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12 Ways to Sneak Vegetables Into Kids' Favorite Lunchbox Recipes Slideshow

12 Ways to Sneak Vegetables Into Kids' Favorite Lunchbox Recipes Slideshow


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Barbecue Chicken Mac and Cheese

Cheesy Chicken Lunchbox Muffins

"I used to walk right by the wonton wrappers in the produce section of my market, never having appreciated what a simple and versatile ingredient they are. But one day when all attempts to find the perfect, low-fat, pliable crust..."

- Missy Chase Lapine


Click here to see the Cheesy Chicken Lunchbox Muffins Recipe

Cold Sneaky Sesame Noodles

"If you wanted to make this a two-pronged meal, double the recipe and serve it for dinner, then have the kids take the leftovers for school lunch the next day. Pick up some extra Chinese takeout white boxes for extra fun in the lunchbox!"

- Missy Chase Lapine


Click here to see the Cold Sneaky Sesame Noodles Recipe

Grab N Go Crispy Granola Bars

"Kids love this healthy cross between a granola bar and a Rice Krispie treat. These bars are far healthier than kids’ breakfast cereals, delivering a good boost of whole grains and fiber, as well as calcium from the powdered milk. I keep some in little plastic bags frozen individually to keep them from going stale, and toss them in lunch boxes or for a snack on the run."

- Missy Chase Lapine

Click here to see the Grab N Go Crispy Granola Bar Recipe

Mac and Cheese Lunchbox Muffins

"These are a handy lunch box alternative to sandwiches and are loaded with hidden veggies! The Sneaky Chef mac and cheese formula is tried and true, and this turns it into a hand-held meal that can be popped into the kids’ lunch boxes. No fork is needed, as they are eaten just like a muffin. Kids don't mind them cold. Make ahead and freeze, take them out and put into the fridge the night before, and you are set to go."

- Missy Chase Lapine

Click here to see the Mac and Cheese Lunchbox Muffins Recipe

No-Bake Peanut Butter Bars

Portable Pizza Muffins

"These are great for the lunch box, especially for kids who are tired and bored with sandwiches. They get three top-notch veggies, three whole grains, calcium, and protein all in a portable package of a muffin. Kids love anything called "pizza." They are also a great after-school snack."

- Missy Chase Lapine

Click here to see the Portable Pizza Muffins Recipe

Rainbow Lunchbox Pancakes

Sneak-Wiches

"I’m a big fan of making things ahead so they are ready to grab when we’re in a rush. 'Sneak-wiches' are a good example of this method. Much like the packaged versions in the grocery store, this is a homemade, healthier version of the conveniently made-ahead..."

- Missy Chase Lapine

Click here to see the Sneak-Wiches Recipe

Top Dog Corn Muffins

"By transforming corn dogs into muffins, I could sneak in whole grains, vegetables, and calcium while retaining the traditional greattaste of hot dogs and cornbread. This complete meal in a muffin makes a fun dinner on the run or lunchbox sandwich alternative."

- Missy Chase Lapine

Click here to see the Top Dog Corn Muffins Recipe

Quick Fixes for Tuna Fish Sandwiches

"Any or all of the ingredients in this recipe hide beautifully in a 6-ounce can of chunk light or chunk white tuna, packed in water and drained. As with all Sneaky Chef recipes, you can gradually increase the amount of the nutritious sneaky ingredient over time. You can also combine any or all of the following quick fixes."

- Missy Chase Lapine


Click here to see the Quick Fixes for Tuna Fish Sandwiches Recipe


Should You Sneak Veggies Into Your Kids’ Food?

Every parent knows the pain of dealing with a picky eater — and the fear that the child will suffer malnutrition from a constant diet of pizza, grilled cheese and noodles. Hence, there’s a great temptation to take the stealth approach to your child’s health by slipping undetectable amounts of produce into those same favorite foods.

Employing this tactic is easier than ever now, thanks to companies like Oh Yes Foods, which markets frozen pizzas whose crusts are loaded with pulverized produce, and Kidfresh, whose frozen entrees of mac and cheese, chicken nuggets and cheese quesadillas hide ample amounts of veggies like carrots, spinach and cauliflower.

Considering that, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nine out of 10 Americans kids fall short of the recommended intake of vegetables, this all seems like a brilliant idea. Yet some experts caution against relying on this technique. “Yes, it’s a good thing nutritionally,” admits Marcia Pelchat, Ph.D., a psychologist with the Monell Chemical Senses Center. “But if children are only exposed to vegetables in ways that mask their smell, texture and flavor, they may not learn to eat them.”

