Mission Possible: A Guide To Getting Kids To Love Their Veggies

Mission Possible: A Guide To Getting Kids To Love Their Veggies

Jun 28, 2023Jonathan Englert
Ask any parent and they’ll tell you that getting their kids to eat veggies is like… well, we can’t think of a metaphor. It’s just that difficult. 
And yet there are ways to do it! There are so many effective techniques to “hide” vegetables in food that you’ll be surprised just how many veggies you can add to your kid’s meals this way. 
To help you get started, we’ve drawn up a complete guide of tips and tricks that can help you not only get the veggies into your kid’s meals, but make sure they love every mouthful, too!

Veggies don’t need to be a chore

Kids often hate vegetables, and helping them to develop a palette for good and wholesome foods is one of the greatest challenges for parents. If this describes you, don’t worry! You are by no means alone. When kids are inundated with sugary and fatty food options and marketing, it can feel like the cards are stacked against you. 
However, with a little creativity and ingenuity, you’ll be able to get all the veggies into your kid’s diets… without them ever being aware!

Choosing The Right Vegetables

It is certainly easier to hide some vegetables in cooking than others. Additionally, there are some vegetables that kids are going to be more inclined to try and enjoy, due to familiarity with the sweetness of the vegetable itself. 

Eight of the best vegetables to keep in the fridge for kids are:

  1. Carrots: Kids generally enjoy carrots most of all, thanks to their natural sweetness, their crunchiness, and the ease with which they can be worked into just about every meal. They are rich in beta-carotene, which is beneficial for eye health (hence the joke about kids that eat lots of carrots being able to see in the dark). 

  2. Sweet Potatoes: Sweet potatoes are another vegetable that appeals to kids with their natural sweetness. They’re also incredibly versatile, so it’s relatively easy to find a way to prepare sweet potatoes that every child will enjoy. Sweet potatoes can be baked, mashed, or made into fries or chips, and no kid’s going to say “no” to chips.

  3. Peas: Peas have a slightly sweet taste and a fun pop when bitten into, making them an excellent choice for kids. They’re also small and can be easily worked into stews, soups and sauces in a way that it’s easy for kids to pick them out.

  4. Capsicum: Capsicum come in a variety of vibrant colours, and that visual tends to be appealing to kids. They have a mild and slightly sweet flavour, making them more palatable for young taste buds. 

  5. Zucchini: You might struggle to get a child to eat a zucchini by itself, but it is a versatile vegetable that can be very easily hidden or incorporated into various dishes. Because it has a mild taste and soft texture, the kid’s not even going to realise that they’re eating a vegetable. 

  6. Cucumbers: Cucumbers have a refreshing and crunchy texture that appeals to kids. They are hydrating and low in calories, making them an ideal choice for snacks. Cucumbers can be sliced and added to many kid’s favourite meal types, such as sandwiches, salads, or enjoyed with a dip.

  7. Spinach: Spinach has a reputation for being very child-unfriendly due to its bitter taste, but it’s an important vegetable because it’s so rich in iron, calcium, and other critical nutrients. Thankfully, there are solutions. It works when blended into smoothies, added to omelettes, and worked into pasta sauces or hidden under the cheese in pizzas. 

  8. Corn: Corn is a naturally sweet vegetable that many kids enjoy. It can be served on the cob, added to salads, or used in casseroles and soups. It’s also possible to add all kinds of seasonings to it, with everything from soy sauce to butter taking this essential vegetable and turning it into a treat and ideal snack.

Creative Cooking Techniques To Hide Veggies

The main thing to remember when you’re trying to hide veggies in food is that the taste and texture of the dishes must remain enjoyable for kids. You can gradually increase the amount of hidden vegetables over time, allowing children to adjust to the flavours without feeling overwhelmed. Before you know it, they’ll be comfortable eating the veggies without them needing to be hidden at all!


Here are seven common techniques that, depending on the vegetable, can hide it within the dish completely:

Purees and Sauces:

  • Puree vegetables like carrots, sweet potatoes, or cauliflower and add them to sauces, such as pasta sauce or pizza sauce.

  • Blend cooked vegetables like broccoli or spinach into a smooth puree and mix it into macaroni and cheese or mashed potatoes.

Grating and Shredding:

  • Grate vegetables like zucchini or carrots and mix them into meatballs, meatloaf, or burger patties.

  • Shred vegetables like cabbage or kale and add them to wraps, quesadillas, or stir-fries.

