Creative Ways To Add More Vegetables Into Your Toddlers’ Meals

Creative Ways To Add More Vegetables Into Your Toddlers' Meals

Before Luca turned one, he was the world’s greatest eater, as in – he ate anything and everything! My whole family marveled at his appetite, his food variety, and his motor skills developed from self-feeding. After one, he stopped eating 75% of the foods he once ate and started becoming… picky! As hard as we try to keep serving him vegetables and pray one day he’ll discover he really likes them, there are some ways I’ve squeezed vegetables into Luca’s diet to ensure he’s getting the proper nutrients, while still always serving whole vegetables.

It’s important to expose your child to these whole form vegetables, so that they can understand their true flavor, their texture, and visually recognize them. The idea is that after 30+ exposures, one day, they’ll pick up that familiar vegetable and say, “Okay, let’s see what this is all about.” Recently, that’s worked for me with salmon. He’s probably been served salmon 20 times and he hasn’t eaten it since he was 10 or 11 months old. The other night, he decided to have a forkful and then ate half of a 4oz piece of salmon! While it was hard those other 20 times to watch him ignore the salmon on his plate, it was all worth it when he ate it!

So yes, it’s important to serve vegetables (and other foods) whole, but this blog post is what to do in the interim, while your toddler is being picky and you still want them to eat vegetables!

My Favorite Ways To Add More Vegetables Into Toddler Meals

  1. Make this broccoli grilled cheese (you can use peas too!)
  2. Make a cheese quesadilla with chopped up vegetables (Luca likes spinach or finely chopped peppers)
  3. Make my blender muffins!
  4. Make a pasta dish or something with veggie-packed marinara sauce.
  5. Grate zucchini into oatmeal and stir well.
  6. Add vegetables to baked goods, like these sweet potato loaves.
  7. Use vegetables in place of lasagna noodles like with this enchilada bake.
  8. Make these English muffin pizzas with broccoli or peas.
  9. Add very finely chopped vegetables into burgers (turkey burger example here) or meatballs.
  10. Make any pizza with lots of veggie toppings, just put them underneath the cheese!
  11. This turkey, veggie and brown rice bake – the vegetables are in the rice and mixed with meat.
  12. Smoothies with spinach or kale!
  13. The Any Veggie Tots from Inspiralized and Beyond (I love using carrot, because it’s a hard vegetable for me to get Luca to eat!)
  14. Cauliflower gnocchi from Trader Joe’s (hey, there’s cauliflower in there and it tastes like pasta!)
  15. Finely grated carrot into applesauce (bonus points: hemp seeds too for protein!)
  16. Spiralize vegetables and sub them for spaghetti!

Your Favorite Ways To Add More Veggies Into Your Toddlers’ Meals

Over on Instagram, I asked you what your tricks were for squeezing more vegetables into your kids’ diets and here are some the great ideas you shared:

  1. Scrambled eggs with vegetables.
  2. Shredded carrots and zucchini into marinara sauce with pasta.
  3. Shred vegetables into cookies.
  4. Mac and cheese sauce blended in with pumpkin/butternut squash/sweet potato.
  5. Cauliflower rice in regular rice.
  6. Spinach in waffles.
  7. Zucchini and potato hash browns.
  8. Freeze cubes of zucchini and add to smoothies.

What are some ways you squeeze more veggies into your child’s diet?

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nargis bano says:
Hey i have to say i'm a huge fan of your work.
Meaghan says:
That's so kind! Thank you!
Mary Kohlrus says:
Please identify the item in the photo ... green doughnut-looking item? I'd be interested in this recipe for the grands - 6, 8,12 yr old boys! I'm pretty creative and look forward to trying out some of your recipes. Thx
Meaghan says:
Hey Mary! Great question. Those are our Spinach, Banana and Oat donuts! The boys are gonna love them!!
Anonymous says:
What are these green, round things? Recipe?
Meaghan says:
Great question! These are so fun. They're our Spinach Banana and Oat Donuts/Muffins! You can grab the recipe here:

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I’ve got these BUFFALO TOFU WRAPS on the menu for next week - there’s a secret ingredient to make the tofu crisp up in the air fryer (you’ll see in the video!) 🥑🥬🥕⁣

and since we all appreciate a good lu review, he thought these were buffalo chicken wraps when I first served them to him! 😜 ⁣

grab the recipe on the blog! 🙌🏼⁣

#buffalosauce #tofurecipes #vegetarianmeals #easylunch #easylunchideas

ramen is the perfect meal for this season of life. it’s cozy, comforting, filling, and satisfying. 🙏🏼 needless to say, I’ve been eating tons of ramen bowls lately, and I’m extra excited to share this one with you, a take on Japanese miso ramen: Miso Noodles with Smoky Tempeh (using @lightlifefoods Original Tempeh) and Kale. 🥬 🍜 #LightlifePartner⁣

this is kind of like two recipes in one, because this smoky tempeh is good on everything – in sandwiches, on salads, in grain bowls - it’s my go-to flavor when I’m making tempeh (especially for those who aren’t as far along on the tempeh train as I am.) the other recipe is the simplest miso ramen with kale, which you’ll be making over and over again. 👏🏼 also, you can simply sub in @lightlifefoods’ Smoky Tempeh product here, to save time!⁣

you can find @lightlifefoods Original Tempeh at @acmemarkets or @wholefoodsmarket, but use their Store Locator on their site to find out where it’s sold near you. 🛒⁣

recipe below 👇🏼👇🏼⁣

Miso Ramen with Smoky Tempeh and Kale⁣
Serves: 4⁣

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil⁣
8-ounce package @lightlifefoods Original Tempeh, cubed⁣
¼ cup soy sauce, low sodium⁣
2 tablespoons maple syrup⁣
¼ teaspoon smoked paprika⁣
1 teaspoon liquid smoke⁣
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder⁣
2 garlic cloves, minced⁣
1-inch knob ginger, minced⁣
4 cups vegetable broth⁣
1 tablespoon miso paste⁣
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce⁣
4 cups finely chopped kale⁣
12 ounces ramen noodles⁣

Heat half the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the tempeh slices and cook for 5 minutes until browned, stirring frequently.⁣

While tempeh cooks, stir together ¼ cup of water, soy sauce, maple syrup, smoked paprika, liquid smoke, and garlic powder. Pour that over the cooked tempeh and stir to coat. Let cook another 5 minutes or until moisture is evaporated and tempeh is browned. Set aside on a parchment lined plate.⁣

Heat the remaining oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Once oil is shimmering, add the garlic and ginger and cook for 1 minute or until fragrant. Add the broth and 2 cups of water and bring to a boil over high heat.