Healthy, Fail-Proof Recipes For Children Who Are The Pickiest Of Eaters

Healthy, Fail-Proof Recipes For Children Who Are The Pickiest Of Eaters

Got a picky eater on your hands? It can be difficult and incredibly stressful trying to give your child the healthy fruits and veggies they should be eating if they're throwing a tantrum every time. But here's a secret: it doesn't have to be so hard, just hide the fruits and veggies from plain sight! That's right, with these 20 fail-proof recipes, your child will be eating their daily dose of fruits and veggies without even knowing.

1. Cheesy Macaroni Surprise

Children often can't resist the classic comfort of mac and cheese. But this recipe holds a secret: this version sneaks in some puréed butternut squash for added nutrition. Simply blend 1 cup of steamed butternut squash into your usual mac and cheese sauce. Prepare 2 cups of macaroni as per the package instructions, mix with the squash-infused cheese sauce, and serve warm. It's a sneaky way to add veggies without a fuss!

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2. Fruit and Yogurt Parfait

A visually appealing and delicious snack, this fruit and yogurt parfait is a hit with kids. Layer 1 cup of Greek yogurt with ½ cup of granola and 1 cup of mixed berries in a clear glass. The bright colors and sweet flavors will entice even the pickiest of eaters, and it's packed with protein and vitamins.

Amirali-Mirhashemian-W2D Fskkkpw-UnsplashPhoto by amirali mirhashemian on Unsplash

3. Hidden Veggie Chicken Nuggets

Homemade chicken nuggets can be a game-changer. Blend 1 cooked carrot and 1 cooked zucchini into a paste. Mix this with 1 pound of ground chicken, 1 egg, and breadcrumbs to form nuggets. Bake until golden brown. These nuggets are not only delicious but also packed with hidden vegetables.

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4. Rainbow Veggie Pizza

Kids love pizza, and making it at home can be both fun and nutritious. Use a store-bought pizza dough, spread ½ cup of tomato sauce, and top with shredded mozzarella cheese. Then, let the kids decorate the pizza with a variety of colorful veggies like bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, and spinach. It's a playful way to introduce vegetables.

Laure-Noverraz-Jszklri7Tou-UnsplashPhoto by Laure Noverraz on Unsplash


5. Smoothie Bowls

Smoothie bowls can be a wonderful breakfast or snack. Blend 1 banana, ½ cup frozen berries, and ½ cup almond milk until smooth. Pour into a bowl and let your child top it with their choice of toppings like sliced fruits, nuts, or granola. It's a nutritious and customizable option.

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6. Sneaky Spaghetti Bolognese

A classic spaghetti bolognese can be a perfect vehicle for hidden veggies. In your sauce, include finely grated carrots, zucchini, and mushrooms along with 1 pound of ground beef. Cook with 2 cups of tomato sauce and serve over whole wheat spaghetti. The veggies blend right in with the sauce, making them almost undetectable.

Studio-Crevettes-Raumapxp3G8-UnsplashPhoto by Studio Crevettes on Unsplash

7. Peanut Butter Banana Roll-Ups

For a quick and easy snack, try peanut butter banana roll-ups. Spread 2 tablespoons of peanut butter on a whole wheat tortilla, place a banana on one edge, and roll it up tightly. Slice into bite-sized pieces. This provides a great balance of protein, healthy fats, and fruit.

Towfiqu-Barbhuiya-Q-Rywm8Uywy-UnsplashPhoto by Towfiqu barbhuiya on Unsplash

8. Veggie-Packed Meatloaf

Meatloaf is a comforting meal that can hide a multitude of vegetables. Combine 1 pound of ground beef with 1 cup of finely chopped vegetables like bell peppers, onions, and carrots. Add in 1 beaten egg, ½ cup of breadcrumbs, and seasonings. Bake until cooked through. It's a hearty meal that secretly contains a serving of veggies.

Meat-Loaf-4772659 1280Image by -Rita-👩‍🍳 und 📷 mit ❤ from Pixabay

9. Fish Tacos with Mango Salsa

Fish tacos can be a fun and unsuspectingly healthy meal. Use mild white fish like tilapia, season it well, and bake. Serve on small tortillas with a mango salsa made from 1 diced mango, ½ diced red bell pepper, and a handful of chopped cilantro. The sweet and vibrant salsa makes the fish appealing and more approachable to kids.

Amie-Watson-2Hbuvhe81Mu-UnsplashPhoto by Amie Watson on Unsplash

10. Quinoa Fried Rice

Quinoa can be a more nutritious alternative to rice in this kid-friendly dish. Cook 1 cup of quinoa as directed, then stir-fry with mixed frozen (or fresh!) vegetables, soy sauce, and a scrambled egg. It's a complete meal with protein, veggies, and grains, and mimics the familiar flavors of traditional fried rice.

