25 answers

Ideas on How to Hide Vegetables Please!

I have two boys - ages 5 and 3. They are somewhat picky eaters. They love their carbs and will eat some fruits...but i need to get more veggies in their systems! They don't like to try new things so I'm looking for suggestions on how to hide veggies in other things so that they don't taste them too much...and also so they don't see them! Thanks in advance!

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Featured Answers

Try the cookbook "Deceptively Delicious" by Jessica Seinfeld. The whole cookbook is about hiding vegies in things kids will eat.

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I have to say after reading all the responses that I'm surprised that so many people have to "hide" veggies! I guess I'm blessed that my kids eat mostly only fruits and veggies. But they do get a very balanced diet.
My suggestion you would be to continually offer them the things they say they don't like. Try cooking them different ways and make trying everything on their plate a requirement for dinner time. I've had to offer the same foods over and over again until my children acquired a taste for them. I think "hiding" them would make them think that veggies aren't a part of a balanced diet and as they grow up they might not ever eat them. I could be wrong, but they are just my thoughts. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

You can put half an avocado in a berry smoothie and no one will be wiser (I usually use a banana, avocado, blueberries and soymilk - freeze any leftovers in popsicle molds for a treat for later.
Peeled grated zucchini can also be added to cheese sauce for macaroni and cheese, in oatmeal (it really tastes good!), in meatballs or in our house tuna fish balls.

Grated veggies can be made into veggie pancakes and served with ketchup with flaxseed oil mixed in for extra omega 3 - use heart shaped pancake molds for more fun.

Hi L.....

You can hide spinach, zucchini, and carrots in just about anything. Pasta sauces, meatloaf, lasagna, enchiladas/tacos, soups, smoothies, etc. Shred the zucchini/carrots and they'll mix into anything. Frozen chopped spinach (drained) is easy to mix into anything.

Also, you can puree the veggie and mix into mashed potatoes....makes them colorful, and therefore, way cool!

Try the cookbook "Deceptively Delicious" by Jessica Seinfeld. The whole cookbook is about hiding vegies in things kids will eat.

Deceptively Delicious is a knock off. The ORIGINAL book on hiding veggies is Sneaky Chef by Missy Chase Lapine and I have used it successfully on my daughter AND her friends! The only time it hasn't worked is when I served it to adults - the carrots/sweet potato mixture in some foods makes the food "sweeter" so my hubby caught on, but ate it anyway. Great ideas!! HIGHLY Recommended!!!!

my son loves mac & cheese so i puree any veggie i can think of and add it to that. winter squash seems to be the favorite!

hide it in spagetti sauce, pizza sauce, banana bread, mac and cheese, almost anything that you cook that has a sauce or batter you can get away with putting a veggie in there and its masked. i also have the book by jessica seinfield and another one called the sneaky chef by missy chase lapine. hope this works.

Hi, L.!
Check out the book "Deceptively Delicious" by Jessica Seinfeld. I think it's exactly what you're looking for. Your kids will never even realize it when there's cauliflower and squash in their mac and cheese. :)

Good luck!

I just made on Halloween Rachel Ray's Harvest Moon Macaroni and Cheese. It has butternut squash in it, so it makes the noodles orange, like the infamous Kraft variety. My little 3 year old boy, who loves mac and cheese, ate it right up, unaware of the veggie content. He kinda has a strangely sophisticated palate for mac and cheese, though -- he also fights with me over the Three Cheese Penne and Chicken at Applebees. : )

You can find the recipe on the Foot Network site. The recipe calls for frozen butternut squash, which I've never been able to find, so I just roasted one (cut it in half, scoop out the strings and seeds, put face down in a lasagna dish with some water, then bake at 450 degrees for 40 minutes, scoop out the flesh when it cools down and smoosh it up or puree it.) I roasted the squash ahead of time, so I didn't have to do that step. It was very good.

I do find that if you finely chop or puree stuff, it is hard for them to detect. Some people will buy baby food veggies and add it to different dishes (Spaghetti sauce is one of those easy ones.)

Another thing I find is that they are more willing to eat the veggies (3 and 4 year old) when they are hungry. Put a plate of cut veggies on the table with the ranch dressing if they are bugging you while you are cooking dinner and tell them they can munch on that. I also like to eat frozen peas and corn. (Don't know why) so I'll just put some in a bowl and they will munch on that. Serve the veggies first, and they are more likely to eat them.

Muffins are easy enough things to sneak veggies into, and there are lots of great recipes out there for healthy versions of those, also cookies. Replace oil with equal parts applesauce, (or half, if you want to try it) and replace at least a half cup of white flour with wheat, and you are getting a more nutritious treat for them.

