Oatmeal carrot muffin

Young children need to eat healthy snacks between meals to keep their bodies nourished. If toddlers are fussy eaters, this can prove challenging.

Three sweet takes on vegetables

You should always have fresh fruit, raw vegetables and other nutritious snacks on hand for toddlers between meals. These healthy snacks will help satisfy their hunger while supplying the vitamins and other nutrients they need.

Many toddlers are fussy eaters and refuse to eat some nutritious foods. For these children, it's often beneficial to "hide" vegetables inside delicious muffins, cookies, breads, meats and sauces. Eventually your child will start acquiring a taste for these healthy foods and you can begin re-introducing them in their raw forms.

Here are a few healthy recipes for kids that will satisfy even the most picky eater in your family.

Oatmeal carrot muffins

Makes 12 muffins

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup oatmeal
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 toddler size jar carrot baby food
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrots

Directions:

Tip: Allow toddlers to "frost" muffins with fat-free cream cheese, if desired.
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir by hand until combined.
  4. Line muffin tin with paper liners.
  5. Fill muffin cups 2/3 full with batter.
  6. Bake 16 to 18 minutes until toothpick comes out clean.

Zucchini and carrot cookies

Makes about 20 cookies

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup margarine
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup shredded zucchini
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrots
  • 2-1/2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Cream margarine and sugar in a large bowl.
  3. Add egg and vanilla, mixing thoroughly.
  4. Mix shredded zucchini and carrots.
  5. Combine remaining ingredients in a separate bowl.
  6. Add these dry ingredients to the large bowl, stirring until well combined.
  7. Drop teaspoons of dough approximately 2 inches apart onto greased cookie sheet.
  8. Bake 10-12 minutes.

Sweet potato brownies

Ingredients:

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup organic cane sugar
  • 1 skinned, boiled sweet potato, pureed
  • 1 large egg
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Butter an 8-inch square pan. Set it aside.
  3. In a medium saucepan over low heat, melt butter.
  4. Once the butter is melted, remove pan from heat, and stir in the cocoa.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
  6. Stir in the sugar and sweet-potato puree, and then stir in the egg.
  7. Add vanilla to cocoa mixture.
  8. Carefully add the flour mixture to the cocoa mixture and stir thoroughly.
  9. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
  10. Bake for 20 minutes.

More vegetables in disguise

If your child is extremely fussy about eating vegetables and other nutritious foods, you can find plenty of ways to disguise them in everyday meals.

You can puree broccoli, cauliflower and carrots and add the mixture to spaghetti sauce. You can also add canned pumpkin or shredded carrot to brownie mix, or grate vegetables and include them in meatloaf.

With a little creativity and patience, you can have your toddler eating his veggies in no time, even if the vegetables are in disguise.

Tell us

Have you tried sneaking veggies into your kids' meals? Tell us how in the comments below!

More healthy eating tips

Healthy lunches for toddlers
Getting toddlers to eat veggies
Dealing with fussy eaters

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Comments

Comments on "Healthy recipes for toddlers: Vegetables in disguise"

jane January 28, 2014 | 10:22 AM

Do you have a recipe for adding carrots or some other veggie in a sugar cooky that you can roll and cut with cookie cutters?

Anna August 02, 2013 | 5:14 PM

Picky eating in children is often a sign of a weak or damaged digestive system - they need real foods, like grass-fed meat, butter, raw milk, pastured eggs, and grass-fed butter. They definitely do not need grains and many vegetables contain anti-nutrients that can cause further damage to their immature guts. Vegetable oils and margarines should be prohibited from food system - they are a real poison. Avoid vegetable oils in food, especially for children. Fussy eaters may have a leaky gut syndrome - that is why they often crave carbohydrates (sugars and grains) that cause more damage. In this case, all grains and sugars out - home made broth soups, etc. in. Good luck to all moms.

katie March 27, 2013 | 3:55 PM

My four year old also doesn't eat red sauce or red meat and the only vegetable he'll eat is the mashed potato - my solution: steamed (then chilled) broccoli bananas and milk make a "green banana smoothie", carrots, bananas and milk for the "orange banana smoothie." He also eats the motts medleys single serve apple sauce - it equals one serving of fruit and vegies - and drinks v8 fusion juices which are 1 serving fruit AND 1 serving vegetable. Another healthy and tasty snack is apple wedges with peanut butter . Thank for the advice here by the way!

Evie November 16, 2012 | 1:01 PM

My toddler is extremely picky--he won't even eat meatloaf or red sauce (my first places to hide pureed veggies!). One of the few things I have found successful is sweets (so thank you for the recipes!). Also, he LOVES pancakes--I can successfully hide pureed yams, pumpkin, or carrots in the pancakes.

Hannah September 27, 2012 | 9:47 PM

I, too, have some picky eaters on my hand! They prefer the sweeter fruits, so I'll normally let them eat bananas and blueberries and won't fight the peas and carrots too much. I love these recipes and suggestions, though. Thank you!

Lauren July 13, 2012 | 7:44 AM

Love this!! Thank you! I have two little picky eaters and need some help getting them to eat right.

erikca May 05, 2009 | 10:24 AM

good

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