Sonny-Mauricio-Yhc4Psbl01A-UnsplashPhoto by Sonny Mauricio on Unsplash


11. Sweet Potato Pancakes

Start the day with a nutritious twist on a breakfast favorite. Combine 1 cup of mashed sweet potato with 1½ cups of pancake mix, 1 cup of milk, and an egg. Cook on a griddle until golden brown. These pancakes are not only delicious but also pack a vitamin-rich punch, perfect for a picky eater's breakfast.

Evgheni-Russu-Xrx6 Wkjyfa-UnsplashPhoto by Evgheni Russu on Unsplash

12. Cauliflower Tots

Transform cauliflower into something so delicious, your kids won't even know they're eating veggies. Steam and finely chop 1 head of cauliflower. Mix with some shredded cheese, 1 egg, and ½ cup of breadcrumbs. Shape into tots and bake until crispy. They are a great way to sneak in vegetables and are fun for kids to eat with their hands.

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13. Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal Bites

These bite-sized treats are perfect for a healthy snack or breakfast. Mix 1 cup of rolled oats, 1 diced apple, ¼ cup of honey, ½ teaspoon of cinnamon, and 1 beaten egg. Scoop into mini muffin tins and bake until golden. They are naturally sweetened, easy to eat, and provide a great way to include fruit and fiber in a picky eater's diet.

Diliara-Garifullina-Rtb5Irx-H9C-UnsplashPhoto by Diliara Garifullina on Unsplash

14. Veggie-Packed Quesadillas

Quesadillas are a great, easy option for hidden veggies. Mix ½ cup of finely chopped spinach and ½ cup of grated carrots into 1 cup of shredded cheese. Of course, add in any other vegetables you see fit! Spread over a tortilla, top with another tortilla, and cook until the cheese melts. Cut into triangles and serve with salsa or yogurt for dipping.

Fernando-Andrade-Tsfv9Ybjtnk-UnsplashPhoto by Fernando Andrade on Unsplash

15. Banana Oat Muffins

Bake a batch of these healthy muffins for a snack or quick breakfast. Mix 2 mashed bananas with 1 cup of rolled oats, ½ cup of applesauce, and 1 egg. Add a touch of honey for sweetness if desired. Bake in a muffin tin until set. These muffins are naturally sweetened and full of fiber.

Priscilla-Du-Preez-Lrkvds1Jf1Q-UnsplashPhoto by Priscilla Du Preez 🇨🇦 on Unsplash

16. Creamy Avocado Pasta

Avocado makes a wonderfully creamy pasta sauce that's full of good fats. Blend 1 ripe avocado with a clove of garlic, a handful of basil, and a squeeze of lemon juice. Toss with cooked pasta and serve. It's a simple, creamy dish that's unexpectedly nutritious.

Kelly-Sikkema-Zlc9Ytifznk-UnsplashPhoto by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash


17. Chicken and Rice Casserole

A casserole can be a comforting and easy meal. Mix 1 cup of cooked rice, 1 cup of cooked, diced chicken, 1 cup of mixed vegetables, and 1 can of cream of chicken soup. Bake until bubbly and golden. It's a one-dish meal that includes all the food groups.

Micheile-Henderson-Twsfza-Ibfm-UnsplashPhoto by micheile henderson on Unsplash

18. Mini Veggie Burgers

Make burgers more appealing to little hands by making them mini-sized. Use 1 pound of ground beef and mix in ½ cup of finely grated zucchini and ½ cup of finely grated carrot. Form into small patties and cook. Serve on mini buns with your child's favorite toppings. Make sure you include a lot of veggies like lettuce and tomatoes!

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19. Zucchini Bread

Baking zucchini into bread is another clever way to sneak in undetectable veggies. Combine 1½ cups of flour, 1 cup of grated zucchini, 1 tsp of baking soda, ½ cup of sugar, ½ cup of vegetable oil, and 2 eggs. Bake in a loaf pan until a toothpick comes out clean. It's moist, flavorful, and kid-friendly.

Herbert-Goetsch-Rp3Upnigtjo-UnsplashPhoto by Herbert Goetsch on Unsplash

20. Pita Pizzas with Hidden Veggies

Let kids make their own pizzas using whole wheat pita bread as the base. Blend steamed carrots or bell peppers into your pizza sauce for an extra veggie boost. Top with cheese and let kids add their favorite toppings (making sure to include a lot of veggie options!). Bake until the cheese is melted and bubbly. This hands-on meal makes eating fun and nutritious!

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