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Recipes for kids | 50 ways to hide fruit and veg in food

by Penina

Recipes for kids are a test in terms of leveraging what the rest of the family is eating and the grocery budget. Despite constant effort to get the kids eating the healthiest food possible, my kids are naturally fussy eaters. I wish I’d taken more photos of those horrified-I-hate-veggies moments with my kids. Those looks when presented with a Broccoli floret or tomato for the first time are priceless. I’d have an album of some really scared looking little children and some really good-looking vegetables.

Recipes for kids | Help them eat ‘their trees’

These days my kids don’t mind eating what they term ‘the trees.’ But after years of being sneaky with it, I can’t help but create recipes for kids that include hidden ingredients. My grater is still my best friend and I’m still grating all kinds of goodness into meals I deliver to the table. My other best friend in the kitchen is my blender. You can blend up cooked fruit and veggies and throw your mix into a variety of oven-baked or stove top dishes.
Let’s take my love for a great Spaghetti Bolognese. I’ll grate all kinds of veggies into my Spag bol including courgette, capsicum, mushroom and broccoli. I’ll also add a can of drained and washed lentils. No one in the family has ever figured out why the texture of my Spag Bol is so delicious. They are too dazzled by the grated cheese or the fancy spirals I picked for the pasta.
“Catch me if you can kids!”
You can get so sneaky with recipes for kids, while you save money on food, with a little practice. You can hide soft grated veggies under cheese in a baked potato with a little tuna. You can purée fruit and add it to biscuits or muffins. You can bake dishes like Zucchini bread or grate broccoli and put it into meals.
Did you know that the humble grater was invented way back in the 1540s by a French gentleman called François Boullier? Nice one Francois. The world is grateful! (Sorry – couldn’t resist that little pun.) But the trivia doesn’t stop there! You can also make music with a grater! In Jamaica, the grater (used for grating coconuts) is a traditional musical instrument!
As for the Blender, a Polish-Amercian guy called Stephen Poplawski patented this invention in 1922. Nice one Steve! We are all blender-happy and healthier because of your good work. So thanks.
If you want to get sneaky with it, and deliver fruit and vegetables to fussy eaters without any fuss at all, check out the following cheat sheet. It’s sneaky, it’s cheeky and it will really make you feel like you have the upper hand again! Keep this list handy in the kitchen the next time you see your toddler turn their nose up during a cooking session or when your eight-almost-nine tells you that carrots are for nerds.
They’ll never know. You’ll be chuffed. Nice one mum. Good one Dad!
Keep this list handy while meal planning and cooking for the kids. We are adding to this list regularly

50 ways to hide fruit and veg in food

Baked potato

Chop soft veggies finely and add under melted cheese on a baked potato.


Puree fruit and add to biscuits.

Biscuits and bread

Add veggies to cakes, biscuits and sweets. E.g. Zucchini bread.


Chop fine and added to dishes.


Make beetroot brownies.


Make a carrot and zucchini cake.


Grate and mix into sauce with a pasta.

Carrot cake

Add extra veggies like grated broccoli.

Carrot muffins

Add grated carrot to a savoury muffin.


Add pureed to a casserole.


Add grated cheese on top of vegetables to make them tastier.

Chili con carne

Add spinach, grated carrots and peas to a mild chili con carne.


Make baked veggie chips from kumara, carrot and potato.


Investigate delicious dips made from veggies and add crackers.

Fried rice

Finely chop veggies and add them to fried rice.


Grated and pureed veggies in fritters – fried or baked.

Fruit muffins

Add pureed fruit to sweet muffins.

Fruit pancakes

Add grated or pureed fruit to pancake mix.

Fruit smoothie

Fruit smoothies are great way to hide fruit for fussy kids.

Grate veggies

Grate veggies like carrots, lettuce, cabbage, capsicum, broccoli, cauliflower, radish, sweet potato and zucchini.

Ice blocks

Puree fruit and make into ice blocks in the summer.


Add carrot to apple juice.


Make mini meatballs with grated veggies and put them on skewers. Add dipping sauce.


Finely chop and grate veggies in lasagna.

Macaroni cheese

Puree sweet potato and carrots. Make a colourful macaroni and cheese dish!

Mashed potato

Add carrot to mash

Mashed potato

Add cauliflower to mash.

Mashed potato

Add pumpkin to mash.

Mashed potato

Add peas to mash.

Meat sauce

Puree or grate veggies and add to meat sauce.


Grate veggies and mix in.


Grate veggies, mix with tuna in noodles.


Learn how to make veggie nuggets.


Chop and fold into pizza dough.


Add grated veggies to any pasta dish.

Pasta sauce

Puree veggies and add to pasta sauces.


Grate veggies and mix with tuna


Add veggies to mince and make pies.


Finely chop veggies and hide under cheese.


Puree them and add to a quiche.


Puree cooked veggies and add to rissole recipes.

Sausage Rolls

Grate up or puree veggies and add to sausage mince for sausage rolls.


Blend up a variety of cooked veggies in a soup.


Frozen spinach can be added to lots of dishes e.g. Mash, pasta etc.


Add pureed veggies to a stew.

Tomato muffins

Tomato and spinach muffins.


Try hiding veggies under other layers. E.g. In Lasagna.

Veggie pancakes

Add grated or pureed veggies to pancake mix.


Wrap veggies up in heated tortillas with cheese and mild salsa.

Zucchini muffins

Add grated zucchini to a savoury muffin.

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