16 Hidden Veggie Foods For Picky Kids

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This post was sponsored by Stonyfield Organic. All thoughts and opinions are my own This post contains affiliate links.

We all know that, sometimes, kids don’t like to eat their vegetables. They whine, they cry, they gag and do any of number of things to avoid eating them or show their distinct pleasure in attempting to eat them.

My kids are the perfect example of this.

My daughter will eat select vegetables but most she completely turns up her nose to. My son has had massive eating problems throughout his life. In fact, we had to take him to food therapy at one point (Yes, that’s a real thing.) because he was averse to eating most things in general. I couldn’t even get him to eat a French Fry at one point so things like peas, spinach and beets were completely out of the question.

All their lives I’ve taken to stealth nutrition in order to get them to eat the things they need for their little bodies.



What is stealth nutrition? It is the latest buzz phrase to simply say, “Hide their veggies (or whatever) in foods they love.”

There’s a division of thought on this in parenting and scientific circles. Critics say things like:

“You just need to feed them to them over and over until they start eating them.”

“They should love vegetables as vegetables and hiding them in foods discourages them to try them as whole foods.”

Those people have clearly never met my children, and perhaps your’s.

Don’t get me wrong, I do have a few friends who have children that eat all their vegetables. I ate all my vegetables as a kid, even Brussel sprouts. In my case, I was just a weird kid, but most of the time when you see a child happily eating spinach or beets, they are the exception and not the rule.

So, for my life, stealth nutrition is a necessity. It gets my children the nutrients they need, in a way they love and can slowly introduce them to new flavors along the way.

I’ve partnered with Stonyfield to share some of my favorite foods to feed the kids when I secretly need them to eat their veggies.

Yogurt

My kids will eat yogurt 10 times a day if I let them, so it makes sense that yogurt is my No. 1 go-to when I want to sneak some veggies into their diets. Stonyfield Organic has recently introduced a new line of products called Stonyfield Kids Veggie Pouches that combines kids’ favorite yogurt flavors with veggies.

The new flavors include Whole Milk Apple Cinnamon Sweet Potato Yogurt Pouch and Whole Milk Blueberry Apple Carrot. These have been added to an already great line that includes Whole Milk Pear Spinach Mango and Whole Milk Strawberry Beet Berry.

Made with organic milk and without the use of toxic persistent pesticides or GMOs, the pouches are portable and perfect for on-the-go snacks.

On top of it all, they’re delicious. My kids like all of the flavors and my son (the pickiest child in the world) loves the Whole Milk Blueberry Apple Carrot and Whole Milk Strawberry Beet Berry. Ordinarily, he wouldn’t touch a beet – even if I promised him a trip to Disney World and a shopping spree in the Target toy aisle.

The yogurts help to get the kids familiar with the tastes of these vegetables in a food that’s already acceptable to them and something they love. It’s so much easier for me as a parent to picky children to introduce flavors this way versus handing them a vegetable and asking them to taste it – and this applies to all of these foods the list.

You can learn more about these at the Stonyfield Organic website.




Smoothies

These are one of the easiest ways to get leafy greens into your kids’ diets. Kale and spinach were made for berry smoothies made with Stonyfield Organic yogurt, a little OJ or even water. I created these smoothies a few years ago and today they remain the most popular post on this site.

Spreads & Dips

These are a great way to use vegetables like avocado, peppers, olives, onions and even broccoli. Usually they mix the veggies with something creamier and sometimes kids might not even notice they’re there at all in something like this avocado spread made with Stonyfield Greek yogurt. Or, if your kids aren’t completely averse to trying vegetables then you can make a roasted vegetable spread and maybe mix it in with some hummus (which my daughter loves). If you can pair these with mild veggies like cucumbers (my son loves these) or carrots, then you get a double dose of veggies. If not, bread also works – without the crust of course. 

Mac & Cheese

This childhood favorite is an easy hiding spot. Cauliflower blends in well here. Broccoli can also be added if your kids are cook eating it smothered in cheese.

Hamburgers

They’ll never notice if you blend some spinach into the beef or some broccoli or cauliflower. It’s a great way to completely cover the flavor of something if your kids can’t stand it. This one isn’t so much about getting them used to the taste as it is about getting the nutrients into them.

Bread

This is another easy way to sneak in vegetables like zucchini, carrots and again avocado. My children love my zucchini bread but won’t eat zucchini in any other form. Both kids also love carrot muffins with a little cinnamon. (Full disclosure: Carrots are one of the veggies both my kids will eat raw.)



Pizza Crust

This is a wonderful place to add in some extra veggies that your kids will never notice. Cauliflower is a big one, but you can also add broccoli and spinach too. Once the crust has pizza sauce and cheese on it, your kids probably won’t even notice the difference in the crust.

