9 Ingenious Ways To Disguise Vegetables In Your Toddler’s FoodToddlers are known for their notorious dislike of anything that’s remotely good for them. Even the sheer sight of a piece of broccoli at meal times can lead to an epic tantrum.

While mealtime battles are a natural and common part of the toddler stage, it can be worrying for parents that their little one may not be getting the nutrients they need. So, if you’re looking to keep your toddler healthy but you really struggle to get them to eat those all-important veggies, the answer is to hide them! After all, it’s hard for your toddler to refuse vegetables if they don’t even know that they’re there in the first place.

Fortunately, there are plenty of ways you can hide vegetables in your toddler’s food without them knowing it.  Below we’ll look at some of the best hidden veggie tricks and ideas to make mealtimes much more bearable!

Take Advantage Of Smoothies

You can’t get more hidden than blending vegetables into oblivion. Smoothies don’t just hide fruits and vegetables however – they’re also really tasty! Your toddler will love the huge range of healthy smoothies you can create.

Many smoothie recipes combine a range of fruits and vegetables together. This means you can ensure your little one gets their recommended daily allowance of veggies in just one breakfast smoothie.

The only thing to remember here is that smoothies do tend to have a high natural sugar count. So, they aren’t recommended every single day, but a few times a week you could offer a healthy smoothie for breakfast.

Blend Them Into Pasta Sauces

If your little one loves pasta, you can cleverly blend up those veggies and create a delicious pasta sauce. By the time you’ve finished, there will be no sign of the vegetables, yet all of their goodness will remain.

Of course, not all toddlers love pasta sauce! My sister-in-law for example has only recently overcome a very frustrating battle with her two-year-old, where a bowl of pasta would result in a tear fest worthy of an Oscar winning performance. So, you may need to wait for them to outgrow their fussy eating stage before you can try out this clever idea.

Blended vegetables can also be used in traditional dishes such as lasagna or spaghetti Bolognese.

Chop Them Up REALLY Small

If you don’t have a blender, you can also often get away with just cutting the vegetables up really small. As long as they don’t look like vegetables, toddlers are often tricked into eating them.

Chopped veggies can be used on pizzas, as well as a wide range of other recipes. They can even be sprinkled over dishes as a colorful finishing touch or used in toasted sandwiches.

Hide Vegetables Inside Other Foods

Vegetables can also be hidden inside other foods, such as homemade tater tots or cauliflower tots. Here, all your toddler will see when they pick up the food, is the breadcrumbs and the outer shell. The veggies will be successfully hidden well in the middle – a place toddlers don’t always pay attention to while they’re eating!

Anything you can make in breadcrumbs or batter, could be a perfect hiding place for veggies.

Give Them A More Tempting Name

Sometimes, the best way to disguise vegetables is in plain sight. Some very clever parents have come up with the idea to give fruits and vegetables different names. So, instead of calling a grape a grape for example, they would tell their little one they were sweets.

It’s amazing how well this works. If they think they are getting a treat or junk food based snack, they’ll automatically want to try it. You could even join in with the game and make “Mmmm” noises as you pop a carrot stick dipped into humus into your own mouth.

Do A Food Switch

You can also use vegetables as a healthier alternative for common junk foods you know your toddler loves. For example, parsnips and sweet potatoes can make a wonderful alternative to chips and your little one will love the sweeter flavor.

Create Tasty, Healthy Dips

Another great and simplistic idea is to create your own dips. Again, blending up vegetables into a dip helps to perfectly disguise them, while also providing a versatile dipping solution for a wide range of foods.

Get them to dip crackers or chips into them for example, or if they happen to like carrot sticks (and many toddlers do), you can help them be extra-healthy and provide a veggie dip for them to dunk the carrots into.

A Veggie Friendly Macaroni Cheese

Who doesn’t love macaroni cheese? This popular dish is extremely easy to hide veggies in too.

But isn’t macaroni cheese unhealthy? Not necessarily! Just a few tweaks to the traditional recipe can make this a much healthier dish. Some of the best veggies to use in macaroni cheese dishes include spinach, cauliflower, cherry tomatoes and peas.

