My daughter, Brooklyn, will eat ANY and ALL fruit you put in front of her but when it comes to vegetables, I usually have to be more creative. There are some favorite vegetables that I can rely on her to eat no matter how it’s prepared. When Brooklyn was going through the weaning phase, she would eat anything and everything. All vegetables were amazing to her but as she got older, she started to pull back a little. With more independence about what she eats, she chooses sweeter every time. If something looks strange to her, she won’t eat it. I usually try to give her a little nudge but I never force her to eat something. When she just won’t eat a particular vegetable, I get creative with how I present them to her. Below, I list some of Brooklyn’s favorite foods that contain vegetables, and she doesn’t even know!
Spinach & Banana Muffins- These are super easy to make and are really healthy!
Smoothies- I have added carrots, leafy greens, avocado, etc. to these and she loves them. Sometimes she wants these for breakfast but mostly for mid morning snack!
Hummus- When I give Brooklyn hummus she will usually eat this with anything. She usually eats hummus with tomatoes and cucumbers and she can eat A LOT of it! It’s one of her favorite dips! While I’m not necessarily hiding vegetables here, I can encourage her to eat vegetables with hummus dip.
Avocado Spreads- I will usually do an avocado spread on tacos or turkey sandwiches. When Brooklyn was first learning about different foods, avocados were her favorite. She would eat them whole but now she prefers them mashed. She also loves guacamole!
Sweet potato, Kale, Carrot, and Zucchini Chips- These are easy to make and Brooklyn thinks they are potato chips.
Sauces- My husband started making the majority of his spaghetti sauces with a pureed vegetable in it. Most vegetables are super easy to hide inside marinara sauce. Some of our go to vegetables are squash, zucchini, and asparagus since those don’t get eaten by themselves very often.
Teeny Tiny Vegetables- Sloppy Joes have become a popular weeknight dinner in our house. To add some veggies to our dinner, we chop teeny tiny bits of zucchini into the sauce. The zucchini doesn’t over power the other flavors, so Brooklyn never even knows.
Cauliflower Mac-n-Cheese- Brooklyn is obsessed with Mac-n-Cheese, ANY kind. While she occasionally gets the Kraft mac-n-cheese, we sometimes get creative and will whip up cauliflower mac-n-cheese and she loves it! For now she doesn’t understand the many different versions of mac-n-cheese, so she will eat anything with the name. Also, when we do decide to go with the Kraft version, we sometimes add vegetables that we know she likes into the mix.
Cauliflower “mash potatoes”- Brooklyn is not a huge fan of just plain cauliflower but I LOVE it. When we make cauliflower for dinner, we have to get creative with how we serve it. Mashed is an easy way to get Brooklyn to eat cauliflower.
We want our children to appreciate and enjoy eating all varieties of vegetables but it takes time. If your child won’t eat ANY vegetables, hiding them is a good way to get them into the child’s diet. As children’s taste buds continue to change, you can keep offering vegetables in their natural state. Vegetables don’t always have to be raw, try cooking them in different spices, mash them, roast them, or even turn them into chips! It takes up to thirty or more tries before some children actually enjoy a certain food, so DON’T GIVE UP!