My son is actually a surprisingly good eater for being 11 months old. However, he has become more and more questioning when it comes to vegetables lately. I think the most frustrating thing is that one day he will LOVE peas! Love them! Eat them like blueberries (his current favorite!)! And then the next day completely refuses peas. Not only spit them out, but shakes his head back and forth crazily until they fling out of his mouth. Which he thinks is so funny by the way. For being only 11 months old this child is smart and I mean smart! He will take a pea and pretend to put it to his mouth with his eyes on me the whole time. Then slowly reach back and drop the pea down his shirt.
So yes, that’s what I have been dealing with. While it usually just makes me laugh I’ve also realized that I really need to get some vegetables in his diet more regularly instead of just when he feels like he is in the mood for them. With some experimentation I have come up with some ways to get veggies into my little guy’s diet without him even noticing!
Here are some ideas for hiding vegetables into some other favorite foods:
Veggie Baby Cereal
This one is obviously just for babies rather than toddlers or older children. But for those babies still eating baby cereal, this is an awesome way to add some veggies. Simply prepare the baby cereal as directed and then add some veggie puree! For some homemade baby food ideas check out my baby food puree page HERE.
There are certain things like carrots or squash that my son used to love but now absolutely will not eat it. So I will add it to his cereal in the morning and he gobbles it right up. I also like to mix in fruit purees a lot of the time in his cereal but when he is needing some more veggies or to just mix things up the veggies are great too.
Some good veggie purees to add to baby cereal are:
Veggie Macaroni & Cheese
I like to make a very simple macaroni and cheese using velveeta and it is super simple and quick to whip up on a moments notice. The only thing is that macaroni and cheese is not really the healthiest option. So I figured I would try adding some veggies to make a really yummy food healthy too! What I didn’t expect was for it to actually taste so great! For my first time trying this for my son this is what I made:
Pea – Spinach Macaroni & Cheese
-1 Tbsp coconut oil
To make the pea/spinach puree, steam desired amount of peas (I used frozen this time) for 20 minutes. Add a handful of spinach and steam for about 10 more minutes. Rinse after steaming and let it cool for a bit. Add it all to the blender and blend well. Add water to smooth out if needed. You can make as much as you want. I like to make veggie purees in bulk and freeze the extra in glass jars.
Cook elbow macaroni as directed. Drain macaroni and put it back in the pan and back on the stove on a lower heat. Add desired amount of velvet cheese (depends on how much cheese you like), 1 Tbsp coconut oil and about 4oz of pea/spinach puree (I had frozen my puree into 4oz jars). Let warm until cheese and everything is all melted together and stir well.
That’s it! It was so good! I’m not even kidding, I was even sitting there eating it! My son devoured this without even giving a thought as to there being peas and spinach in this!
You could use other veggie purees too. Broccoli puree or butternut squash puree would work especially nicely. Again, you could check my baby food purees page for recipe ideas.
Spinach Grilled Cheese
This one is pretty self explanatory. My son loves grilled cheese sandwiches so one day I just tried adding some spinach to it and he didn’t even seem to notice. This goes for other sandwiches as well such as deli meat sanwhiches, tuna or paninis.
Fruit & Greens Smoothies
Smoothies are the perfect way to get some greens into their diet without them even noticing! I even do this myself! I am not a super huge fan or spinach or kale but I add them to almost every smoothie I make because you can’t even taste it and yet it adds so much nutrients!
HERE is a recipe for my Oranges & Greens baby smoothie.
HERE is another great baby smoothie recipe – Blueberry/Banana & Greens.
I hope these ideas help you as much as they helped me!