Perhaps the best approach is a two-pronged one: expose kids to actual, whole vegetables on a regular basis, but slip some extra into their food to supplement their intake. And while you don’t have to let them know what you’ve snuck in there, you’ll build trust by letting kids be part of the process.

“If your child is used to traditional mac and cheese, then tell them if you’ve added butternut squash or cauliflower,” suggests Toby Amidor, M.S., R.D., Healthy Eats contributor and author of The Greek Yogurt Kitchen. “They’ll get to experience the new flavors, and you’ll avoid the backlash of them not liking the surprise factor.”

For toddlers, Amidor recommends including vegetables in kid-friendly foods from the start — that way it will be what they consider normal, and no “sneaking” will be necessary later on. For older kids, get them involved in the meal prep. “Making them part of cooking can help kids embrace vegetables,” says Amidor. “Do build-your-own tacos or pizza and let them decide which vegetables to add.” They may start with a single slice of pepper, but with time — and repeated exposure — including vegetables in their meals will become a habit.


Should You Sneak Veggies Into Your Kids’ Food?

Every parent knows the pain of dealing with a picky eater — and the fear that the child will suffer malnutrition from a constant diet of pizza, grilled cheese and noodles. Hence, there’s a great temptation to take the stealth approach to your child’s health by slipping undetectable amounts of produce into those same favorite foods.

Employing this tactic is easier than ever now, thanks to companies like Oh Yes Foods, which markets frozen pizzas whose crusts are loaded with pulverized produce, and Kidfresh, whose frozen entrees of mac and cheese, chicken nuggets and cheese quesadillas hide ample amounts of veggies like carrots, spinach and cauliflower.

Considering that, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nine out of 10 Americans kids fall short of the recommended intake of vegetables, this all seems like a brilliant idea. Yet some experts caution against relying on this technique. “Yes, it’s a good thing nutritionally,” admits Marcia Pelchat, Ph.D., a psychologist with the Monell Chemical Senses Center. “But if children are only exposed to vegetables in ways that mask their smell, texture and flavor, they may not learn to eat them.”

Perhaps the best approach is a two-pronged one: expose kids to actual, whole vegetables on a regular basis, but slip some extra into their food to supplement their intake. And while you don’t have to let them know what you’ve snuck in there, you’ll build trust by letting kids be part of the process.

“If your child is used to traditional mac and cheese, then tell them if you’ve added butternut squash or cauliflower,” suggests Toby Amidor, M.S., R.D., Healthy Eats contributor and author of The Greek Yogurt Kitchen. “They’ll get to experience the new flavors, and you’ll avoid the backlash of them not liking the surprise factor.”

For toddlers, Amidor recommends including vegetables in kid-friendly foods from the start — that way it will be what they consider normal, and no “sneaking” will be necessary later on. For older kids, get them involved in the meal prep. “Making them part of cooking can help kids embrace vegetables,” says Amidor. “Do build-your-own tacos or pizza and let them decide which vegetables to add.” They may start with a single slice of pepper, but with time — and repeated exposure — including vegetables in their meals will become a habit.


Should You Sneak Veggies Into Your Kids’ Food?

Every parent knows the pain of dealing with a picky eater — and the fear that the child will suffer malnutrition from a constant diet of pizza, grilled cheese and noodles. Hence, there’s a great temptation to take the stealth approach to your child’s health by slipping undetectable amounts of produce into those same favorite foods.

Employing this tactic is easier than ever now, thanks to companies like Oh Yes Foods, which markets frozen pizzas whose crusts are loaded with pulverized produce, and Kidfresh, whose frozen entrees of mac and cheese, chicken nuggets and cheese quesadillas hide ample amounts of veggies like carrots, spinach and cauliflower.

Considering that, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nine out of 10 Americans kids fall short of the recommended intake of vegetables, this all seems like a brilliant idea. Yet some experts caution against relying on this technique. “Yes, it’s a good thing nutritionally,” admits Marcia Pelchat, Ph.D., a psychologist with the Monell Chemical Senses Center. “But if children are only exposed to vegetables in ways that mask their smell, texture and flavor, they may not learn to eat them.”

Perhaps the best approach is a two-pronged one: expose kids to actual, whole vegetables on a regular basis, but slip some extra into their food to supplement their intake. And while you don’t have to let them know what you’ve snuck in there, you’ll build trust by letting kids be part of the process.

“If your child is used to traditional mac and cheese, then tell them if you’ve added butternut squash or cauliflower,” suggests Toby Amidor, M.S., R.D., Healthy Eats contributor and author of The Greek Yogurt Kitchen. “They’ll get to experience the new flavors, and you’ll avoid the backlash of them not liking the surprise factor.”