Veggie Pizzas and Wraps:

  • Top pizzas with a variety of finely chopped vegetables such as capsicum, mushrooms, onions, zucchini, and spinach. Kids can enjoy the flavours without noticing the extra veggies.

  • Roll up grated or finely chopped vegetables like carrots, cucumbers, and lettuce in wraps or tortillas with their favourite fillings.

Blending into Smoothies:

  • Sneak leafy greens like spinach or kale into fruit smoothies. The sweetness of the fruits masks the taste of the vegetables.

  • Add a handful of frozen cauliflower or steamed butternut squash to smoothies for added creaminess and nutrients.

  • Zucchini, cucumber and celery have pretty neutral flavours. These go great in berry or mango smoothies.

Vegetable Fritters and Pancakes:

  • Make vegetable fritters using grated zucchini, carrots, peas, corn, or sweet potatoes. Serve them as a snack or a side dish.

  • Add pureed vegetables like pumpkin or squash to pancake batter. Kids will enjoy the fluffy pancakes without suspecting the hidden veggies.

Hidden Veggie Soups and Stews:

  • Puree vegetables like carrots, celery, and tomatoes into soups and stews for added nutrition. The smooth texture blends seamlessly with other ingredients.

  • Finely chop vegetables like capsicums, mushrooms, or onions and incorporate them into hearty soups or chilli.

Baking with Vegetables:

  • Incorporate pureed vegetables like pumpkin, sweet potato, or beets into muffin or bread batter for a nutritious twist.

  • Add grated zucchini or shredded carrots to cakes, brownies, or cookies. The moisture from the veggies can enhance the texture.

One final trick to keep in mind is this: Kids tend to be more hesitant with the unknown, and a strange flavour can quickly be interpreted as a “bad” flavour. One way around this is to remove the unknown! If you have your child help with grocery shopping and food preparation, they are likely to want to try the food in the meal. That curiosity will have them be less inclined to be resistant to the flavours and texture they experience.

Mastering The Art of Presentation 

Children are more likely to try new foods if they look appealing. This is why the food marketing that targets children is all about the designs. Aesthetics matter with kids. Thankfully, there’s a lot you can do to “hide” veggies in plain sight by making them look like things that kids want to eat.


Fun Shapes and Designs:

  • Use cookie cutters or vegetable cutters to create fun shapes from the vegetables. For example, you can cut cucumber slices into star shapes or use a heart-shaped cutter.

  • Arrange sliced vegetables like capsicum, carrots, and cucumbers in a colourful and eye-catching manner on a platter. The vibrant colours and unique shapes will make the vegetables more appealing.

Colourful Ingredients:

  • Incorporate a variety of colourful vegetables into your dishes. For example, add red, yellow, and green capsicum to a stir-fry or include different coloured cherry tomatoes in a salad.

  • Use a mix of colourful fruits and vegetables when making smoothies or fruit salads. The visual appeal of the vibrant colours will make the dishes more enticing.

Interactive Meals:

  • Create interactive meals where children can assemble their own food. For example, set up a "build-your-own" taco or pizza station with a variety of vegetable toppings. Kids can choose and add their favourite vegetables, making the process more engaging and enjoyable.

Garnishes and Decorations:

  • Use edible garnishes like fresh herbs, sliced fruits, or grated cheese to add visual interest to the dishes. A sprinkle of chopped parsley or a few slices of strawberries can make a simple dish look more appealing.

  • Create decorative patterns or designs on plates using sauces or dips. For example, you can draw a smiley face with ketchup or create swirls with yogurt sauce.

Serve in Colourful Dishes:

  • Use brightly coloured plates, bowls, or utensils to serve the hidden vegetable meals. The vibrant colours can make the food look more appetizing and appealing to kids.

  • Experiment with different plating techniques to make the dishes visually appealing. For example, arrange sliced vegetables in the shape of a rainbow or create a flower-shaped arrangement using different vegetable pieces.

Getting kids to eat healthily is one of the most important challenges for any parent. The food habits they form as kids will inform the way they eat as adults, so getting them on the right path early is essential. 

It doesn’t need to be that hard, however! “Hiding” vegetables inside food isn’t even about deception. It is, simply, a way of giving the child a chance to learn how to enjoy good produce in a steady way, rather than leaping into the deep end right away.

One of the great things about the Good & Fugly veggie boxes is that each week you’ll have a selection of excellent and very “hidable” produce delivered directly to your door. It’s the perfect opportunity to get your kids started on a healthy approach to food and life.

Jump on and order a box today!

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