10 Ways to Sneak Veggie Purees into Your Family's Favorite Foods

10 Ways to Sneak Veggie Purees into Your Family's Favorite Foods
Image: iStock.com/yulkapopkova

mom and daughter cooking

My 5-year-old daughter would happily live on white bread, milk, and cheese crackers. Though she does eat fruit, she's not a fan of veggies. I'm working to try to expand her culinary horizons, both because I want her to eat healthy and because -- TMI, I know -- my girl needs to poop. 

I'm pretty desperate to get some more veggies in her and I'm not above engaging in some trickery to make that happen. With that in mind, I asked the savviest moms I know for their best meal ideas for sneaking in some veggie purees. That way, my girl can get some nutrition, whether she wants it or not!

Check out these clever ideas for adding vegetable purees to meals your whole family will love!

  • Sneaky Spaghetti

    boy eating spaghetti

    "I add a puree of carrots to my spaghetti sauce. You can't taste it but [it] adds a little more nutrition. I've also tried spinach, but you have to be careful about adding too much so it doesn't change the color." -- Blaire W., Cleveland, Ohio

  • Pancake Trick

    dad making pancakes for daughter

    "My husband is a chef and he's figured out that you can add purees to pancakes pretty easily. We do sweet potato or squash, and the kids eat them right up. They think the orange color is fun too." -- Emily R., Saint Paul, Minnesota 

    More from CafeMom: 10 Best Instagram Accounts for Simple Everyday Recipes

  • Super Hero Smoothie


    "My kids ask for my Super Hero Smoothie almost every day, and I am happy to make it for them. It is a tasty mix of spinach, frozen fruit, shredded carrots, Greek yogurt, and fruit juice. Frozen cherries have a lot of flavor, so the smoothie is sweet and yummy, especially in summer." -- Amy T., Torrance, California

  • Cauliflower Eggs

    making eggs

    "Try adding a little bit of cauliflower puree to scrambled eggs! I top the eggs with some cheese, and my 3-year-old veggie refuser gobbles it up!" -- Lou E., Des Moines, Iowa 

  • Squashy Soup

    woman tasting cooking

    "I make big batches of squash puree and freeze them in ice cube trays. I drop one or two cubes into my kids' chicken noodle soup. Adds a little thickness to the texture but they are none the wiser!" -- Christy P., Saint Paul, Minnesota 

  • Avocado Pudding


    "My 4-year-old is too thin so we are trying to put some healthy pounds on him. I'm all about the avocado puree to make that happen. I add it to smoothies and even as a base for pudding. Seriously, Google avocado pudding. It's a thing and it's good!" -- Mary M., Ann Arbor, Michigan 

  • Healthier Mac & Cheese

    little boy eats mac and cheese

    "You can totally add butternut squash puree to mac and cheese! Mac and cheese is my kid's fave meal so I'm all about trying to make it healthier." -- Allison H., Oakdale, Minnesota

    More from CafeMom: 10 Tips for Cooking Healthy Meals With Kids

  • Fruit & Veggie Pops

    frozen fruit pops

    "I've been experimenting with lots of purees in homemade frozen sorbet pops. I've done spinach and cherry or carrots with tropical fruit. Just blend them all together with some milk or juice, and freeze it. Super easy." -- Faith D., Houston, Texas

  • Applesauce Blend

    bowl of applesauce
    iStock.com/Donald Erickson

    "I found a great recipe for a carrot, mango, and apple puree that is basically just a delicious substitute for applesauce. We do that as a side dish a lot. My 2-year-old is a HUGE fan, and he hates both fruit and vegetables usually." -- Kellie L., Stillwater, Minnesota 

  • Love Muffin

    boy eating muffin

    "I do a lot of veggie sneaking into sweet or savory mini-muffins. I've done zucchini, squash, sweet potatoes, and even spinach. There are tons of recipes online, so you can mix it up. My kids love mini-muffins in their lunch or for breakfast!" -- Erin D., Santa Fe, New Mexico

picky eaters toddler meal

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