For toddlers, Amidor recommends including vegetables in kid-friendly foods from the start — that way it will be what they consider normal, and no “sneaking” will be necessary later on. For older kids, get them involved in the meal prep. “Making them part of cooking can help kids embrace vegetables,” says Amidor. “Do build-your-own tacos or pizza and let them decide which vegetables to add.” They may start with a single slice of pepper, but with time — and repeated exposure — including vegetables in their meals will become a habit.


Should You Sneak Veggies Into Your Kids’ Food?

Every parent knows the pain of dealing with a picky eater — and the fear that the child will suffer malnutrition from a constant diet of pizza, grilled cheese and noodles. Hence, there’s a great temptation to take the stealth approach to your child’s health by slipping undetectable amounts of produce into those same favorite foods.

Employing this tactic is easier than ever now, thanks to companies like Oh Yes Foods, which markets frozen pizzas whose crusts are loaded with pulverized produce, and Kidfresh, whose frozen entrees of mac and cheese, chicken nuggets and cheese quesadillas hide ample amounts of veggies like carrots, spinach and cauliflower.

Considering that, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nine out of 10 Americans kids fall short of the recommended intake of vegetables, this all seems like a brilliant idea. Yet some experts caution against relying on this technique. “Yes, it’s a good thing nutritionally,” admits Marcia Pelchat, Ph.D., a psychologist with the Monell Chemical Senses Center. “But if children are only exposed to vegetables in ways that mask their smell, texture and flavor, they may not learn to eat them.”

Perhaps the best approach is a two-pronged one: expose kids to actual, whole vegetables on a regular basis, but slip some extra into their food to supplement their intake. And while you don’t have to let them know what you’ve snuck in there, you’ll build trust by letting kids be part of the process.

“If your child is used to traditional mac and cheese, then tell them if you’ve added butternut squash or cauliflower,” suggests Toby Amidor, M.S., R.D., Healthy Eats contributor and author of The Greek Yogurt Kitchen. “They’ll get to experience the new flavors, and you’ll avoid the backlash of them not liking the surprise factor.”

For toddlers, Amidor recommends including vegetables in kid-friendly foods from the start — that way it will be what they consider normal, and no “sneaking” will be necessary later on. For older kids, get them involved in the meal prep. “Making them part of cooking can help kids embrace vegetables,” says Amidor. “Do build-your-own tacos or pizza and let them decide which vegetables to add.” They may start with a single slice of pepper, but with time — and repeated exposure — including vegetables in their meals will become a habit.


Should You Sneak Veggies Into Your Kids’ Food?

Every parent knows the pain of dealing with a picky eater — and the fear that the child will suffer malnutrition from a constant diet of pizza, grilled cheese and noodles. Hence, there’s a great temptation to take the stealth approach to your child’s health by slipping undetectable amounts of produce into those same favorite foods.

Employing this tactic is easier than ever now, thanks to companies like Oh Yes Foods, which markets frozen pizzas whose crusts are loaded with pulverized produce, and Kidfresh, whose frozen entrees of mac and cheese, chicken nuggets and cheese quesadillas hide ample amounts of veggies like carrots, spinach and cauliflower.

Considering that, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nine out of 10 Americans kids fall short of the recommended intake of vegetables, this all seems like a brilliant idea. Yet some experts caution against relying on this technique. “Yes, it’s a good thing nutritionally,” admits Marcia Pelchat, Ph.D., a psychologist with the Monell Chemical Senses Center. “But if children are only exposed to vegetables in ways that mask their smell, texture and flavor, they may not learn to eat them.”

Perhaps the best approach is a two-pronged one: expose kids to actual, whole vegetables on a regular basis, but slip some extra into their food to supplement their intake. And while you don’t have to let them know what you’ve snuck in there, you’ll build trust by letting kids be part of the process.

“If your child is used to traditional mac and cheese, then tell them if you’ve added butternut squash or cauliflower,” suggests Toby Amidor, M.S., R.D., Healthy Eats contributor and author of The Greek Yogurt Kitchen. “They’ll get to experience the new flavors, and you’ll avoid the backlash of them not liking the surprise factor.”

For toddlers, Amidor recommends including vegetables in kid-friendly foods from the start — that way it will be what they consider normal, and no “sneaking” will be necessary later on. For older kids, get them involved in the meal prep. “Making them part of cooking can help kids embrace vegetables,” says Amidor. “Do build-your-own tacos or pizza and let them decide which vegetables to add.” They may start with a single slice of pepper, but with time — and repeated exposure — including vegetables in their meals will become a habit.


