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50+ Ways to Sneak Vegetables and Fruits into Kid Favorites

By Rachel Tiemeyer

healthy recipes kids like

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.

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, our cookbook called From Freezer to Table, is full of over 75 rigorously tested, whole foods freezer meals that are all family-friendly. We even put an icon by the recipes that have “Sneaky Nutrition” in them.

Learn to prepare delicious, healthy, stress-free meals for the family that go from freezer to table in no time!

The best part is that you can make these meals ahead and freeze them to have on hand later. Here are some of my kids’ favorites from the book that are chock full of nutrition…

Super Stuffed Potatoes from "From Freezer to Table" Cookbook (copyrighted)

Tomato Bisque from "From Freezer to Table" Cookbook. Order at FromFreezerToTable.com today.Cheddar Chive Burgers from "From Freezer to Table" Cookbook. Order at FromFreezerToTable.com today.

You can read more about and snag a copy of our beautiful cookbook here. Your family will love it!

Now, I’m excited to share with you 50 more ways to sneak fruits and vegetables into kid favorites. Most of these can be made ahead and frozen for later, too!

 50+ Recipes That Sneak Fruits and Vegetables Into Kid Favorites

1. Blueberry Avocado MuffinsBlueberry Avocado Muffins with Lemon Streusel Topping

2. Herbalicious Chicken Bites

chicken meatballs with honey mustard sauce

3. Sweet Potato French Toast

healthy sweet potato french toast

4. Pumpkin French Toast

5. Add pumpkin puree or finely chopped spinach our homemade Slow Cooker Marinara.

slow cooker marinara sauce recipe

6. Pumpkin Banana Bread or Muffins

7. Creamy Autumn Chowder

Autumn Chowder Soup recipe

8. Mac and Cheese with Sneaky Sweet Potato

A better mac and cheese with sneaky sweet potato

9. Sweet Potato Quick Biscuits

Sweet Potato Quick Biscuits

10. Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

11. Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Baked Oatmeal Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Baked Oatmeal is an easy and healthy breakfast or snack. It is a great family recipe and ideal for large groups!

12. Slow Cooker Easy Cheesy Mexican Chicken

Easy Cheesy Mexican Chicken - A delicious and healthy slow cooker recipe!

13. Cheddar Chive Egg Bites

egg muffins in a muffin tin

From Freezer to Table Cookbook

14. Whole Wheat Chocolate Pumpkin Waffles

15. Blueberry Pumpkin Baked French Toast

16. Dark Chocolate Banana Baked Oatmeal

This dark chocolate banana baked oatmeal is sure to be a crowd pleaser! With fresh ingredients and a rich, chocolatey taste, this dish pairs perfectly with fresh fruit. You won't even be able to taste the sneaky spinach!

17. Mini Meatloaf Muffins

Meatloaf Muffins on a plate

18. Cheesy Mashed Sweet Potatoes

These may be healthier than mashed potatoes, but these Cheesy Mashed Sweet Potatoes will have your family coming back for more! #realfood #freezermeal #delicious

19. Whole Wheat Pumpkin Pancakes

20. Mini Italian Burgers

21. Slow Cooker Spinach Lasagna

Slow Cooker Whole Wheat Spinach Lasagna

22. The Best Everyday Smoothie

The Best Everyday Smoothie Ever - Our family never gets tired of this delicious combination of juice, milk, fresh spinach, and tons of fruit.

23. Baked Chicken Fajitas

One of my favorite, family friendly dinners: Baked Chicken Fajita Recipe--Freezer Friendly.

24. Whole Wheat Calzones (add chopped spinach or whatever veggies your kids like)

These Freezer-Friendly Whole Wheat Calzones are perfect for a quick lunch or dinner. One of our favorite recipes ever!

25. Spinach Lasagna Roll-Ups

Spinach Lasagna Rolls are the perfect meal for large groups. With fresh and natural ingredients, it also makes a great freezer meal!

26. Baked Cheesy Spinach Tortellini

Baked Cheesy Spinach Tortellini

27. Cheeseburger Instant Pot Pasta

28. Chicken Pesto Pasta

29. Mini Chicken Burgers with Herbs

mini chicken burger recipe

30. Zucchini Flaxseed Muffins

31. Zucchini Chocolate Chip Breakfast Cookies

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Breakfast Cookies

32. Zucchini Pizza Crust

Zucchini Pizza Crust: Seriously, it's good! What a great way to sneak in veggies to your dinner too.

33. Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Squash (or Zucchini) Cake

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Squash Cake

34. Chocolate Zucchini Waffles

Chocolate Waffle recipe with zucchini

35. Whole Grain Zucchini Pancakes

36. Apple Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal

37. Fruit Pizza Roll-Ups

Fruit Pizza Roll-Ups recipe: An easy lunch for kids!

38. Banana Boat

The Banana Boat: The perfect after school snack!

