Feeding a crew of picky eaters? We feel your pain, and we're here to help! These hidden veggie recipes will have the kids begging for more. And even better? Your secret is safe with us. Shhh!

bowl of zucchini noodles with sauce, from Shelf Cooking

Some kids will eat anything we put on their plates. Others? Yeah, not so much. Do you have a family member who turns their nose up at the sight of anything green? It's pretty frustrating, but we've got some solutions!

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No more dinnertime fights about veggies in your house! We've got some genius hacks to share. These hidden veggie recipes make it SO much easier to get your kids (or your hubs) to eat their vegetables. Here we go, you guys!


chopping veggies to hide in food, from Shelf Cooking

It's time for a top-secret mission! Your challenge, should you chose to accept, is to sneak a healthy dose of veggies into your kids' diets. Tricky? A little. Impossible? Never! Here are a few easy ways to incorporate veggies into some of your favorite kid-friendly recipes:

  • Puree Them – We love to puree a few veggies in the blender and add them to all sorts of dishes! For one thing, vegetable purees boost the nutritional value of dishes. For another? They're a great way to make your food moister! Pop purees in baked goods, sauces, smoothies, soups, or casseroles. Your kids won't even notice.
  • Shred Them – Grab the grater and get to shredding, friends! We've been known to hide shredded carrots in muffins, but you can hide shredded veggies in all sorts of foods. With the right sauces and proteins, you can keep them disguised.
  • Finely Chop & Sautee – We use this hack all the time to make our meat go a little further! Finely chop and sautee some mushrooms, zucchini, and carrots and add them to your ground beef on the next Taco Tuesday. Your kids will be so busy devouring their tacos to even know you hid veggies in the meat.
  • Spiralize – This one is just plain fun! Turn your veggies into noodles or curly fries. You can grab a spiralizer on Amazon for less than 30 bucks!

Okay, are you ready to put these tips into practice with a few fun and delicious recipes? To kick things off, we've got three ideas for hiding veggies in snack foods!


homemade fruit leathers with hidden veggies, from Shelf Cooking

Tired of feeding your kids chips and cookies every day after school? No mom-shaming here! Just a few helpful tips if you need them. Here are three delicious, homemade snacks to try:

  • Banana & Zucchini Muffins – Have you tried our banana bread from Fun Cheap or Free yet? Here are two modifications to try: make them into muffins and add 1/4 cup of shredded zucchini (be sure to wring out the water!). Fruit + veggies, for the win.
  • Smoothies – Our kids want no part of green smoothies, but we often sneak carrots or beets into red smoothies with no issues! Grab our freezer smoothie pack recipes and go to town.
  • Fruit Leather – Here's the ultimate healthy snack, and it's so much cheaper than buying fruit rollups at the store! Make our homemade fruit leathers, and toss in some veggies for good measure. Beets are easy to disguise and help add some nice color!

There you have it! Some super easy and covertly healthy after school snacks. These are great on a road trip, too! Now it's time to talk about the most important meal of the day. Veggies at breakfast? Heck yes!


making breakfast burritos with veggies, from Shelf Cooking

Yes, you CAN serve veggies at breakfast, too. It's pretty simple with one of these ideas:

  • Carrot Pancakes – Say what?! Carrot cake is a thing, so why not try carrot pancakes? Add some apples for good measure. Try this healthy pancake recipe from Yummy Toddler Food.
  • Egg Muffin Cups – Toss in some cheese, ground beef, and sneak in a few veggies. These egg muffin cups are a huge hit with kids! Add some broccoli, peas, or peppers.
  • Breakfast Burritos – Hide some peppers, broccoli, or cauliflower in these breakfast burritos, and serve them with a side of guacamole. Putting ground beef in yours? You can mix in some beans and finely chopped veggies to stretch that meat and amp up the nutritional value.

Spend 30 minutes next weekend making a batch of egg muffin cups and breakfast burritos, and you'll have quick, easy, and healthy options to last a week. No processed breakfasts necessary! Ready for a few dinner ideas, now?


making cauliflower rice in food processor, from Shelf Cooking

Stop fighting, bargaining, and begging your kids to eat that side of veggies at dinnertime. Looking for some veggie-filled main dishes to try? Here are some hacks:

  • Cauliflower Fried Rice – You can buy riced cauliflower or make your own super affordably! Just use a grater or food processor.
  • Meatballs – The next time you make spaghetti and meatballs, try adding some finely chopped or shredded veggies to your meat mix. Mushrooms, peppers, or zucchini are a great place to start! Looking for an extra dose of goodness? Use veggie noodles!
  • Cauliflower Macaroni & Cheese – Chop or puree a small head of cauliflower and mix it into this delicious macaroni and cheese. It pretty much becomes invisible in all that cheese!
  • Butternut Squash Ravioli – Speaking of cheese, mix some pureed butternut squash and some ricotta cheese and make your own veggie-filled ravioli. It's SO good. The grownups will love this one, too.

Yum, right?! We're not kids, but we'd eat those, too!

Now that you have ten easy ideas to try, see if you can think up some more hidden veggie recipes. Grate, shred, sautee, or puree, and see what works!

What's your favorite way to hide veggies in other foods? Share your best hacks in our Shelf Cooking Facebook group, or drop a comment below!

learn how to hide veggies with these kid-friendly recipes, from Shelf Cooking

Looking for more kid-friendly foods and meal ideas?

Keep calm and carrot on!