Vegetable Cookies – A Surprisingly Tasty Treat

You’ve probably never thought to add vegetables to cookies, but they actually go surprisingly well. Spinach for example, is a great veggie to add and it even goes well in cake recipes too.

The thought of adding vegetables to sweet treats can seem a little off-putting. After all, the whole reason you like them is because they taste so great (which often goes in hand with not being good for us!) However, the addition of a couple of veggies isn’t going to ruin the cookies. If anything, it will enhance the flavors.

I mean, you’d never eat a spoon of vanilla extract but we always put it in our cookies right?


Overall, there’s many ways you can hide vegetables in your toddler’s food. Not all of them will work for your little one, but there’s bound to be at least one idea above that tricks them into getting their daily dose of veggie goodness.

Have you got your own tips on hiding veggies from a toddler? Let us know in the comments section below!

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  1. These are all great tips! I’ve been taking care of my baby niece recently and she HATES eating veggies. I’ve been hiding and switching veggies in her food, but sometimes she’s smart and will pick them out. Two recipes that have worked really well are hamburgers and tempura!

    For hamburgers, I chop up green peppers, onions, and carrots into tiny pieces (almost like grated) and mix it in with the hamburger meat. My niece loves it and doesn’t suspect a thing!

    Tempura is even easier. Kids love everything fried so I don’t even have to disguise it. She loves the pumpkin and broccoli tempura best. She’ll also eat eggplant tempura even though she hates eggplant.

    1. Who could resist burgers? Kids love them and what better way to make it a healthy burger but with vegetables. You’re right, if the veggies are sliced into tiny pieces or are grated, the kids will never notice. Good suggestion there! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  2. Our family also has a little veggie hater, haha. If he sees green it’s automatically bad and he refuses to eat it. Once I tried distracting him a bit while serving the meal with vegetables inside and it failed, he is clearly smarter than I though.

    The thing that we found the best is definitely blending the veggies. It’s just really convenient and done fast – you do not have to spend one hour trying to convince your toddler to eat it.

    I will for sure try your suggestion of veggie cookies. Never thought of adding it inside the cookie dough, very clever and I could see it working. Another recipe I saw on TV was a veggie lollies (ice cream lollies). You make them from yogurt and vegetable of your choice then you put it into the freezer.

    1. Kids are truly smart and keen when it comes to vegetables – they could find the tiniest pieces. You should definitely try the cookie recipe. I’m sure it would be difficult for your kid to differentiate the taste from a non-veggie cookie. What’s more, you’ll be giving him something healthy to chew on.

      Your vegetable lollies sound like a great idea, too! I’m thinking of trying it 🙂

  3. My youngest son hates all of the traditional veggies such as carrots and corn but loves broccoli, cabbage, brussel sprouts, cabbage and spinach. Yeah, I know, it’s a head scratcher. We tried blending veggies but it was a disaster, he won’t even drink a fruit smoothy. Thank heavens he drinks a lot of milk. The best way to get him to eat his carrots were to put them in muffins and cakes which he loves.

    1. Muffins and cakes with carrots sound yummy! It’s a great way to incorporate it in a food your kid likes. Great idea!

      Good for you your child eats other vegetables. Other kids just would not eat any vegetable at all. I’m sure as your child grows up, he will eventually love carrots and corn, and other vegetables.

  4. Oh, I absolutely love this! Sure wish I would have read an article like this before my daughter actually started liking her fruits and veggies. 🙂 I found that mashed potatoes are a really good place in which to hide veggies, but like you said, they’d have to be cut up very small! I also used use the food processor to practically pulverize things, and that way she always ate them.

    The only thing she ever caught me with was trying to disguise bananas… never did like them and still doesn’t. 🙂

    1. Oh well, what they want to eat is indeed different for every child. While some kids love bananas, yours do not. Well, if she’s eating other fruits and vegetables, you will have to settle for those right now. You can probably try introducing banana to her diet again when she’s older.

