it in your children’s food is actually quite simple. After cooking the squash and pureeing it, the color is easily disguised in cheese sauce. Add some pureed butternut squash to your kids’ macaroni and cheese and they will never know the difference. Since this is a sweet squash, it also works well in brownie or chocolate cake batters.
Zucchini is a lot like pumpkin because of its versatility. Cooked, pureed zucchini can be added to muffins, cookies, brownies and other baked treats. It helps retain moisture and your kids will not know it’s there. Zucchini can also be hidden in spaghetti sauce, meatloaf and any number of other dinner staples. It is really easy to get creative with zucchini when sneaking it in your child’s diet.
6. Sweet Potato
Sweet potato is naturally sweet so it is another vegetable that can be added to cookies and cakes. Just cook it and mash it before adding sweet potatoes to your food. When hiding it in made-from-scratch cookies and sweet treats, omit some (or all) of the sugar in the recipe. Sweet potatoes also help the baked goods retain most of their moisture. This means you can usually omit the oil, as well.
Carrots that are cooked and pureed can be added to almost anything. Taco meat, pasta sauce and soups are only a few of the many foods that will easily disguise shredded or pureed carrots. If you are a juicer, save the carrot pulp in your freezer. This way, you can slowly add it to ground beef, as you are browning it on the stove. Your kids will never even know it’s there.
As you start sneaking vegetables in your child’s diet, it will become a fun challenge to see how far you can go without anyone noticing. What are some other ways you can hide vegetables in your food?