I also give my kids vitamins, because our food isn't as nutritious as it once was.

jessica seinfelds book is called deceptively delicious. its awesome. i actually saw one at ollies discount store yesterday and was kicking myself for paying full price 2 years ago. but its totally worth it. good luck!

Hi L.,

Here is a link for a great meatloaf recipe with carrots in it. (Emeril on GMA.)


I do think overall it is best to teach kids to eat the veggies without hiding them though. You can try cheese sauce on broccoli, butter, brown sugar sauteed with carrots, sweet potatoes, whatever they might like. I always use the rule that you have to eat as many bites as you are old. So my four year old has to eat four bites of his veg, and my 7 year old eats 7! Actually the 7 year old doesn't count anymore! He just eats them. Best of luck, if you teach them to eat a little, they will grow out of this issue!

check out the cookbook deceptively delicious, its a cookbook devoted entirely to hiding nutrition in your kids food. its filled with tons of great recipes.

I would still try and give them the veggies without hiding them. (even if it is raw and dipped in ranch) If you start early enough, they will eat them. My kids have a few they will eat like broccoli, green beens...and 2 of my 4 eat asparagus! They love to snack on raw carrots. I am afraid that if you always hide them they will never eat them by themselves. What will they do when they are older or at restaurants? Calling the broccoli trees helped my youngest think it was cute...

Well, I don't hide them, but my 1 and 3 year olds will eat just about anything if it can be dipped in Ranch dressing. Our pediatrician actually suggested this. Hope it helps.

Hi L.,

Check out Oprah.com. She had a show on a few months ago with a woman who created a cookbook with that exact mission in mind - hide veggies in good tasting food so kids get the nutrients they need.

I cannot remember her name, but if you search Oprah's site, I am sure you will find it.

She had some EXCELLENT ideas.

Good luck,

I have this great cookbook called " Deceptively Delicious" by Jessica Seinfeld. Veggie purees are added to kid friendly recipes. She has a good tip to serve veggies while you are making dinner, serve the protein next and then the carb last. Good luck!

Shred carrots to add to meatloaf, carrots are sweet anyway and will not ruin the taste of the meat itself! Also, add cauliflower to mashed potatoes (try half and half). If it goes well, try mashed cauliflower only and see if they like it. Add some butter to them if necessary. No one needs to know it's not potatoes!
Sweet potatoes are also a good alternative as they are better for you than regular potatoes. A little brown sugar and maybe they'll go for it!
You can puree pretty much anything for sauces and things like that, and add pureed veggies to stews and ground meats. Good luck! :)

I cannot remember the name of the book, but its written by Jerry Seinfeld's wife and it has tons of recipes that weave in (unbeknownst to the kids) vegies and good stuff. Check it out on line.

First examine the foods that they love to eat. If they like pasta, then maybe making Chicken Alfredo and adding small chunks of brocolli wouldn't hurt any.I'm really not aware of way to HIDE veggies. Maybe an award sytem would help,for example if they eat all of their vegetables then they get to stay up and play for an extra ten minutes or maybe a fruit snack. I hope this helps and I wish you the best of luck!


Hi L.! Okay so I'm not dealing with this personally, but my sister-in-law has the most pickiest 4 year old son. He loves his sweets, but getting anything healthy into him is a challenge. Anyway I heard aboutthis book and already bought it for her for Christmas. It's called "deceptively delicious" by jessica Seinfeld (yes Jerry's wife...he actually adds some commentary to it for some good humor!) The book has tons of recipes with ways to sneak in veggies. There was even a recipe for chocolate brownies with carrots and spinach! Check it out!

VEGGIE BURGERS!! At their age they will believe they are the real thing!

One thing I do is hide pureed veggies in spaghetti sauce, hamburgers, meatballs, soup broth, breading for chicken, etc. I used baby food when I had that on hand. If fruits are an issue smoothies can be a fun way to present them - add to yogurt, milk, etc. The Deceptively Ddelicious cookbook has a ton of ideas for hiding foods within other foods.

Have you tried dips - salad dressings, yogurt, ketchup, bbq, cheese, applesauce, etc? My kids love to try out new concoctions. Even if it doesn't sound appetizing to you it might just do the trick for them.

I'm lucky, my son eats EVERYTHING! but one thing I do just because we like it is to put the green peppers in the blender & add to the meat for stuffed peppers. Also, kids may eat more veggie snacks if they can dip into ranch or other dressings.
Also--check out the fruit juices which have veggies--V8 Fusion, Healthy Harvest (Juicy juice, I think).

The Sneaky Chef is a great book that tells you how to make purees of things and mix them in anything from boxed mac and cheese to chocolate chip cookies. And the recipes are family friendly so even you and your hubby will enjoy them :)

when you make spaghetti which most kids like you could puree the veggies and put them in the sauce when you make it. If they like shakes or smoothies make one and put different fruits and veggies in it.

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