Ghost Veggies! Sneaky Kid-Recipes for Getting in the Greens and Yellows

I love this article! What mom doesn’t want her kids to eat more greens and yellows! I love the interesting recipes that Chanelle came up with to trick her daughter into healthy food!


by Chanelle Henderson | Staff Writer for thesnapmom.com

If your tike is anything like mine, she stops for nothing! Her bottle-rocket level of energy demands that every bite of food count. Unfortunately, sometimes those ‘bites’ she chooses off her plate are conspicuously devoid of the vegetables I know she needs to grow.

USDA guidelines now recommend that half our plate should consist of fruits and veggies.  But with a developing palate and a strong will, I am lucky if I can convince my two year old to take one BITE of the green stuff some days!

Most days, I don’t sweat the small stuff. I try to give her the space to try things out on her own time, so long as she is eating what’s offered. For me, it’s SO not worth the nagging and the stress! And Natural Consequences seem to work much better in the long run!

And you know what else helps? GHOST VEGGIES! That is—recipes that are Kid-Approved and delicious, but mysteriously serve up the healthy veggies we all know they should be eating! In the long run, I hope that by introducing the flavors into the food, my toddler’s developing palate will eventually learn to love the full rainbow of flora we can (and need!) to eat.

Parsnip Mashed Potatoes

  • Select your favorite potato for mashed potatoes
  • Sub ½ of the # potatoes you would normally use with chopped parsnips or white carrots
  • Boil in water with potatoes until all are tender (For added flavor and nutrition, sub the water for Bone Broth!
  • Add in any butter, herbs, garlic, etc. that you normally would, and mash as usual!

Spinach Black Bean Soup

  • Sauté some chopped onions and garlic in some oil in a large stock pot
  • Mix in 2 cups of dried beans with a little cumin and coriander (optional)
  • Add 8 cups or so of stock (again, Bone Broth is great for this!)
  • Simmer for about 2 hours until beans are tender
  • Add in about a cup of coarsely chopped cilantro with a few heaping handfuls of chopped spinach (I usually do about a handful per serving of soup. So usually about 8 handfuls!)
  • Simmer *just* until the spinach wilts
  • Puree soup in a food processor or blender
  • Return soup to pot to warm back up, adding a little more broth or water to thin if needed

Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

(You could also use regular carrots or pumpkin or the same effect!)

  • Melt a couple of tablespoons of butter in a medium pot with about a tablespoon of oil
  • Add a little garlic for flavor, and then add about a ½ can of pureed white beans
  • Stir in 2 cups of stock, then add about 10 ounces of cooked, peeled, and pureed butternut squash (roasted is my favorite! Sub roasted peeled carrots or just canned pumpkin puree if you want)
  • Stir in about a ½ to 1 cup of cream or half and half and bring sauce to a bubble
  • Stir in about 2 ½ cups of your favorite grated cheese, using ‘figure 8 motions’ to keep it from sticking
  • Season with salt and pepper ( I also like to add a little nutmeg)
  • Combine about a pound (a box) of cooked elbow macaroni

Cauliflower Crust Pizza

  • Shred ½ a head of raw cauliflower in a food processor
  • Steam shredded cauliflower in a colander or steam insert over water until tender (about 10-15 min), then cool until you can touch it comfortably
  • In a separate bowl, combine ½ cup of shredded white cheese, a little bit of parsley (optional), 1 egg, a little chopped garlic (optional) and salt and pepper.
  • Add cauliflower, and stir until everything is mixed well
  • Pour mixture onto a parchment-lined baking sheet or silicone mat and shape into a pizza crust
  • Par bake (bake alone without toppings) for about 15 min on 450 degrees
  • Remove, cool, and top like normal pizza! (for added veggies, add a cup of pureed spinach to your tomato sauce!)

Green Pea Pesto Sauce

  • Pulse together a package of defrosted peas, ½ cup of grated parmesan cheese,  a handful of chopped parsley, a couple leaves of basil, a garlic clove, a teaspoon of salt, and a bit of pepper in a food processor
  • While the machine runs, slowly add olive oil until you get the consistency you want (I usually end up using about 1/3 cup + a bit)
  • Continue pulsing until smooth
  • Mix in with pasta or serve a dollop over chicken—just use like regular pesto!

Chanelle spends her hours as a mom, a writer, a wife, and a mental health counselor–not always in that order! When she and her husband aren’t chasing after their renegade children, they ponder the finer philosophies of Eric Carle and Dr. Seuss (while wiping finger paint off the pages).

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