Do you struggle to get your kids to eat enough vegetables? If so you need to check out these 35 vegetable recipes for kids. There are so many delicious veggie ideas here that even the pickiest of eaters will be tempted.
I’ve included a range of different types of recipes here. Many of them are from Sneaky Veg but you’ll find lots of vegetable recipes included from other bloggers. These are all designed to be vegetarian recipes for kids – but they’re not exclusively for children. It seems to me utterly sensible to cook one meal for the whole family so the aim is that the grown ups will be happy to eat these recipes as well. Many of these recipes include hidden vegetables – but not all.
I have come a long way since I started Sneaky Veg in 2013 and I believe that making vegetables “normal” is really important. I now serve unhidden vegetables with almost every meal to my children and let them see me eating – and enjoying – them. However, when you have a picky eater it’s hard not to worry about nutrition when your child doesn’t eat any of them. In fact even if you don’t have a picky eater it can be hard to know just how much fruit and vegetables your child should be eating.
So I do still hide vegetables sometimes – if you do this there’s no reason why you can’t still serve unhidden vegetables on the side as well. You’ll find vegetable recipes here that have been designed with picky eaters in mind.
Before we get to the recipes though I want to talk about some of the tried and tested ideas and methods I’ve used to encourage my kids to eat more vegetables.
How to get kids to eat more vegetables
- Encourage your kids to cook with you – chopping, grating, stirring, making a simple salad – these are all easy jobs kids can help with. Read more about why you should cook with your kids. If you find this too hard consider joining a cooking class. We went to one with Ceri Jones from Natural Kitchen Adventures last year and made kale crisps – they’re now a firm family favourite.
- Offer them as snacks – pre-chop some veggies in advance (or even better get the kids to do it themselves) and store them in tubs in the fridge. Next time your kids ask for a snack offer them some of the veggies. This is also a useful way to make sure you always include them in lunch boxes.
- Serve them regularly – I know exactly how hard it can be to keep on serving up vegetables when at best they get ignored and at worst the appearance of them on your child’s plate can cause a reaction something akin to World War Three breaking out. But keep on going. These days we tend to serve meals “family style” – everything is placed in the centre of the table and the children serve themselves (you can of course help little ones with this). No my picky eater doesn’t eat them but he’s constantly seeing them, learning about them and watching other people enjoying them. And mealtime battles are a thing of the past.
- Bake with them – vegetables aren’t just for dinner. Use them in cakes, muffins and other baked goods – you’ll find some inspiration below.
- Eat the rainbow – if you feel like you’re stuck in a rut with the vegetables you’re serving up try a rainbow approach – serving up veggies of all different colours. Your kids might surprise you by liking something unexpected. My youngest, who has just turned four, loves beetroot for example.
- Love it, like it, learning it – I love this approach, which is used by paediatric dietitian Ashley, on her instagram account Veggies and Virtue. She uses every meal, snack time and lunch box as a learning opportunity with her kids. Some of the foods included her kids love, some they like, but she’ll always include a food they don’t like. Rather than calling it “don’t like” though, she calls it “learning it”. I love this positive way to approach getting kids to eat more vegetables.
- Try different vegetable recipes for kids – there’s plenty of inspiration in cookbooks and online – use this post as a starting point and then explore the blogs it takes you to.
- Grow your own – try growing something simple with your kids. Even if you don’t have a garden you can grow tomatoes, courgettes, beans or salad leaves in grow bags or pots on a balcony. Herbs can be grown on window sills too.
- Don’t give up! – keep on serving them up. It’s so important that vegetables are seen as a normal part of everyday cooking and eating. Whenever possible eat with your children and let them see you enjoying veggies.
35 vegetable recipes for kids
Finger food with vegetables for kids
Potato and butternut squash tots by My Fussy Eater
Carrot soda bread rolls by Sneaky Veg
Carrot and cheddar poppy seed crackers by Goodie Goodie Lunchbox
Pizza pinwheels by Sneaky Veg
Mixed vegetable muffins by What Shall I Cook?
Kale crisps by Sneaky Veg
Corn fritters by Cook Veggielicious
Lentil veggie nuggets by My Fussy Eater
Leek, pear and parsnip cakes by Sneaky Veg
Dips with vegetable for kids
Carrot hummus by Sneaky Veg
Pumpkin hummus by Easy Peasy Foodie
Roasted cauliflower hummus by Cook Veggielicious
Red pepper dip by Sneaky Veg
Eggs with vegetables for kids
Zucchini pea ricotta slice by Goodie Goodie Lunchbox
Poached egg bagel with garlic and spinach by Fab Food 4 All
Asparagus, potato and spring vegetable frittata by Sneaky Veg
Pea fritters by Healthy Little Foodies
Sweet potato pancakes with spinach and ricotta by Sneaky Veg
Pasta and pasta sauces with vegetables for kids
Kale pesto by Sneaky Veg
Creamy avocado spinach pasta by My Fussy Eater
Hidden vegetable sauce by Sneaky Veg
Macaroni cheese with three hidden vegetables by Sneaky Veg
Fennel frond pesto by Play With Food
Lentil and roasted cauliflower pasta sauce by Sneaky Veg
Vegetable recipes for kids – dinners
Mixed vegetable curry by Sneaky Veg
One pot red lentil, sweet potato and coconut curry by Sneaky Veg
Carrot and coconut pulao rice by Jagruti’s Cooking Odyssey
Sausage bake with seasonal veggies by Sneaky Veg
Tomato lentil soup by My Boys Club
Vegetarian tortellini soup by Sneaky Veg
Sweet treats with vegetables for kids
Baked pumpkin doughnuts by Sneaky Veg
Summer squash lemon and poppyseed muffins by Garnished with Gratitude
Carrot muffins by Sneaky Veg
Kale and chocolate muffins by Sneaky Veg
Avocado key lime pie by Sneaky Veg
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