“I think my toddler has had enough veggies.”
Said no mom ever.
Let’s be honest. The majority of toddlers don’t prefer to eat veggies and could benefit from consuming more. Of course, there are the exceptions, but that’s just it. They’re the exceptions.
If your toddler falls into the majority, you may be looking for a way to get them to consume more veggies. And making it somewhat effortless would be preferable. Right?
Well, I think I stumbled upon a secret to successfully hiding veggies in toddler food that could be applied in different ways! It’s not THE secret, but A secret that may help you. No, I didn’t invent it, but I discovered it and found that it works.
Enter macaroni and cheese. A toddler favorite.
Now I’m not going to suggest mixing peas or carrots in with the mac ‘n cheese to “hide” the veggies. That’s because I’ve experienced a toddler who picks them out, only eating the mac ‘n cheese and leaving a nice, neat bowl of cheese smothered peas or carrots.
Not the goal.
The goal was to encourage her to consume the veggies, not weed them out to only eat the mac ‘n cheese.
Then I remembered what veggies she loved as a baby: sweet potato, butternut squash, and pumpkin.
I usually fed her the Beech Nut brand jars of baby food. Heck, I even taste-tested them myself and found their baby food to be delicious and well, real (compared to my taste-test of Gerber, which I found to be watered-down). This post is NOT sponsored by Beech Nut, by the way.
All this is to say that I remembered Beech Nut jars of pureed veggies to be of good quality. Thus, they would be perfect for mixing into my toddler’s mac ‘n cheese!
Enter jars of baby food.
So, baby food to the rescue it was! I picked some up on the following grocery trip with the intent of mixing it into the mac ‘n cheese.
After cooking the noodles, I mixed 1 jar of Beech Nut veggies in with the pasta, then added the package of cheese sauce and stirred well.
Annie’s Organic was the macaroni and cheese of choice, but I’m sure any mac ‘n cheese of your choosing would do just fine.
Then I gave it the taste test.
It. Was. Awesome.
I could somewhat taste the veggies, but not enough to change the overall taste of the dish. What’s more? My toddler loved it. And I hope yours will too!
Please note that it works best if you choose orange veggies (not green):
- Butternut Squash
- Sweet Potato
As you can see in the above picture, the carrots did make the mac ‘n cheese a bit more orangey in color, but my toddler ate it up. Butternut squash was my personal favorite because it makes the mac ‘n cheese slightly sweet and doesn’t change the color. Added bonus: butternut squash is fibrous (to combat any unintentional carb overload).
The end result?
Happy toddler, happy mama. 😉
Where else do you think this secret to hiding veggies in toddler food could be applied? Smoothies? Soups? Please share in the comments below!