Here are a few ways to sneak veggies into meals so that picky eaters won’t notice them! You have to be a little bit sly, but it is possible to fit those greens in without serving up a big bowl of Brussels sprouts. Some veggies are more appealing than others, but if you have a child or spouse that simply refuses to touch any kind of veggie, you can resort to these tricks to squeeze those veggies in! Here are my top ways to sneak veggies into meals!
1. Puree the Veggies
One of the easiest ways to sneak veggies into your picky eater’s meals is by pureeing the veggies! It is almost impossible to detect a pureed veggie. You can mix any type of pureed veggie into soups, casseroles, or even your child's favorite dish, like macaroni and cheese!
2. Choose Squash
Two of the best veggies to slip into meals are squash and zucchini! These two veggies will always take on the flavor of whatever you cook with them, so they are virtually undetectable! Chop them up into small pieces and toss them into pasta or stir-fry.
3. Hide Them in Smoothies
Smoothies make the perfect hiding place for veggies. Smoothies are sweet and most kids love them! Use frozen fruit and plain or vanilla yogurt, a little milk, and whichever veggies you have on hand. Some good choices are spinach, pumpkin, or kale. Toss it all in the blender until smooth and you have a healthy treat!
4. Make the Veggie Appealing
Sometimes kids stereotype veggies based on how they look, smell, or even things they have heard others say. Try to talk about veggies using positive words. If you don’t like a certain veggie, don’t voice it around your kids. Adding a little butter, salt, cinnamon, or even a sprinkle of sugar may encourage your kids to give the veggies another try!
5. Mix Veggies into Meat or Sauce
Finely chopped mushrooms are great for mixing into ground up beef. The texture is nearly the same, so kids won’t notice! And you can easily slip steamed cauliflower or squash into cheese or pasta sauces. If they don’t know it’s there, they won’t look for it!
6. Chop Green Veggies up
Green veggies are the hardest ones to hide. When cooking with fresh, leafy, green veggies, remember to chop them up very finely. Then mix them with dishes like rice or pasta, or even sprinkle them on top of pizza. Kids won’t normally recognize veggies if they are chopped finely enough!
7. Casseroles and Breads Make Great Camouflage
You can slip nearly any veggie into a casserole or a bread. It will usually go undetected and even enhance the taste of the dish! Finely chop or puree the veggie of your choice, and don’t sprinkle it on the top. Mix it in so it cooks into your casserole or bread.
8. Make the Veggie Look like Something else
Steamed cauliflower makes excellent “mashed potatoes”! Just add a sprinkling of cheese, some butter and salt, and make sure you mash them well. Most kids can’t tell the difference! Also, you can use clever plate arrangements to make the food look like a cute animal or something fun like an ice cream cone. Use fresh veggies to add color.
I hope these tips help you to successfully slip more veggies into your picky eater’s meals. Remember, sometimes it takes 10-15 times of introducing a new veggie to your child’s diet before they will start to like it. Fruits can also be helpful in getting your child the nutrients they need, so don’t forget to offer bananas and grapes, or any other tasty fruits occasionally. How do you get your children to eat their veggies?