Should You Sneak Veggies Into Your Kids’ Food?

Every parent knows the pain of dealing with a picky eater — and the fear that the child will suffer malnutrition from a constant diet of pizza, grilled cheese and noodles. Hence, there’s a great temptation to take the stealth approach to your child’s health by slipping undetectable amounts of produce into those same favorite foods.

Employing this tactic is easier than ever now, thanks to companies like Oh Yes Foods, which markets frozen pizzas whose crusts are loaded with pulverized produce, and Kidfresh, whose frozen entrees of mac and cheese, chicken nuggets and cheese quesadillas hide ample amounts of veggies like carrots, spinach and cauliflower.

Considering that, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nine out of 10 Americans kids fall short of the recommended intake of vegetables, this all seems like a brilliant idea. Yet some experts caution against relying on this technique. “Yes, it’s a good thing nutritionally,” admits Marcia Pelchat, Ph.D., a psychologist with the Monell Chemical Senses Center. “But if children are only exposed to vegetables in ways that mask their smell, texture and flavor, they may not learn to eat them.”

Perhaps the best approach is a two-pronged one: expose kids to actual, whole vegetables on a regular basis, but slip some extra into their food to supplement their intake. And while you don’t have to let them know what you’ve snuck in there, you’ll build trust by letting kids be part of the process.

“If your child is used to traditional mac and cheese, then tell them if you’ve added butternut squash or cauliflower,” suggests Toby Amidor, M.S., R.D., Healthy Eats contributor and author of The Greek Yogurt Kitchen. “They’ll get to experience the new flavors, and you’ll avoid the backlash of them not liking the surprise factor.”

For toddlers, Amidor recommends including vegetables in kid-friendly foods from the start — that way it will be what they consider normal, and no “sneaking” will be necessary later on. For older kids, get them involved in the meal prep. “Making them part of cooking can help kids embrace vegetables,” says Amidor. “Do build-your-own tacos or pizza and let them decide which vegetables to add.” They may start with a single slice of pepper, but with time — and repeated exposure — including vegetables in their meals will become a habit.


Should You Sneak Veggies Into Your Kids’ Food?

Every parent knows the pain of dealing with a picky eater — and the fear that the child will suffer malnutrition from a constant diet of pizza, grilled cheese and noodles. Hence, there’s a great temptation to take the stealth approach to your child’s health by slipping undetectable amounts of produce into those same favorite foods.

Employing this tactic is easier than ever now, thanks to companies like Oh Yes Foods, which markets frozen pizzas whose crusts are loaded with pulverized produce, and Kidfresh, whose frozen entrees of mac and cheese, chicken nuggets and cheese quesadillas hide ample amounts of veggies like carrots, spinach and cauliflower.

Considering that, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nine out of 10 Americans kids fall short of the recommended intake of vegetables, this all seems like a brilliant idea. Yet some experts caution against relying on this technique. “Yes, it’s a good thing nutritionally,” admits Marcia Pelchat, Ph.D., a psychologist with the Monell Chemical Senses Center. “But if children are only exposed to vegetables in ways that mask their smell, texture and flavor, they may not learn to eat them.”

Perhaps the best approach is a two-pronged one: expose kids to actual, whole vegetables on a regular basis, but slip some extra into their food to supplement their intake. And while you don’t have to let them know what you’ve snuck in there, you’ll build trust by letting kids be part of the process.

“If your child is used to traditional mac and cheese, then tell them if you’ve added butternut squash or cauliflower,” suggests Toby Amidor, M.S., R.D., Healthy Eats contributor and author of The Greek Yogurt Kitchen. “They’ll get to experience the new flavors, and you’ll avoid the backlash of them not liking the surprise factor.”

For toddlers, Amidor recommends including vegetables in kid-friendly foods from the start — that way it will be what they consider normal, and no “sneaking” will be necessary later on. For older kids, get them involved in the meal prep. “Making them part of cooking can help kids embrace vegetables,” says Amidor. “Do build-your-own tacos or pizza and let them decide which vegetables to add.” They may start with a single slice of pepper, but with time — and repeated exposure — including vegetables in their meals will become a habit.


Should You Sneak Veggies Into Your Kids’ Food?

Every parent knows the pain of dealing with a picky eater — and the fear that the child will suffer malnutrition from a constant diet of pizza, grilled cheese and noodles. Hence, there’s a great temptation to take the stealth approach to your child’s health by slipping undetectable amounts of produce into those same favorite foods.

