I’m finding it very difficult feeding my 3 year old twins nutritious food they like. They refuse to even try it! They say no to trying just about everything except nuggets, chips and pasta. I’ve tried a lot of different ways of hiding veggies but would love some more ideas.

Want more real mum questions sent to you?

You'll need to check this email to complete your signup.
  • I always gave mine some “recognisable” veggies – so they’d eventually get used to them. But then I’d hide some to get them eaten: grating veggies into things works a treat.

  • Gee, there are some great answers in this thread!

  • What about vegie patties ? Kids love anything in breadcrumbs and it looks much more appetising in frying in oil then cooking them in a healthy way . Of course it defeats the purpose of healthy eating but at least they might even look at it . Good luck .

  • I try to grate up carrot, zucchini, spinach, mushrooms etc and put them in pasta sauce or lasagne, unfortunately my 4 year old still sees it and tries to pick it out.

  • I put vegies in my spag bog and lasagne, carrots,tomatoes,zuchini and onion. My daughter is normally pretty fussy but doesn’t complain when I serve these up for tea!

  • Have you tried in lasagna or meat balls?

  • Not so much advice on hiding vegetables, but about how to get them to enjoy them. I give my kids (5yo & 3yo) some type of ‘sauce’ to dip their vegetables in. And this is always a healthy addition….it’s an option of hummus, natural yoghurt, pesto or balsamic glaze if we are having raw vegetables, like in a salad with baby spinach leaves. And with cooked vegetables, I often pan fry things like carrot/capsicum/broccoli/sweet potato in coconut oil (or sometimes butter). They LOVE it. Corn on the cob is generally a bit of a hit too, as it’s finger food & sweet.

  • My 5 year old is like that, and has been for the last 3.5 years. He would find any hidden veggies and flat our refuse to eat. He’s slowly getting better now, and will at least eat puréed veggies in bolognaise sauce. He was going to therapy at one stage and they gave him exercises such as anything he didn’t want to eat he had to bite in half with his teeth and then spit it out, or letting him serve up his own dinner, etc. good luck ! I’m still fighting that battle but there is light at the end of the tunnel

  • Try chopping up carrots, potatoes, onions ect very finely.. Even mash some peas up and add them all to your spaghetti bolognese sauce. Good luck!

  • Cauliflower! It’s AMAZING. Make macaroni cheese with half a head of cauliflower pureed through the sauce. They’ll never know. I use it every time I make a white sauce, even in lasagnas.

  • In my house I have a rule, everything must be tried once. My daughter still (at 9) says that she doesn’t like the look of something and I always make her try one mouthful, now it usually ends up being eaten, but when she was a toddler it sometimes ended up still going to waste, I would however NOT cook her anything else, if she got hungry she would eventually eat.

    I did try making things like Mac and cheese and hiding cauliflower (colourless) and peeled grated zucchini (if you dont peel it she will know its there). I hide grated carrots, grated zucchini and tiny chopped mushrooms in my bolognaise. Same goes for my nachos I hide carrot, baked beans and corn (use creamed corn for toddlers as its less detectable). In fact I hide grated vegetables in just about everything. Try making your own nuggets, I make these broccoli and chicken nuggets, https://www.stayathomemum.com.au/recipes/chicken-broccoli-nuggets/

    There are lots of ways to hide veggies in just about anything and everything.

  • Thanks so much for all your suggestions! We have had 3 nights in a row this week that they’ve at least tasted their dinner and eaten most and nearly all of it. I pureed bolognese sauce that had hidden mushroom, zucchini and carrot in it and tossed it through penne pasta – and they polished it off! They love pasta but not keen on chunky sauce. I have set up a placemat with the food groups on it and a space for a reward sticker if they eat their dinner, they get bonus stars for trying something new! They seem interested in the foods and it has sparked their interest at least. I’ve had my son actually take a bit of a banana and a strawberry this week too! Even though he dry wretched this is a HUGE step forward. Next thing I’m trying is to make my own chicken nuggets with hidden veggies and a noodle soup! Wish me luck :)

  • Depending on what you are cooking i blend mine down to a paste and mix it through. The kids have no clue due to not been able to see it. Just watch out for greens as they can leave your cooking a awful colour. I also fine shave my brocolli and tell them its just decorations for their dinner that they can eat.

  • Cook it into the meals. I don’t like hiding completely because then they will never develop a liking to it. Do they pick it out if it’s diced into pasta sauce and lasagne etc?

  • I make savoury mince and spaghetti bolognese grating veggies into it and they don’t even know they are in there. You can make veggie chips with just about any type of vegetables – maybe try roast veggies to give them a similar taste to chips. I have also seen before recipes for veggie balls that are similar to chicken nuggets but with veggies packed inside. It is all trial and error to get them to try new things. Good luck!!

Post your reply
Add a photo
Your MoM account

Lost your password?

Enter your email and a password below to post your answer and join MoM:

↥ Back to top

Thanks For Your Star Rating!

Would you like to add a written rating or just a star rating?

Write A Rating Just A Star Rating