Parents of picky eaters share their favorite kid-approved recipes with hidden veggies, fruit, and more secretly healthy ingredients.
Many parents spend the better part of 18 years trying to get just a few more vegetables in those mouths. These hidden veggie recipes (some with other sneaky healthy ingredients) are chock full of nutrition without sacrificing the amazing taste and texture that kids demand. Parents rejoice!
Have any secretly healthy recipes your family loves? Add them to the list!
Deep Dish Cookie Pie
Hannah Scott: My love for this cookie pie goes wayyy back, and everyone who eats it asks for the recipe — even before finding out the secret main ingredient is chickpeas! Yes, I said chickpeas. I take dessert very seriously and can honestly say that this recipe tastes every bit as decadent as its unhealthy counterparts. From Chocolate Covered Katie
Vegan White Lasagna Soup
Hannah Scott: Confession: I put this soup in front of my super-picky husband (who is a self-proclaimed soup hater) and he ate every last bite, raving the entire time. When asked what the main ingredient was, he said Parmesan cheese. Nope! This is 100% plant-based, but it looks and tastes like it’s full of decadent dairy! This is one I’ll be adding to the weekly rotation for sure. From Rabbit and Wolves
Peanut Butter Banana Ice Cream
Hannah Scott: Frozen bananas become a magical soft serve when blended — who knew?? Add some peanut butter to the blender and you’ll get this tasty treat that your kids will go nuts over! We make this daily in warm weather and top with colorful sprinkles to add to the fun factor. From The Endless Meal
Paleo Baked Veggie Nuggets
Hannah Scott: Anyone else stuck in a chicken nugget rut? In a quest to find a healthier alternative, I discovered these delicious gluten free veggie nuggets, which my toddler happily ate when dipped in ketchup. Tip: A bag of frozen diced cauliflower will save you lots of time, and will also come in handy for many other recipes with hidden veggies! From Unbound Wellness
The Incredible Hulk Smoothie
Hannah Scott: My toddler won’t go near most vegetables, but he’ll suck down green smoothies faster than you can say “More spinach, please!” The banana and nut butter mask the taste of the mild greens, so you can add literal handfuls without compromising on taste. And when you name it after the Incredible Hulk? Total win. From The Love Nerds
Veggie Packed Pizza Rolls
Hannah Scott: The mom who invented this hidden veggie recipe is a genius! The cornerstone of the dish is pizza sauce blended with a ton of cooked veggies for a power-packed meal the whole family will gobble up. They’ll never guess they’re getting so many nutrients in the process! From Super Healthy Kids
Creamy Cauliflower Sauce
Vanessa M.: Traditional Alfredo sauce is made with loads of butter and heavy cream; while delicious, it isn't always a healthy choice. This recipe for Creamy Cauliflower Sauce will fool you (and your kids) because it tastes so much like the real deal while being a much healthier version! Vegetable broth and pureed cauliflower lighten up this amazing sauce. From Pinch of Yum
Black Bean Brownies
Hannah Scott: I’d pick brownies over cake, pie, or cookies any day — the richer the better! Black beans are blended into a purée and hidden in these brownies to create a dense batter, perfect for chewy brownie deliciousness! Make these for a crowd and have fun asking them to guess the secret ingredient. From Chocolate Covered Katie
DIY 'Go Gurt' with Hidden Veggies
Vanessa M.: Such a smart way to sneak in those veggies! These DIY yogurt tubes start with plain Greek yogurt which is sweetened with honey and then mixed with a variety of fruits and veggies. Fun and healthy flavors such as Apricot with Hidden Carrots and Banana-Lime with Hidden Spinach will be the highlight of your kids' lunchbox. From Make the Best of Everything
Skinny Cauliflower Mac and Cheese
Hannah Scott: Cooked cauliflower has a mild enough taste and soft enough texture that it can easily be added to mac and cheese! While the pasta and cheese remains and we can’t exactly call this health food, you can rest assured that this kid-favorite meal has at least SOME nutritional value tucked inside! From Damn Delicious
3 Ingredient Sweet Potato Pizza Crust
Hannah Scott: Pizza is a staple in most kids’ diets, and this sweet potato crust takes the nutrition up a notch! I’ve tried several sweet potato crust recipes and found this one to be the easiest and best tasting of them all. From Pinch of Yum
2 Ingredient Banana Berry Ice Cream
Sue Krawitz Tandoc: My oldest son loves banana berry "ice cream." It is such an easy dessert recipe to make because it is simply frozen bananas and berries! I put it in my Ninja blender and let it run for a couple of minutes. If it's dry, I add a very small amount of milk.
Tip: More bananas will produce a creamier texture and more berries will produce a sorbet texture. From Real Housemoms
Veggie Pasta Sauce
Kelly R.: Marinara recipes with hidden veggies are a great way to sneak some extra nutrition into pasta, pizza, or any other meal that calls for jarred tomato sauce. This recipe uses 6 different kinds of veggies for a wonderful variety of nutrition in one smooth sauce! Make a big batch and portion it out for easy freezer meals. From Healthy Little Foodies
Kelly R.: I served these little pancakes often when my kids were picky toddlers and preschoolers, and love that it's one of those recipes for hidden veggies that can use up pretty much whatever you have on hand. A mixture of shredded veggies is cooked until crispy so it is reminiscent of a classic potato pancake, but with some bonus nutrition mixed in. My kids like theirs dipped in applesauce! From 100 Days of Real Food
Instant Pot Paleo Chili
Pumpkin Banana Pancakes
Sue Krawitz Tandoc: These are scrumptious and healthy. The banana and pumpkin make them savory with added vitamins and flavor. My kids are big fans, even my youngest son who doesn't like banana - he has no idea it is in there! From Gimme Delicious
Primary photo: NordWood Themes on Unsplash
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