No matter how fussy your toddler is, we have four easy recipes with all the stealth and skill to smuggle those much-needed fruits and vegetables in. Better yet, it’s all hidden in plain sight.
Most parents understand the dinnertime battles that happen most nights. It can be exhausting begging and pleading your two-year-old to eat a small piece of healthy goodness.
Well, we’ve put together 4 recipes to successfully deceive your child (for their own good) and get them gobbling up these tasty dishes in no time.
Healthy Zucchini Brownies
These zucchini brownies are moist, chocolatey and have a sneaky side of zucchini. If you’re struggling to get your toddler to eat veggies, this is the perfect way to sneak some extra veggies into their diet!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 18 minutes
Total Time: 28 minutes
Quantity: 16 brownies
- 2 cups zucchini, coarsely shredded (not tightly packed)
- 1/2 cup cacao powder
- 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
- 1/2 cup maple syrup or honey
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- Place zucchini in a colander while you are getting other ingredients ready. Preheat oven to 190 degrees C and line 8 x 8 baking dish with unbleached parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, add egg, oil, maple syrup, and pure vanilla extract; whisk to combine. Add cacao powder, baking soda, and salt; whisk until well mixed.
- Give zucchini a gentle squeeze but do not ring out completely, add to a bowl and stir. Add flour and gently until combined.
- Transfer batter into prepared baking dish and level with a spatula. Bake for 25-28 minutes or until the center is barely jiggly. Do not over bake as brownies will have more of a cake consistency. A toothpick inserted has to come out somewhat not clean. If the center is too jiggly bake a bit more – ovens vary.
- Remove from the oven and let cool for about an hour. Lift by the parchment paper flaps and transfer to a cooling rack to cool off completely. Cut into 16 squares. You can serve them up on dinnerware sets
Store: In an airtight glass container in a cool, dry place for up to 4 days. If it’s hot outside, refrigerate for up to a week. Freeze for up to 3 – 4 months.
Mac and Cheese
Macaroni gets a bad rap for being unhealthy, but a few changes to the sauce and a bunch of veggies later, you have an easy dinner packed with nutrients for your unsuspecting children.
Add spinach, cherry tomatoes, peas, broccoli, or any other veggies of your desire.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 28 minutes
Total Time: 43 minutes
Quantity: 6 servings
- ½ head of cauliflower
- 1 medium carrot
- 1 tbsp cornflour made into a paste with some water
- 1 cup butternut pumpkin
- 1 cup vegetable stock
- 1 cup full cream milk
- 1 tbsp garlic minced
- 2 cups shredded tasty cheese
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese shredded
- 2 tbsp cream cheese
- 2 cups uncooked macaroni
- Roughly chop the cauliflower, carrot and pumpkin and place in a microwave-safe jug, add the vegetable stock. Cover and cook in the microwave for 7 minutes until tender.
- In a food processor add the vegetable and stock mix and blitz until puréed.
- Transfer the purée mix to a saucepan. Bring to a simmer, add the milk, garlic, and tasty cheese and mix until the cheese has melted. Once melted, take the cornflour paste and blend in to thicken.
- Once ready, take half the sauce mixture and set aside, and leave the other half of the sauce in the saucepan.
- Cook the macaroni as per directions on packet.
- Once the macaroni is cooked, drain and add into the sauce in the saucepan, also add the Parmesan cheese, cream cheese and smoked paprika (optional)
- Mix through, and you can serve as is, or you can choose to put in a serving dish and cover with a little more cheese and bake until the top is golden.
Healthy Veggie-Packed Pasta Sauce
This is a simple but delicious sauce that is packed with vegetables to boost your child's vegetable intake.Lasagne, spaghetti bolognese, meatballs, pasta dishes are all perfect recipes to whip up a smooth sauce jam-packed with vegetables.You can also use this sauce as a base for pizza!
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Quantity: 12 servings
- 1 Leek, Finely Sliced
- 1 Garlic Clove, Crushed
- 2 Tbsp Coconut Or Olive Oil
- 1 Carrot, Peeled And Grated
- 140g Pumpkin, Peeled And Finely Sliced
- 2 Zucchini, Peeled And Finely Sliced
- ½ Cup Spinach Leaves, Finely Chopped
- 4 Tomatoes, Skin Removed And Chopped
- 1 ¾ Cups Tomato Puree
- 1 Tsp Mixed Italian Herbs
- ¼-½ Cups Of Mozzarella, Gouda, Goat’s Or Cheddar Cheese, Grated (Optional)
- Heat oil in large saucepan, and add leek and garlic. Sauté for approx. 5 mins or until transparent.
- Add remaining vegetables and sauté for approx. 3 mins, add water if needed,
- Add mixed herbs, tomatoes, cover and cook for a further 15 mins on low heat.
- Add cheese, cook for a further 2 mins,
- Puree together and serve over your choice of pasta.
I’m sure most parents are already taken advantage of smoothie mixes. It’s a fantastic way to pack naturally sweet fruit like strawberries, blueberries, mangos, banana and undetectable vegetables like spinach, carrot, and kale. The options are pretty much endless. You can of course carry these delights in reusable food pouches.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 2 minutes
Total Time: 7 minutes
Quantity: 12 servings
- 1 cup frozen blueberries
- 1 whole overripe banana (fresh or frozen)
- 1 cup fresh spinach and/or kale
- 2/3 cup of milk of choice
- 1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1-2 tbsp. honey or maple syrup
- 1 tbsp. ground flax seed
- Place all ingredients in a blender, puree until smooth.
Happy veggie smuggling! We’d love to know any of your fruit and veggie hacks! If you have any tips on mealtime accessories, be sure to write in.