  5. All these sound like very good tips! My children eat vegetables, even raw vegetables when they were young, but when they grew older, they started to become more picky. They still eat some vegetables, but there are still many vegetables that they don’t eat. So I always hide the vegetable inside other food and hopefully they don’t find it. I also blend smoothies with fruits and a little vegetables, so they don’t realize it. Making vegetable cookies is a very good idea. I am going to give it a try.

    Thanks for all these suggestions, I think these are not only good for toddlers, but for older kids too.

    1. Yes, the food suggestions here are also for older kids. I’m sure they would not notice either or even if they do, if they find it delicious, they will eat it 🙂

      I just find it weird that your kids love vegetables when they were younger but hate them now. It’s usually the opposite. The food suggestions here are great ways to re-introduce vegetables to your kids. I’m sure they will eventually love veggies again.

  6. Great tips! For some reason my little ones could always pick out the vegetables if they’re cooked with other foods, but they love raw chopped vegetables! Crudites it is then! I like the idea of incorporating vegetables into baked goods so I’m definitely going to give that a try!

    1. If you love to bake, you should definitely go for baked goodies. You can use a blender to reduce the veggies to unrecognizable pieces and mix them well with the bread dough. You can mix the ingredients well so they will not recognize the veggies. All they’ll see are cakes or cupcakes/muffins.

  7. Feeding children when it is time for them to get their solid food is a problem that a mother faces, the world over.
    The smoothie idea is a good one as also the camouflage that you are talking about cutting the food into tiny bits mixing with other food items they like and so on.
    There was an Ad here for a juice manufacturing company where the mother was putting pieces of vegetables and fruits in every meal that the child normally liked but the smart child would find out and so the juice idea solves the problem

    1. Yes, a juicer would be a great way to reduce the veggies into really tiny pieces. Add some other flavors to it that your child will love, and you will have very little problem when introducing veggies to a child’s solid diet. Make sure you taste it first so you’ll know exactly if you have it just right.

  8. We’re glad you find these tips helpful. Thank you, as well, for all the wonderful suggestions, guys!

    Jane Lee, your veggie lollies/ice cream lollies seem very tempting for a kid.

    To kataomoi, children seem to like anything fried so tempura is a great idea.

    And kaka135, you’re right! This is also for older kids who hate vegetables. Reminds me of something I’ve read about kids not able to find their shoes, but could find the tiniest bit of onion on their food, haha.

  9. You have presented really great ideas. My favorite ones are
    Give interesting names
    Creat dips
    I have tried some of these techniques (for my nephew and neice, my child is yet to have solid foods) For instance, I have blended vegetables with cereal and created an interesting mix.
    My sister has a great way to feed her toddlers. She tells interesting stories about the vegetables and her children are always interested in trying the vegetable.

    1. That’s a clever trick about creating a vegetable story. Kids love stories and since they’re always curious, you’ll have no problem when you ask them to try the vegetable in your story. Make sure you cook it in a way that is hard to resist and will keep them coming back for more.

      1. We introduced solid food to our baby when he was 6 months old. In the beginning, we fed him cereal (powder form) cooked in milk. When he began liking his new food, we tried different recipe, we cooked cereal with vegetables like spinach, cauliflower, potato and made a paste in the grinder and added salt to taste. Now we feed him finely chopped vegetables.

  10. This article got me cracking my ribs with laughter because it’s so true and I’m guilt of this act when I was small. I can still vividly remember my dislike for vegetables when still little, some of my little cousins still don’t fancy having it in their food or even caring to eat it as well.

    The idea of blending the veges into pasta sauce is a better one compared to chopping it into small bits. The over curious toddlers still won’t appreciate seeing the green particles in their food. I also think that hiding the vegetables inside other food would do the trick very well.

  11. I remember hating to eat vegetables when I was a kid just like every normal kid. Now I dont even undersrand why I hate those vegetables. They seem to be very healthy now.

    Good article by the way. Those are great tips on the ways to disguise and force in vegetables to your refusing kids. i wish my parents had this tactics when i was growing up.

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