We all know toddlers are the world’s renowned pickiest eaters. They will let themselves go hungry before allowing us to feed them nutritious vegetables. But one way or another, we have to get the vitamins and nutrients into their systems.
I’ve tried to make those beautiful Pinterest worthy plates of healthy snacks or salads for my toddler, but no matter how pretty and colorful the plate, he refuses to budge.
I’ve also tried the “wait and re-introduce later” game and the “dessert after veggies” method, but JC is a strong-willed toddler. He’s got all the time, patience, and stubbornness to wait until I bend to his will lol. So instead of fussing and arguing with this miniature version of myself, I’ve found the below ways to sneak veggies into JC’s diet.
Smoothies are an excellent way to get children to eat vegetables simply because they can’t actually taste them. JC has no idea his grandmother’s special hand-made apple juice includes celery or that his chocolate milkshake has spinach in it.
I find that pineapple or banana do the best job of masking the taste of vegetables. JC loves his shakes and smoothies as after dinner “desserts”.
Here are some of our go to smoothies and juices:
Granny’s Apple Juice:
- 2 small apples
- 3 celery sticks
- 1 cup of water
- 1 small orange or mandarin
- 1 banana
- 1 cup of chocolate milk
- 1 cup of almond milk
- 1 hand full of spinach
- 1/2 cup of oatmeal
- 1 banana
- 3/4 cup of blueberries
- 1 cup of spinach
- 2 cups of water
#2 Turn Veggies into Pasta
When I lost 40 lbs. in 6 months on the Keto diet, I found lots of substitutions for my favorite meals. One guilt-free meal I enjoy often is pesto pasta, but instead of using pasta (big keto no-no), I spiralize zucchini.
Butternut squash and Zucchini are great substitutions for pasta and the best part is that your toddler won’t even notice the difference! If you toddler isn’t into pesto, top it with marinara or alfredo sauce.
#3 Make Guacamole
Can you imagine a better way to get your child to actually eat onions, and like them? If you can, share in the comments!
Guacamole is a household favorite. We LOVE guac and it remains on JC’s favorite foods list. Guacamole has avocado, tomato, cilantro, onion, and lime so what’s not to love?
And when JC is going through his “I don’t like chicken today” phases, we mix the chicken into his guac. He has no clue.
#4 Cauliflower Pizza
I’ve never met a child that didn’t love pizza! Along my keto journey I found a way that JC and I can both enjoy pizza. Instead of using regular flour crust, we use cauliflower crust. The brand we buy is made from cauliflower, eggs, cheese, milk and herbs. It tastes great and it’s healthy!
#5 Blend it into a Sauce or Soup
I learned this mom trick from one of my friends. She blends broccoli into her marinara sauce before adding it to spaghetti and her family has no idea…including her husband. You can blend veggies into your any sauce or into the the broth of your soup.
I like to blend mushrooms and it to my alfredo sauce.
#6 Just Add Cheese
When all else fails, just add cheese!
It’s not my first choice when trying to get my son to eat vegetables, but I’m certainly not above it. If he just refuses to eat veggies, I melt cheese on top and that usually does the trick.
I’m not sure why, but cheese just makes most foods taste better. So when in doubt, add cheese!
Okay, those are the different ways I get my toddler to eat his veggies! Let me know in the comments below if they work for you or if you have some tried and true tips!