Photo: Jennifer Causey

Your secret is safe with us.

July 06, 2017

When you have a picky eater on hand, it's frustrating to stick to pasta and chicken nuggets every night. The USDA recommends kids under the age of 13 consume around 1 to 2.5 cups of vegetables every day, but sometimes it's hard to get them to even look at anything that came from a plant. To get your kids to grow up big and strong, you may end up having to be a little creative when it comes to adding in vegetables.

We picked our 12 favorite foods that sneak a little bit of veg-tastic benefits into the ingredient list. Your kids won't ever know, and you can be confident they're eating well. 

 Courtesy of True Made Foods

Ketchup

The red stuff has a pretty bad reputation among the sugar conscience, but this concoction lowers the sugars and increases the vegetables from your average tomato ketchup. By adding spinach, carrots, and butternut squash, you'll be happy letting your kids dip their chicken nuggets in this product. Plus, if you're not into ketchup, they also make a veggie packed version of BBQ sauce and sriracha. 

Vegetable Puffs 

If tater tots are your child's favorite side dish, take it a step beyond just potatoes with vegetable puffs. These potato-based bites are filled with veggie goodness like kale, carrot, taro, spinach, and broccoli.

Bread

Turkey and mustard just met their new sidekick. This low carbohydrate bread has real carrots, onion, celery, tomato, spinach, and bell peppers baked right inside. Pile on whatever you like, wrap it up for lunch, and enjoy! 

 Courtesy of Birds Eye

Prepared Pasta 

Fettuccine Alfredo may be a dinner time favorite, but imagine if you could just pop the pasta in the microwave and it came out ready to eat and packed with vegetables. Bird's Eye has a variety of prepared pasta packets made with spinach-lentil pasta and zucchini-lentil pasta. We love that the first ingredients in the includes green lentil flour and real vegetables.

Tomato Sauce

We love pasta night, but consider adding a boost of nutrition to your regular marinara. This classic tomato sauce blends tomatoes with zucchini, onion, spinach, green bell pepper, carrots, and fennel for a winning dinner your family will love.  

Fruit Cups

For some reason, it's always easier to get your kids to pack on the fruit instead of vegetables. Slip some secret veggies into their lunchtime fruit cup with these fruit and vegetable fusion cups. The juice of pumpkin, sweet potato, and butternut squash is mixed in, so they slurp up vitamins they didn't even know they needed. 

 Courtesy of Heavenly Tasty

Waffles

Sneak vegetables into your family's first meal of the day by cooking up these savory waffles. Try the beet, carrot, and shallot medley or go simple with carrot. Parsnips add density with the extra bonus of some much-needed vitamins. 

Cookies 

Cookies don't usually bring the thought of vegetables, but this mashup really hits a home run. Serve up ginger snap cookies with butternut squash, red velvet with beets, cocoa cherry hiding spinach, and chocolate chip with some pumpkin. Snack time is finally a breeze. 

Chips

Party time usually means bags of chips everywhere. Serve something you'll feel good about, like these chips boasting a range of vegetable powders mixed in. Depending on the chip choice, your kids will get a healthy serving of sweet potato, carrot, pumpkin, spinach, broccoli, pea, and tomato. 

Baked Goods

Toss a dessert in your little one's lunch box you'll feel good about. Garden Lite mixes real, nutritious vegetables into delicious muffins and brownies. The Spongebob Chocolate Krabby Square hides zucchini and carrot under chocolatey goodness, while the Banana Chocolate Chip slips in some secret zucchini.

Dry Pasta 

For the kids you know will eat anything shaped like pasta, you can choose from three vegetable medley versions. Dry penne, rotini, and spaghetti are infused with vegetable purees and powders. The veggies that add a little punch to your weeknight dinner are zucchini, carrot, spinach, and tomato.

 Courtesy of Green Giant

Riced Veggies 

If you can get your kids to dig into a spoonful of rice with dinner, why not swap it out for something a little more vegetable focused? Green Giant sells bags of vegetables prepared into a rice-like side dish, so all you need to do is warm it up and serve. Cauliflower is the most common type, but others include shaved sweet potato, broccoli, or whole peas and carrots.