My youngest is 17 months old, and wasn’t a very picky eater when he first started eating solids. However, as he has tried a wider variety of foods, his preferences have begun to change. Now his willingness to eat veggies comes and goes.
I have learned that if I want to be sure my little one has a more balanced diet, I have to get a little creative. One of the ways I do this is by sneaking pureed veggies into other foods that I know he will eat. While they may not be foods we would normally add veggies to, my toddler doesn’t know the difference!
Homemade pancakes or waffles are favorites around my house. I add a couple tablespoons of pureed spinach and carrots to the batter. Then I add fresh blueberries, which add a little sweetness. They may be messy, but he eats it up!
I also love to add pureed pumpkin to lots of things for an added boost in nutrients. We make a lot of pumpkin muffins and pumpkin bread, even when it isn’t fall. Have you ever tried adding a little pumpkin or sweet potato puree to oatmeal? Delicious!
Lunch or Dinner
If your toddler enjoys grilled cheese sandwiches or cheese quesadillas, consider adding some pureed squash or sweet potatoes to the cheese prior to adding it to the sandwich or quesadilla. The color blends right in! This also works for mac and cheese. Whether you are making it from a box or homemade, you can add a little pureed squash, and no one will even notice.
Another favorite at our house is fried rice. I love feeding this to my kiddos because I can sneak in lots of veggies and mix it all up. I usually add frozen peas or edamame, carrots, and onions. You can get really creative and mix in some cauliflower rice as well. It will be so full of flavor, your little ones won’t even realize they are eating so many vegetables.
One of my son’s first foods was avocados, which contain so many essential nutrients. Some days I can get him to eat guacamole, other days he will have no part of it. One way to sneak in all the nutrition of an avocado is by making this delicious avocado chocolate pudding. It sounds crazy, but is actually creamy and delicious! Little ones will think they are getting a sweet treat, but they won’t realize that they are actually getting something good for them.
Wendy is a mother of four who lives in central Illinois where she blogs at TheMessyMom.net.