Make it fries

I’m not saying this is the healthiest solution, but most kids will eat almost anything if it’s in fry form. Try sweet potatoes, green beans, onions and maybe even zucchini strips.

Juice

Celery juice is all the rage. While I haven’t tried this yet, juice is one of the easier places to include flavors and to start getting kids used to the tastes of certain vegetables. I know most kids won’t be trying celery juice anytime soon but certain juices can be great places to start introducing those tastes. Specifically, a beet lemonade is delicious (I had this last week at a restaurant), or maybe they’ll drink tomato juice or an apple carrot juice.

Popsicles

I have a friend who is notorious for putting vegetables in her popsicles. It’s really easy to do if you already have the juice! If not, you can puree anything and put it into the popsicles. Think sweeter flavors like cucumbers and watermelon with lime, spinach and pineapple (the pineapple will take the edge off the spinach) and chocolate pops with banana and avocado.

Pancakes

Most kids love pancakes and this is an easy place to hide things like sweet potatoes, which is probably one of the most loved vegetables right now – unless your my kids. These are a good way to just introduce them to the taste.

Spaghetti sauce

Marinara sauce is a great place to hide a variety of vegetables. Basically, pick one and you can hide it in here.




Chili

Chili is a good place for chunky starchy vegetables, beans, cauliflower, broccoli, spinach, onions, kale and more! Like marinara sauce, the chili flavoring, thickness and texture will hide almost anything.

Frittata or scrambled eggs

If your kids are okay with vegetables, combining them with things like green pepper, tomatoes, onions, spinach and broccoli in eggs are a good way to get them more interested in these vital veggies. Or, hide them all together. Dice onion and cauliflower up really small (or even toss it in a small blender first) and then mix it with your eggs. love my zucchini

Applesauce

Once you throw enough apples into the mix, you can puree almost anything in and kids will eat it. From sweet potatoes to broccoli to spinach and more, this is one of the easiest ways to add in a variety of vegetables.

Brownies

You can make brownies with sweet potatoes, avocado and even puree some spinach into them. See which one tastes the best and let your kids be the taste testers.

What else would you add to this list? Where else do you hide veggies?

For more information on Stonyfield Organic’s mission and industry, click here. To understand the differences between organic and non-GMO click here.



38 COMMENTS

  1. My kids LOVE yogurt too! I’ll have to look for the Stonyfield Kids Veggie Pouches at our grocery store, they sound perfect for on the go. We’re constantly on the go, going between sports and looking for easy snack ideas.

  2. Thankfully, my nieces absolutely love veggies so, it makes it easier for meals. For myself though, I definitely need to hide them in order to gag them down sometimes.

  3. These are great ideas. I haven’t heard of those veggie pouches before, but we love Stoneyfield Farms yogurt. My kids are older but still love yogurt and I still struggle with getting them to have veggies!

  4. This is such a great post! I found that ice creams was the perfect way to have veggies in my house, I did smoothies with Kale and other fruits and had them on hot summer days! Best way to give them to the kids!

  5. These are some great suggestions. I never would have thought of sneaking vegetables into burgers. My kids always liked fruit and veggies growing up so I am glad I didn’t have to hide them.

  6. I’m all for hiding vegetables in food for kids. While I agree that getting them to eat whole veggies/not crying when vegetables are on their plate is important, sneaking in extra ones can only boost their nutrition!

  7. These are all great ways to get the kids to eat more veggies. I love that the yogurt has veggies included. My son doesn’t like to eat many veggies.

  8. I love the term stealth nutrition and I love the idea! It could be a good beginning to use my kid to some new vegetables. Thanks for sharing it!

  9. Sooooo many good ideas here! I thought I had the whole mothering thing down when my first daughter would eat any and all healthy foods. Then my second came along… We do what we need to do as parents to keep them healthy!

  10. I’ll definitely have to bookmark this post to read in a few years when our daughter is older (she’ll be arriving in April!) I was a picky eater as a kid, so I’m sure I’ll have payback coming to me 🙂

  11. These are great options. I have always been all about the hiding veggies in foods, I do it to my husband and myself as well. lol I like being able to get them in without knowing it sometimes, especially the ones I hate the taste of like Kale.

  12. Oh I love this article. My youngest is the worst when it comes to eating healthy. She has like 2 or 3 things she will eat and that’s it. So veggies are super tough. I am going to try some of these tips! Thanks so much for sharing them.

  13. My sons will eat yogurt if I make parfaits, but my wife and daughter never eat yogurt. When we are at her parents house, we use their blender to make smoothies all the time. Living in a travel trailer doesn’t leave us room for appliances, so we don’t have a blender. I have been resorting to getting Kombucha to get the girls to get probiotics in their system. Now I have a few other tricks!

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