The Best Vegetables for Picky Eaters and How to Prepare Them
If no one in your house likes vegetables it makes it hard for a vegetable lover like you. Vegetables are healthy and you know they taste great, but you can’t convince your kids to eat them. Even your partner isn’t a fan of veggies. So you need to figure out how to cook vegetables for picky eaters?
To cook vegetables for picky eaters, choose versatile vegetables and hide them in their favorite foods. Creating the right dish for a choosy eater is all about savory, sweet, and bold flavors.
For example, cooking carrots into a cheese sauce or pasta sauce dissolves the carrots, leaving behind nutrients.
Don’t worry, we made a list of vegetables picky eaters love. You won’t have to think about how to serve your veggies either, because we’ve gone over that too.
Keep reading for ideas on how to cook tasty and healthy vegetables. Then learn a few fun ideas like hidden mac & cheese or meatballs that you can make tonight for your favorite picky eater.
What Vegetables are Good for Picky Eaters?
The best vegetables for picky eaters are appealing to the eye and can be prepared in multiple ways. Vegetables that can be prepared sweet and savory are the best choice. Be sure to pick a vegetable that packs on the nutrition because your picky eater is going to need it.
Carrots are perfect for picky eaters, especially kids. How many times were you told as a child that carrots are great for your eyes? This bright vegetable contains lots of vitamins including beta carotene, giving you the retinol you need to see the vibrant color. Carrots are as healthy as they are versatile. You can eat them sweet or savory, prepare them based on your picky eater’s favorite flavor profile.
Peas are a little scary at initial sight for picky eaters, but fresh peas are quite sweet. Since they are also tiny, peas can be hidden inside other foods. Add peas to meatloaf or pasta salad to get your picky eaters to take a bite.
Now hear me out on this one. Broccoli isn’t the most popular dish. But for kids, it’s a fun way to play with your food. Tell your kids the broccoli are little trees and you are dinosaurs. The fun element will help with the desire to eat more vegetables.
Give broccoli to your kids early, so they learn to love them right away. Whoever you’re preparing fresh broccoli for, try to avoid steaming them when they are around. Picky eaters will notice that fresh broccoli has a funny smell when it’s cooked. Instead of steaming, roast or pan-fry your broccoli with great seasonings.
Sweet potatoes are probably the easiest vegetable on this list to get a picky eater to try. All you need to do is bake a whole sweet potato and add cinnamon, honey, and butter.
Sweet potatoes are versatile though, try them in a mash to replace white potatoes. If you use more sweet potatoes you can also add a bit more vitamin A to your diet. Maybe your picky eater will convince you that sweet potato pie is a vegetable.
Is your picky eater a kid who likes silly words? Start by telling them you’re going to have a silly dinner with zucchini. To get creative with zucchini try making noodles out of them and covering them with pasta sauce.
While it may be hard to get picky eaters to eat sautéed or steamed zucchini, these hide in smoothies really well. Zucchini makes a creamy texture that you’ll love as much as your picky eater will.
How Do You Eat Salad If You Hate It?
To eat salad when you hate it, you’ll need to reimagine what salad is. Often we think of a bunch of leaves on a plate with our least favorite vegetables, but salad can be more interesting than that.
All you need to do is think of ways to make salads more filling and you’ll almost always find a salad you love. Don’t stop with light leafy vegetables, add beans, and veggie pasta to your salad. If that’s not enough make the beans and pasta the star of your salad. Bean salads and pasta salads have amazing flavors and are always loaded with more vegetables.
As long as you choose vegetables and add-ins that give you more nutrition in a small amount you don’t have to overeat salad. Choose the ingredients that are right for you then top with a dressing you love.
If you don’t have a dressing you love try making one of your own. Hemp oil and vinegar are a great start to sweet or savory dressing recipes.
How Do You Make Healthy and Tasty Vegetables?
The best way to make healthy and tasty vegetables is to roast them. Roasting is also the easiest way to cook almost any veggies. After adding the right seasoning, roasting can even change a picky eater’s mind about brussels sprouts.
Seriously, why did anyone ever boil a brussels sprout? Of course, no one likes boiled brussels sprouts. When you cook a vegetable like brussels sprouts at high heat they begin to caramelize and char on the outside. The high heat causes a nice crunch and a soft middle.
To keep your vegetables healthy add lots of spice, but not too much salt. Salt and pepper is always a good start, but don’t be afraid to add herbs, like parsley, or acid like lemon juice. You can even add dressing and oil to your vegetables.
Try our roasted veggies recipe to see for yourself how tasty roast vegetables can be. Don’t forget that you can get these kinds of results in other ways too. Step out of your comfort zone and try to pan fry, wok fry, or grill veggies to get more flavor from high temperatures.
What Can I Put on Vegetables to Make Them Taste Better?
