Score More Veggies: Four Hidden Ingredient Recipes

Summer is almost here and so are a wide variety of tasty fruits and vegetables! June is considered National Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Month with the 17th being reserved as Eat Your Veggies Day. Many of us know we should be consuming and providing a substantial amount of vegetables to our children, but just how much is enough? While it varies based on sex and age, the United States Department of Agriculture recommends that kiddos eat anywhere from 1 cup to 3 cups of colorful veggies daily. You can determine the right amount needed for your child by visiting this link.

So, how exactly can you convince your child to push for their recommended daily dose of vegetables? We’re here to help! Below you will find four fresh recipes that sneakily incorporate vegetables into your kiddo’s favorite foods. They’ll be these devouring delicious snacks, sides, and meals while fueling their bodies with the necessary nutrients required to keep them on track.

Baked Cauliflower Mac and Cheese

Ingredients:

-1 lb. of macaroni of your choice
-1 ½ lb. of sharp cheddar cheese
-8 ounces of cottage cheese
-8 ounces of sour cream
-1/2 head of cauliflower, chopped finely
-3 yellow squash or 1-2 small zucchini, shredded
-1 teaspoon paprika
-1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
-Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. Cook the macaroni according to the directions, undercooking it just slightly.

3. While the macaroni cooks, mix the rest of the ingredients together in a large bowl, reserving 1-1/2 cups of grated cheddar cheese.

4. Drain the macaroni and add it to the large cheese bowl. Mix until well-combined.

5. Pour the macaroni into a 9×12 glass baking dish.

6. Sprinkle the reserved grated cheddar cheese over the top.

7. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Turn on the broiler and broil for 6-9 more minutes until the top turns brown and crispy.

Recipe and photo courtesy of Snixy Kitchen.

Zucchini Muffins

Ingredients:

-1 medium banana
-2 eggs
-3/4 cup of milk
-1 tsp vanilla
-3 tbsp maple syrup or honey
-2 zucchini
-2 cups wholemeal flour
-3 teaspoons baking powder
-1/3 cup chocolate chips

Directions:

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and prepare a muffin tin. You will either need to grease it well or line with muffin liners.

2. In a large bowl, mash a banana, add eggs, milk, oil, vanilla, and maple syrup and mix well so that the eggs and liquids are well combined.

3. Peel and grate the zucchini.

4. Over a sink squeeze the grated zucchini to remove excess moisture, add the grated zucchini to the wet ingredients.

5. Add the wholemeal flour and baking powder to the bowl, and sprinkle the baking powder over the flour.

6. Mix, but not too well, the general rule is to not over mix a muffin, add the chocolate chips (reserve a few to sprinkle on the top), and again just mix gently.

7. Portion into a 12 regular muffin tray, top with a few of the reserved chocolate chips.

8. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until golden.

Recipe and photo courtesy of My Kids Lick the Bowl.

Cheese Puffs

Ingredients:

-1/2 cup of milk of your choice
-1 egg
-1/2 tsp smoked paprika
-1 zucchini, grated
-2 spring onions, chopped finely
-2 cups grated cheddar cheese
-1 cup self-rising flour

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a baking tray.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together the milk and egg. Add the paprika, zucchini, spring onions, and cheese.

3. Sift over the flour. Mix well (it becomes a thick paste). Dollop out large tablespoon-size portions onto the tray. The mix makes about 16.

4. Bake for 20-25 minutes until deep golden brown and cooked through.

5. Store in the fridge in an airtight container for several days or you can freeze them.

Recipe and photo courtesy of Natural New Age Mum.

Hidden Vegetable Pizza Rolls

Ingredients:

-1/2 green bell pepper, diced
-1 carrot, diced
-1/2 zucchini, diced
-1/2 onion, diced
-2 mushrooms, diced
-1/4 cup spinach
-1 cup spaghetti sauce
-1 cup mozzarella cheese
-1 refrigerated pizza dough
-Muffin tins
-Cooking spray

Directions:

1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

2. Chop all vegetables.

3. Combine all vegetables in a pan and sauté for 5-7 minutes or until slightly softened.

4. In a blender, combine sautéed vegetables and spaghetti sauce. Blend until smooth.

5. Roll out your pizza dough, add marinara sauce and ¾ cup of cheese.

6. Roll the pizza crust into a log and cut into ½ inch thick slices.

7. Spray a muffin tin with cooking spray and add a slice to each tin. Cover with the remaining ¼ cup of cheese.

8. Bake for 15-20 minutes.

Recipe and photo courtesy of Regalo Baby.

In addition to finding creative ways to incorporate vegetables into your child’s daily diet, the American Academy of Pediatrics also recommends avoiding buying high-calorie foods such as cookies and chips along with setting a good example for your child by eating veggies yourself. And while these recipes will likely have your kiddo’s tummy happy, don’t forget that Urgent Care for Children is here for your after-hours pediatric needs every day of the year.