39. Banana Bites

40. Flourless Blender Banana Muffins

Flourless Banana Muffin Recipe

41. Pesto Burgers

42. Fried Rice with Sweet Soy Sauce

This fried rice with sweet soy sauce recipe is AMAZING. It's packed with nutritious ingredients and serves as a delicious side dish. It's also surprisingly freezer friendly!

43. Chocolate Banana Pumpkin Muffins

These Whole Wheat Chocolate Banana Muffins are packed full of nutrition and flavor. Feel good about feeding your family these for a quick breakfast!

44. Chicken, Veggie, and Brown Rice Casserole

Chicken, Brown Rice, & Veggie Casserole

45. Peanut Butter and Banana Baked Oatmeal

Delicious and healthy! Make this baked oatmeal ahead of time for a warm and comforting breakfast the whole family will love. Double and freeze an extra one for later, too. #freezermeal #realfood

46. Whole Wheat Cinnamon Applesauce Bread

47. Power Breakfast Smoothie

48. Chocomole (chocolate pudding make from avocado!)

49. Meatballs with Sneaky Veggies

Delicious meatball recipe for either subs or to go on pasta. Not only are the meatballs super flavorful, but they are also packed with veggies! Make a freezer meal out of them by doubling the batch and freezing them (uncooked).

50. Super Sloppy Joes

Super Sloppy Joes - A much healthier and tastier version of the canned stuff!

51. Salmon and Sweet Potato Cakes

Looking for more healthy, kid-friendly meals? Try these 30+ Kid-Friendly Freezer Meals

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Chocolate Waffles {Freezer Meal}

By Rachel Tiemeyer

Here’s an easy breakfast idea that your family will love: freezer friendly Pumpkin Chocolate Waffles. They are a great way to sneak some nutrition into your breakfast. Make lots and freeze some for later!

whole wheat pumpkin waffle on a white plate

These are hands down my kids’ favorite waffles, aside from the very similar Double Chocolate Zucchini Waffles.  We not only eat them for breakfast but often as snacks by themselves.

Syrup pouring over a pumpkin chocolate waffle

One of the things I love about this Pumpkin Chocolate Waffle recipe, as well, is that they are 100% whole wheat but you absolutely cannot tell. They are also a sneaky way to get more vegetables in your kids.

Baby eating a pumpkin waffle

I will make the bold claim right now that you should double the batch and freeze some of them in a freezer bag for later. In fact, if you trust me, I included Freezer Meal instructions in the recipe (because you know how much I love freezer meal cooking).

Pumpkin chocolate waffle
Syrup pouring over a pumpkin chocolate waffle

Lastly, make it a game for your little ones to fill the waffles with fruit. I’d like to say this was my two year old’s idea…but it was actually my husband’s waffle.

Now go enjoy yourself some Pumpkin Chocolate Waffles!

Print

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Chocolate Waffles

  • Author: Thriving Home
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 4 minutes
  • Total Time: 19 minutes
  • Yield: 15 4-inch waffles or 6 large waffles 1x
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Waffle iron
  • Cuisine: American

Description

These pumpkin chocolate waffles are made with whole wheat flour and lots of sneaky nutrition. They’re soon to become your next family favorite. Freeze a batch to pull out for a weekday breakfast.


Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cup whole wheat or spelt flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder, sifted
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted (butter will work)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup pureed canned pumpkin
  • Optional: 1 cup dark chocolate chips (for especially decadent waffles!)

Instructions

  1. Mix dry ingredients (first six ingredients, through cocoa powder) in large bowl.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together brown sugar, melted coconut oil, eggs, milk, vanilla, pureed pumpkin.
  3. Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and whisk until just combined (do not over mix). (Optional: Stir in chocolate chips.)
  4. Cook according to waffle iron instructions. Mine takes about 3 1/2 minutes for each batch.

Notes

Freezer Meal Instructions: To Freeze: Place cooked and cooled waffles into a freezer bag with sheets of waxed paper separating the layers. To Prepare: When ready to eat, stick frozen waffles in the toaster on the defrost setting, and you’ve got a fast, healthy breakfast.

Pumpkin waffle on a plate with strawberries and blueberries

Want More Pumpkin Recipes?

With YEARS worth of content and recipes on Thriving Home, it can be easy to forget about some amazing pumpkin recipes that we have shared over the years. Here are our Top 10 Pumpkin Recipes that you simply must try!

Pumpkin Whole Wheat French Toast {Freezer Meal}

By Rachel Tiemeyer

Freezer Friendly Pumpkin Whole Wheat French Toast is such a nutritious and hearty way to start your day. Very simple to make and a breakfast that sneaks in some nutrition.

Oh! How I love pumpkin in the falland french toast all the time.  So does my family.  That’s why Pumpkin Whole Wheat French Toast was born.

Pumpkin Whole Wheat French Toast is such a nutritious and hearty way to start your day. And, like most of our recipes, it’s super easy to whip up. Plus, if you eat a breakfast like this one or one of these healthy breakfast ideas, science says you might just lose weight, too. Nice way to kick off fall, huh?

