Looking for a healthy kids recipe? We’ve got you covered!
Helping your kids make the right food choices and understand nutrition guidelines is important as they grow. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that kids eat a variety of fruits and vegetables every day in order to develop properly. Unfortunately, it can a real struggle to convince your kids to eat enough – sometimes ANY – fruits and vegetables!
If you have picky eaters in your house, the best way to handle it is to get creative. Taking a favorite kids recipe and making it healthy can be easier than you think. Try these 5 delicious kid-friendly recipes with hidden fruits and vegetables for added nutrition picky eaters won’t even notice!
1.) Veggie Packed Pizza Rolls
These savory, cheesy pizza rolls are packed with added nutrition your kids won’t be able to sniff out! A lot of kids have a hard time with the texture of veggies and turn their noses up as soon as they see the color green!
Thankfully, the hidden veggies in this recipe are blended into the marinara sauce, making it hard for even the pickiest eaters to spot.
Hidden Veggies: Spinach, Bell Peppers, Mushrooms, Tomatoes, Spinach, Carrots, Onions
Serves: 8 kids Time: 40 mins Level: Intermediate
- ¼ cup spinach
- ½ medium bell pepper, green
- ¼ cup, pieces or slices of white mushrooms
- ½ medium onion
- 1 medium tomato
- 1 medium carrot
- 1 medium zucchini
- 1 cup spaghetti or marinara sauce
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2¼ tsp. active dry yeast
- 1½ tsp. sugar
- ¾ tsp. salt
- ⅔ cup water
- 3 tbsp. olive oil
- 1½ cup mozzarella cheese
- Chop veggies (you will need two cups total of your choice of the vegetables listed) and saute for 3-4 minutes or until slightly tender. Blend in a high powered blender with marinara sauce.
- Combine 1 cup flour, undissolved yeast, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Whisk together the warm water and the oil and add to the dry ingredients. Mix until well blended, about 1 minute. Gradually add enough remaining flour to make a soft dough. Dough should form aball and will be slightly sticky. Knead on a floured surface, adding additional flour if necessary, until smooth and elastic, about 4 minutes.
- Place dough in a large, lightly greased bowl, and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to rest for 30 minutes in a warm, draft-free place. Dough should almost double in size.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Remove the dough from the bowl and place on a lightly floured work surface. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough into a 1/2-inch thick rectangle, about 12 by 10 inches.
- Begin by spreading about 1 cup of sauce over the dough, leaving a 1/2-inch boarder around the edges. If it seems like it needs more, then add 1 or 2 Tbsp at a time. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese.
- Begin rolling the dough until you have one large roll. Slice into 8-12 slices and place in a greased muffin tin.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes or until rolls are golden brown and cooked through the middle.
2.) Chicken Nuggets with Hidden Veggies
Chicken nuggets are an easy win when you’re dealing with picky eaters. They’re probably on most kids’ list of top 5 favorite foods. While chicken nuggets are usually found in the frozen aisle of a grocery store or at a fast-food restaurant, this kids recipe is a much healthier version.
These nuggets feature hidden carrots and zucchini. Make this kids recipe in a big batch and store in the freezer so you’ll always a healthy kid approved meal on hand.
Makes: 20 nuggets Time: 30 mins Level: Easy
14oz (0.8lb) Chicken Breasts, cut into chunks
1/2 Carrot, cut into slices
1/2 Zucchini, peeled, cut into slices
1 Tbs Garlic Powder
1/2 Tbs Mustard Powder
1 Tbs Onion Powder
Salt and pepper to taste
1. In a food processor place the carrot and zucchini, with the metal chopping bade process until they are finely diced.
2. Add the chicken breast, garlic, mustard and onion powders (you can use all, some or none of these) and salt and pepper. Process for approx 45 seconds or until the mixture starts to come together.
3. Remove the blade from the food processor. Set up a crumbing station, a bowl of flour, a bowl of egg and a dash of milk whisked together, and a bowl of breadcrumbs.
4. Take tablespoon sized amounts of the chicken mix and roughly form a nugget shape. Dust in the flour, dip in the egg mix and coat in the breadcrumbs. Repeat until all the chicken mixture is used.
