50+ Simple Ways to Sneak Fruits & Vegetables Into Kid Favorites


I’m a big believer in offering my kids fruits and vegetables at every meal. Research has definitively shown that if you keep offering and keep offering, children will eventually try the produce you put in front of them. I know from experience! It does work, but it takes months and sometimes years of diligence.

My 5-year-old, for instance, has HATED fruit his whole life. He’ll eat veggies but hates fruit (huh?). A month ago he came to me and said, “Mom, I think I’d like to try an apple.” (I almost cried, but instead remained calm and cool so as not to scare him off.) He’s eaten an apple almost every day since!

While we wait for the “lightbulb” moment when our kids will try and like fruit and vegetables, though, how can we get that much needed nutrition into them regularly?

One of the ways I ensure my kiddos, who can certainly be picky at times, are getting enough produce is to sneak extra fruits and veggies into just about every meal. It’s been a fun challenge for me over the years to figure out all the ways I can do this. In fact, my first blog was born out of the concept.

I’m excited to share with you today 50 ways to sneak fruits and vegetables into your kids’ favorite foods.

Use pumpkin, sweet potato, or butternut squash puree these ways…

1. Stir 2-4 tablespoons of puree into Annie’s Whole Wheat Mac and Cheese sauce. I often even blend the sauce in the blender and then pour it over the Mac, so there is no visible chunks. This makes for a nice yellow sauce that your kids will love.

2. Serve a Tropical Pumpkin Smoothie.

3. Make Sweet Potato French Toast.

Sweet Potato French Toast Recipe

4. Make Pumpkin French Toast.

Pumpkin Whole Wheat French Toast Recipe

5. Add any of these purees into marinara sauce, and blend if needed. Start with a small amount and taste as you go, so you don’t add too much.

6. Make homemade Mac and Cheese with Sneaky Sweet Potato.

7. Spread a little puree on a PB & J sandwich before adding peanut butter.

8. Spread a little puree on grilled cheese sandwich before adding the cheese.

9. Make Sweet Potato Biscuits.

10. Make Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins. These are the most popular recipe on our site!

11. Make Chocolate Sweet Potato Banana Bread.

12. Make Coconut Flour Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins (grain-free).

Coconut Flour Pumpkin Chocolate Chips Muffins

13. Use any of these purees in 5 Minute Chocolate Oatmeal.

14. Make Whole Wheat Chocolate Pumpkin Waffles.

15. Make Blueberry Pumpkin Baked French Toast.

16. Make Brownie Baked Oatmeal.

Healthy Baked Brownie Oatmeal Recipe

17. Make Pumpkin Protein Waffles.

pumpkin waffles

18. Make Seriously Sweet Potato Pancakes.

19. Make Whole Wheat Pumpkin Pancakes.

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Pancakes

20. Add some puree into applesauce. Stir in cinnamon and your kids will never know.

Sneak in spinach or other greens these ways…

21. Make a Green Smoothie.

Green Smoothie Recipe

22. Chop spinach finely and add to cheesy scrambled eggs, an omelet or a frittata. My kids love it this way, especially if they get to help do the chopping! An easy way to do this is by making a super simple Oven Omelet (below).

23. Sprinkle finely chopped spinach or basil on top of pizza before or after baking. Or try making a Pizza Stromboli and adding whatever veggies you think your kids would like.

24. Make Spinach Lasagna Roll-Ups.

25. Make Baked Cheesy Spinach Tortellini.

Baked Cheesy Spinach Tortellini

26. Add a few small spinach or lettuce leaves to a Roll-Up. Here are some roll-up ideas. Chop finely and mix in with the cream cheese or hummus, if needed.

27. Using the blender, add in some spinach leaves to marinara sauce. If you don’t overdo it, the color and taste won’t change.

28. Make Mini Chicken Burgers with Herbs.

Use shredded zucchini in these ways…

29. Make Zucchini Flaxseed Muffins.

Zucchini Flaxseed Muffins

30. Make these healthy Zucchini Muffins.

Zucchini bread recipe

31. Make Chocolate Zucchini Waffles.

Chocolate Waffle recipe with zucchini

32. Make easy Whole Grain Zucchini Pancakes.

whole grain zucchini pancakes recipe

Use fruit (like bananas, blueberries, etc) in these ways…

33. Make Baked Oatmeal with Fruit

34. Make Banana Blueberry Oatmeal Bread.

Banana-blueberry bread recipe

35. Make Banana Brownie Waffles.

36. Make Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins.

37. Make Banana Pumpkin Bread or Muffins.

38. Make Breakfast Cookies.

39. Make Chicken and Apple Bites.

40. Make Chocolate Banana Muffins.

41. Make Copabanana Cake for breakfast, snack or dessert.

42. Make Peanut Butter and Banana Baked Oatmeal for breakfast.

43. Make Healthy Strawberry Shortcake for breakfast or dessert.

Healthy Strawberry Shortcake Recipe

44. Make a Super Food Smoothie.

Super Food Smoothie Recipe

Use avocado this way…

45. Make Chocomole (chocolate pudding make from avocado!).

46. Throw half of an avocado into a fruit smoothie. It doesn’t affect that taste at all and provides a creamy consistency.

Hide onions, carrots, and other veggies in…

47. Make Super Sloppy Joes. These are delish!

48. Make Meatball Subs (filled with Grassfed Beef and Veggie Meatballs). This is our favorite sandwich!

Healthier Meatball Sub Recipe

49. Make Fried Rice with Sweet Soy Sauce. With the sweet sauce, it makes the veggies go down a lot smoother.

50. Make Mini Crab Cakes.

51. Make Slow Cooker Pot Roast and cut back on the seasoning so it’s not too spicy for the kids.

Find this article helpful? Please share on Facebook or Pinterest so other parents can benefit as well!


Pin It

Like this post? Join thousands of other subscribers and get our weekly newsletter.


  1. Pingback: 50 Easy Ways to Sneak Vegetables & Fruits Into Kid Favorite Foods

  2. Shonda says

    Thanks for all these new ideas and recipes! Yummy!

  3. Pingback: Top Posts of 2012

  4. Pingback: Instant Pumpkin Chocolate Oat Bars

  5. Pingback: Easy Whole Grain Zucchini Pancakes

  6. Pingback: 3 Key Ways To Save Money and Eat Healthier

  7. Pingback: A Quick Side: Sweet Potato Biscuits

  8. Pingback: My Journey Towards Healthier Living - Thriving Home

  9. Pingback: Apple Cinnamon French Toast - Thriving Home

  10. Wendy says

    I put frozen cauliflower in when boiling potatoes for mashed potatoes and no one even notices!

    • Rachel says

      I love that idea, Wendy!

  11. Pingback: Guest Post: Six Healthy & Kid-Friendly Make-Ahead Meals | Make Ahead Meals For Busy Moms

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Posted in Eat Well, Create Well, Kid Projects, Live Well, Live Well, Natural Living, Parent Well, Eat Well, Recipe, Uncategorized