Veggies by stealth

"Parenting can seem like a game of Survivor sometimes – your aim is to outwit, outplay and outlast."

You have to be crafty when you’re a parent. This often means having a large supply of glittery glue at the ready, but in this instance we’re talking about hiding vegetables in meals. Fruit doesn’t seem to have the same popularity problem, probably due to the inherent natural sweetness.

We know the health benefits of vegetables but some kids, bless them, don’t always appreciate this knowledge. This usually begins when they’re too old to be spoon-fed mush and too young to like the look and taste of some foods.

A friend of mine inserted individual peas into cooked penne in the hope that her then two-year-old daughter would blithely munch away, oblivious to the alien-green intruders. Alas, the child eventually out crafted her mother and would peel the pasta apart, her mission to seek and destroy. The same thing usually happens to peas (it’s always peas!) hiding in the Himalayas of mashed potatoes.

Spaghetti Bolognese is an excellent vehicle for smuggling fresh produce - carrot, zucchini, cauliflower, tomato, celery and even broccoli if it’s been broken down enough. Keep a batch of cooked, pulverized vegies in the freezer so you always have a vegie-hit at the ready. 

Kids love sausages but these ones can hide some hidden veggies (dip them in before wrapping them), a few carbs in the pastry and become more of a meal than a plain old sausage. Check these out for inspiration.  

Muffins also act as a double agent, working for both you and your child. Grated zucchini and carrot, sweetened with a little honey instead of caster sugar in the ingredients list, makes for a great snack idea.

It’s optional to see yourself as a sneaky witch when making these beautiful Chocolate Popsicles with avocado & cacao. With a stick blender (your ‘wand’) you can blend to a consistency that removes any lumps or bumps and the cacao hides any sight of green. Just keep the maniacal cackle to yourself, or your kids will be instantly suspicious!

Jane Woolard
Jane Woolard


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