5. These can now be placed on a lined baking tray with a spray of cooking oil and baked in a 400 F oven for 10-15 minutes or until they are lightly golden and bounce back when touched. Depending on your oven you may need to turn half way.
3.) Sneaky Veggie Chocolate Muffins
When all else fails turn to chocolate! Chocolate has a strong, sweet flavor that’s perfect for masking the taste of veggies. This kids recipe sneaks carrots and zucchini into delicious whole wheat chocolate muffins. You’re kids will feel like they’re getting a sweet treat while getting two servings of vegetables in!
Makes: 8 muffins Time: 35 mins Level: Easy
- 3 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup applesauce
- ⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 3 eggs or substitute 3 tbsp. flax seed mixed with water
- 2 cups grated zucchini
- 1 cup grated carrot
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- ½ tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional)
- Preheat your oven to 350 and grease your muffin tin or line it with paper liners.
- Beat the eggs or flax seed mix. Add the rest of the wet ingredients and mix well. I use a stand mixer.
- Add the dry ingredients slowly, mixing and scraping the sides as you go.
- After the other ingredients are well mixed, add the chocolate chips if desired.
- Using a ¼ cup measuring cup, scoop the batter in to your muffin tin, filling each spot ⅔ of the way full.
- Bake at 350 for 15-18 minutes.
4.) Hidden Veggie Turkey Meatballs
This kids recipe features a family favorite: meatballs! These healthy turkey meatballs hide baby carrots and sweet bell peppers inside, adding a healthy sweetness.
Turkey meatballs are another favorite kids recipe that’s easy to make in big batches and freeze for later.
Serves: 6 Time: 40 mins Level: Easy
- 1 small Little Bear Brand® sweet onion, quartered
- 4 oz. baby carrots
- 4 mini sweet peppers
- 1 cup whole wheat breadcrumbs
- 1 large egg
- 1 pound lean ground turkey
- 1 cup sesame ginger dressing
- 6 cups cooked brown rice
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Place onion, carrots and peppers in food processor and blend until smooth. Alternatively, finely chop ingredients by hand.
- Combine bread crumbs, egg, turkey and veggie mixture in bowl, mix well. Form mixture into 24 golf ball-sized meatballs.
- Place in baking dish and bake for 25 minutes or until slightly browned and meat is no longer pink.
- Remove from oven and toss with dressing. Serve over 1 cup brown rice.
5.) Banana Zucchini Muffins
Banana muffins are a childhood classic perfect for early mornings or packing as a snack for school. These muffins have shredded zucchini hidden in the recipe. For extra nutrition, you could also add some shredded carrots. You can make a big batch of these muffins and freeze some for later. Simply pop them in the microwave or oven when you’re ready to enjoy them!
Makes: 24 muffins Time: 25 mins Level: Easy
½ tsp. salt
- 1½ cups white whole wheat flour
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 2 ripe bananas, mashed
- 1 zucchini, shredded
- 2 tbsp. Truvia sweetener (or ¼ cup granulated sugar)
- 1 egg
- ½ cup melted coconut oil (can replace with butter, if desired)
- ⅓ cup brown sugar
- 2 tbsp. white whole wheat flour
- ⅛ tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1 tbsp. melted coconut oil (can replace with butter, if desired)
- Preheat oven to 375 F. Spray a 24-cup mini muffin tin with cooking spray or line with paper liners.
- In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine mashed bananas and shredded zucchini. Beat in egg, Truvia (or sugar) and ½ cup melted coconut oil.
- Stir the flour mixture into the banana-zucchini mixture. Don’t overmix! Spoon batter into mini muffin tins.
- In a small bowl, melt 1 Tbsp. coconut oil. Stir in 2 tbsp. flour, brown sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle crumb mixture over the tops of each muffin.
- Bake for about 15 minutes or until tops spring back when pressed. Let cool on wire rack and then pop out and enjoy! (I like to put them on the counter in an airtight container for one day and then split up what’s left, putting half in the fridge and the other half in the freezer for later.)
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