Freezer Friendly Pumpkin Whole Wheat French Toast is such a nutritious and hearty way to start your day. Very simple to make and a breakfast that sneaks in some nutrition.

Print

Pumpkin Whole Wheat French Toast {Freezer Meal}

  • Author: Thriving Home
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: French

Description

Whip up a bit of fall into your french toast batter and enjoy some extra nutrition at the same time. This recipe is a family favorite in our house!


Ingredients

  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup pureed pumpkin (canned or fresh)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon real vanilla
  • a pinch of salt
  • 8 bread slices (stale is fine)
  • Serving suggestion: butter and real maple syrup

Instructions

  1. Preheat a large pan or griddle over medium low heat.
  2. Whisk egg, milk, pumpkin, cinnamon, vanilla, and salt in a shallow dish.
  3. Grease the pan (I prefer organic butter or coconut oil). When a few water drops sizzle in the pan, it is hot enough to begin.
  4. Dip bread slices, one at a time, in the batter, turning them over to get them completely soaked. Give them a minute to really soak in the goodness!
  5. Cook the battered bread slices for about 2 minutes on each side. The french toast is done when both sides are golden brown and there is no more visible raw egg.
  6. Serve with butter and real maple syrup.

Notes

Freezer Meal Instructions:

To freeze:
Make french toast, let cool completely, and store in tightly sealed freezer bag or container.

To prepare:
Toast on the “defrost” setting until warmed through. Or toast on regular setting and microwave in 10 second increments to warm all the way through.

Blueberry Pumpkin Baked French Toast

By Rachel Tiemeyer

Blueberry Pumpkin Baked French Toast is a healthy breakfast recipe my kids and I go ga-ga over. 

Blueberry pumpkin baked french toast is a recipe your family will devour! With the added nutrition from the pumpkin, you can whip up a meal that is healthy and satisfying!

The inspiration recipe for this Blueberry Pumpkin French Toast was too white carb and sugar-laden for me.  So, I used whole wheat bread (just leftover heels and stale bread that I had stored in the freezer), added some pumpkin for extra nutrition, and cut back on the sugar amounts.  It’s delicious and freezes well before baking. 

Blueberry pumpkin baked french toast is a recipe your family will devour! With the added nutrition from the pumpkin, you can whip up a meal that is healthy and satisfying!

Another option with this Blueberry Pumpkin Baked French Toast is adding a crumble topping. I tried this out this morning, wowsers, it’s decadent and amazing. We didn’t even need syrup because it added just the right amount of sweetness.

Blueberry pumpkin baked french toast is a recipe your family will devour! With the added nutrition from the pumpkin, you can whip up a meal that is healthy and satisfying!

If you plan to make this into a freezer meal, simply follow all the instructions up until right before you bake it, and then wrap tightly and freeze.

Print

Blueberry Pumpkin Baked French Toast

  • Author: Thriving Home
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 18 servings 1x
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Blueberry pumpkin baked french toast is a recipe your family will devour! With the added nutrition from the pumpkin, you can whip up a meal that is healthy and satisfying!


Ingredients

For the Casserole:

  • 2 loaves French baguette, cut into 1” slices (not too crusty – 24 slices)
  • 8 eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • 3/4 cup firmly pack brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 23 cups fresh blueberries (Note: You can use frozen, but may need to bake longer and add a little less milk.)
  • ¼ cup butter
  • ¼ cup real maple syrup, plus more for serving

For the Crumble Topping (optional):

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (sub: whole wheat flour)
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick cold butter, cut into pieces

Instructions

Make It Now:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease one 9×13 inch or two 8×8 inch baking dishes with baking spray.
  2. Spread out the bread pieces in the greased pan(s).
  3. In large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, pumpkin, brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt.
  4. Pour evenly over bread and toss to coat completely. (Freezing instructions begin here.)
  5. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  6. Optional: In a small bowl, use a fork to combine all of the ingredients for the crumble topping until it’s a course crumble. Seal and place in the refrigerator until ready to bake the casserole.
  7. Just before baking, sprinkle blueberries (and optional crumble topping) on top.
  8. If you don’t use the crumble topping, then follow this step. In a small sauce pan or in a bowl in the microwave, heat butter with the maple syrup until melted. Drizzle over the berries.
  9. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until set. (Note: If using frozen blueberries, you may need to bake longer due to extra moisture.)
  10. Serve with more maple syrup, if desired.

Freeze For Later: Follow Steps 1-4. Wrap the casserole in a few layers of plastic wrap and foil. Freeze.

Prepare From Frozen: Let thaw in the fridge overnight. Bake uncovered as directed. You may have to cook it longer if partially frozen. Cover with foil if it starts to get too brown.

Want More Pumpkin Recipes?

With YEARS worth of content and recipes on Thriving Home, it can be easy to forget about some amazing pumpkin recipes that we have shared over the years. Here are our Top 10 Pumpkin Recipes that you simply must try!