You can add amazing spices, oils, dressings, and toppings to make vegetables taste better. No matter how you cook your vegetables you should always do two things
- Start with great seasonings
- Finish with a topping
When you roast or grill your vegetables cover them with healthy fat. You won’t need to add too much if you use an oil with a big flavor like Humming Hemp garlic hemp oil.
Mix your veggies with garlic, onion, lemon juice, or vinegar and cover with your favorite spices. People stray away from giving veggies a lot of seasonings out of fear of over seasoning. As long as you don’t drown your vegetables in salt it’ll be hard to over season them.
Use your favorite seasonings. Don’t be afraid to try some of the seasonings you use on meat like
- Smoked paprika
- Fresh cracked pepper
- Sea salt
- Lemon pepper
- Brown sugar
- Grilled seasoning mixes
Make your vegetables complement the other flavor profiles of the food you’re eating for dinner. For example, if you’re making teriyaki salmon, add ginger, honey, and similar flavors to your roasted vegetables as well.
Once your vegetables are cooked, drizzle with a light dressing made from hemp oil and vinegar or sprinkle with hemp seeds and almonds. Green beans always taste great with shaved almonds and hemp seeds on top.
What to Cook for Someone Who Hates Vegetables?
When cooking for someone who hates vegetables, make their favorite meal and incorporate a complimentary vegetable. Try to get creative with your sides, because no one can survive on meat alone. Create smoothies, hidden veggie mac & cheese, or place vegetables right in the meat, to make a dinner that is complete with no complaints.
The best way to hide any healthy food is in a smoothie. As I mentioned before, zucchini is rarely used but provides a great creamy texture. If you hate vegetables, you’ll need all the nutrients you can get. Be sure to add hemp protein to your smoothie as well.
Hidden Veggies Mac & Cheese
Mac and cheese can hide a lot of veggies because you can blend them right in the cheese sauce and no one will ever know. If you blend cauliflower, squash, carrots, and water together it will make a smooth texture that melts right into a cheese sauce. None of your picky eaters will ever know they just ate a bowl full of vegetables. This is the most crafty way to create a hidden veggie dinner.
Spaghetti with Hidden Veggie Sauce
You can hide vegetables in spaghetti sauce in more ways than one. You can make a meaty sauce and cut vegetables small enough to blend in with each saucy meaty bite. If you’ve got a picky eater who can sense a vegetable from a mile away, hiding it among a meat sauce might not do the trick.
So you can also blend your pasta sauce with veggies, without anyone ever seeing what was inside at all. This way you get a smooth red sauce that can be full of tomatoes, peppers, carrots, zucchini, celery, and more without it looking like vegetables are inside.
Quick Breads and Muffins
Baking vegetables into bread and muffins is a great way to cook them away for picky eaters. Zucchini bread and pumpkin bread are some of the most popular versions of baked hidden veggies. The best part about veggie-filled bread is it’s sweet enough to taste like cake. If you didn’t know from the name zucchini bread you wouldn’t know vegetables were hidden inside.
When baking bread and muffins, you can also add healthy fats and nutritious nuts and seeds to your recipe. Try our pumpkin bread recipe for a treat that’s full of vegetables and nutritious hemp protein. Our pumpkin bread is vegan as well, so you’ll be loading your family up with an all vegetable treat.
Meatloaf with Veggies
A big meat eater will love putting ketchup on a slice of meatloaf. They won’t even realize the bite-sized or blended pieces of vegetables inside. Loading meatloaf with veggies gives you a healthy and juicy bite. Blend your mixture with whole grains to make this dish complete with nutrition.
For kids, you can even take your meatloaf recipe and turn it into meatballs. Make a complete dish with the hidden veggie pasta sauce mentioned earlier on this list. If you’re not in the mood for pasta you can serve veggies over rice for your picky eaters as well.
Summary: The Best Vegetables for Picky Eaters and How to Prepare Them
The best vegetables for picky eaters start with the vegetables you choose. If you are going to make vegetables for someone who hates them choose carrots, sweet potatoes, and zucchini for versatility.
Carrots can be made sweet or savory, so they blend well with your favorite flavors. The bright color of carrots is also pleasing to the eye. You may be able to convince a picky child to eat fun food, so pick veggies that look and sound fun as well.
You won’t always be able you hide your veggies, but that’s ok if you know how to prepare them. Roasting veggies with hemp oil and topping with hemp hearts is the perfect way to make your veggies taste great and stay healthy. If you choose a salad, load it up with your favorite ingredients and a great dressing. You can make a salad as filling as possible, so you don’t have to eat much.
The best vegetables for picky eaters are also easy to prepare and hide in other food. When you feel you have no other choice, get creative and hide your vegetables away. Blend your vegetables before you add them to cheese sauce, pasta sauce, or meat.