Have you ever sat back at the end of a week, proud of all all that effort you put in in the kitchen, and then wondered…Did my teens actually eat a vegetable this week?
Nope? Just me?
If your kids are like mine, all “bring on the pizza and chicken tenders” but God forbid we ask them to eat some asparagus, then you need this weekly meal plan full of hidden vegetables. You can secretly chuckle to yourself at the dinner table while they wolf down these delicious dinners, not even realizing that they’re actually (gasp) making themselves healthier.
Isn’t it fun to get the last laugh?
My kids love breakfast-for-dinner, so I’m going to take it hostage with some hidden veggies this week by using this amazing recipe for delicious sweet potato pancakes at Munchkin Time. They may complain that they “look different,” at first, but once they taste them they’ll be like, “Why have you never made these before?” Serve them with some bacon or scrambled eggs, and one of our favorite smoothie recipes (with even more hidden veggies) on the side.
Hiding veggies in marinara sauce is one of the smartest, easiest ways to do this. I love this garden marinara pasta sauce at Oh, Sweet Basil, but I’ll be honest—for my kids I’d probably put this through the blender so they can’t see that there mushrooms, peppers, carrots, and zucchini hidden in there. You can make a big stash of this to use on spaghetti, in a yummy ziti pasta bake, on pizza or calzones, or over meatball sub sandwiches.
Look at Hani, over at Energise Kids, sneaking carrots and zucchini into her kids’ beef burgers! That’s the way! The key here, parents, is dicing those veggies so small that your kids don’t even notice them. Maybe even zapping them in the food processor for a minute so they’re basically a puree you’re mixing into the meat when you make the patties? Then you can snicker while they cheerfully eat their tater tots and burgers, knowing they’re inching their way closer to their daily serving of veggies.
This yummy tomato soup at Healthy Little Foodies has some secret onions and carrots blended into the puree, giving it a little extra flavor and vitamins and nutrients too. I can’t eat tomato soup without grilled cheese, so I’d serve this for dinner with one of our favorite upgraded grilled cheese sandwiches. Plus, if you think you can sneak any of these that have avocado, bahn mi veggies, or other tasty upgrades then that’s even more extra veg for them.
With this Asian hidden vegetable beef meatballs dinner at Slimming Eats, we’ve got veggies in the meatballs and veggies in the sauce (if you consider tomato a vegetable, which my kids’ science textbook does, so…). Plus, you can serve it with some kid-friendly stir-fry veggies on the side too—I’d pick red peppers and sugar snap peas for my kids—which gives you plenty of opportunity to beg, bribe, and otherwise threaten them to finish at least one if they want to watch a show before bed.