Anyone with a toddler knows that they can go through some pretty picky phases when it comes to food. A common phase is refusing to even touch their veggies.
Thankfully, there are some easy tricks to make sure your kiddo is getting all the nutrients they need! Here are ten sneaky ways to get your toddler to eat their veggies.
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Sneak it into a smoothie. This suggestion is super easy! If you have a good blender, like a Ninja, you can literally toss anything you want in there and blend it up. If you have a standard blender, you’ll need to chop things like spinach or kale into very small pieces. You may need to cook certain veggies, like carrots, before blending. But it’s a very easy (and sneaky!) way to get pretty much any vegetable that you want into your picky toddler!
Blend it into spaghetti sauce. Vegetables like cooked carrots, zucchini, celery, or sweet potatoes blend really well into sauces! You can do this with spaghetti, ravioli, or any other pasta dish your child loves!
Bake it into muffins or pancakes. If your child is extremely picky you may have to cook and blend your veggies up before mixing them into baked goods. Otherwise, simply chop the veggies up small, mix them in, and bake!
Buy veggie/fruit pouches for toddlers. Toddler fruit and vegetable pouches can be a great way to get your kiddo to eat some veggies… but only if you are buying pouches that actually contain a significant amount of veggies! Some manufacturers try to trick consumers, for example, by labeling a pouch as “Apple and Kale” when in reality it may be 99% applesauce. Look for brands that specifically state they contain a serving of veggies – some brands even show you on the back of each pouch exactly what is inside and how much!
Make veggies fun. Try cutting veggies into fun shapes or faces! Making veggies seem like a “fun” thing can encourage hesitant kids to give them a try!
Add butter or cheese… at first. Adding something that your child likes, such as butter or cheese, can be a great way to get them to simply try a vegetable that they are refusing. Over time, you can start to cut back until (hopefully!) they are happily munching on the veggies without any of the extras!
Try a veggie dip. If your kiddos are anything like mine, they love to dip things! Creamy dips like spinach artichoke dip or a cheesy dip with veggies blended in might be just what your kiddo needs to get those veggies in. Or try some guacamole – while avocados are technically a fruit they are also a superfood and contain tons of the same nutrients that toddlers can get from many vegetables.
Blend or mix them into a favorite food. Does your kiddo love macaroni and cheese? Try making a homemade version and blending veggies into a cheesy sauce! Or let your toddler think they’re getting a simple “treat” by making this healthy and yummy Avocado Chocolate Mousse by Chocolate Covered Katie!
Buy pasta made from vegetables. There are a lot of different pasta options on the market today that are actually made with vegetables, like spinach, zucchini, broccoli, and kale! Some of them even provide a full serving of veggies per portion!
Try veggie nuggets or veggie patties. While some vegetarian and vegan products can be extremely processed and unhealthy, some are purely made from real veggies and whole foods. These can be an excellent option for picky kiddos who think they are getting “chicken nuggets” or a “hamburger.”
It’s common for toddlers to go through a phase of refusing to eat their veggies. It can be very worrying for moms who wonder if their kids are getting all of the nutrients they need.
While it’s important to still continue offering veggies “as is” to encourage toddlers to eventually accept them, it’s also important to make sure they are still getting what they need in the present moment. The tricks above can help!