Employing this tactic is easier than ever now, thanks to companies like Oh Yes Foods, which markets frozen pizzas whose crusts are loaded with pulverized produce, and Kidfresh, whose frozen entrees of mac and cheese, chicken nuggets and cheese quesadillas hide ample amounts of veggies like carrots, spinach and cauliflower.

Considering that, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nine out of 10 Americans kids fall short of the recommended intake of vegetables, this all seems like a brilliant idea. Yet some experts caution against relying on this technique. “Yes, it’s a good thing nutritionally,” admits Marcia Pelchat, Ph.D., a psychologist with the Monell Chemical Senses Center. “But if children are only exposed to vegetables in ways that mask their smell, texture and flavor, they may not learn to eat them.”

Perhaps the best approach is a two-pronged one: expose kids to actual, whole vegetables on a regular basis, but slip some extra into their food to supplement their intake. And while you don’t have to let them know what you’ve snuck in there, you’ll build trust by letting kids be part of the process.

“If your child is used to traditional mac and cheese, then tell them if you’ve added butternut squash or cauliflower,” suggests Toby Amidor, M.S., R.D., Healthy Eats contributor and author of The Greek Yogurt Kitchen. “They’ll get to experience the new flavors, and you’ll avoid the backlash of them not liking the surprise factor.”

For toddlers, Amidor recommends including vegetables in kid-friendly foods from the start — that way it will be what they consider normal, and no “sneaking” will be necessary later on. For older kids, get them involved in the meal prep. “Making them part of cooking can help kids embrace vegetables,” says Amidor. “Do build-your-own tacos or pizza and let them decide which vegetables to add.” They may start with a single slice of pepper, but with time — and repeated exposure — including vegetables in their meals will become a habit.


Should You Sneak Veggies Into Your Kids’ Food?

Every parent knows the pain of dealing with a picky eater — and the fear that the child will suffer malnutrition from a constant diet of pizza, grilled cheese and noodles. Hence, there’s a great temptation to take the stealth approach to your child’s health by slipping undetectable amounts of produce into those same favorite foods.

Employing this tactic is easier than ever now, thanks to companies like Oh Yes Foods, which markets frozen pizzas whose crusts are loaded with pulverized produce, and Kidfresh, whose frozen entrees of mac and cheese, chicken nuggets and cheese quesadillas hide ample amounts of veggies like carrots, spinach and cauliflower.

Considering that, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nine out of 10 Americans kids fall short of the recommended intake of vegetables, this all seems like a brilliant idea. Yet some experts caution against relying on this technique. “Yes, it’s a good thing nutritionally,” admits Marcia Pelchat, Ph.D., a psychologist with the Monell Chemical Senses Center. “But if children are only exposed to vegetables in ways that mask their smell, texture and flavor, they may not learn to eat them.”

Perhaps the best approach is a two-pronged one: expose kids to actual, whole vegetables on a regular basis, but slip some extra into their food to supplement their intake. And while you don’t have to let them know what you’ve snuck in there, you’ll build trust by letting kids be part of the process.

“If your child is used to traditional mac and cheese, then tell them if you’ve added butternut squash or cauliflower,” suggests Toby Amidor, M.S., R.D., Healthy Eats contributor and author of The Greek Yogurt Kitchen. “They’ll get to experience the new flavors, and you’ll avoid the backlash of them not liking the surprise factor.”

For toddlers, Amidor recommends including vegetables in kid-friendly foods from the start — that way it will be what they consider normal, and no “sneaking” will be necessary later on. For older kids, get them involved in the meal prep. “Making them part of cooking can help kids embrace vegetables,” says Amidor. “Do build-your-own tacos or pizza and let them decide which vegetables to add.” They may start with a single slice of pepper, but with time — and repeated exposure — including vegetables in their meals will become a habit.


Should You Sneak Veggies Into Your Kids’ Food?

Every parent knows the pain of dealing with a picky eater — and the fear that the child will suffer malnutrition from a constant diet of pizza, grilled cheese and noodles. Hence, there’s a great temptation to take the stealth approach to your child’s health by slipping undetectable amounts of produce into those same favorite foods.

Employing this tactic is easier than ever now, thanks to companies like Oh Yes Foods, which markets frozen pizzas whose crusts are loaded with pulverized produce, and Kidfresh, whose frozen entrees of mac and cheese, chicken nuggets and cheese quesadillas hide ample amounts of veggies like carrots, spinach and cauliflower.

Considering that, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nine out of 10 Americans kids fall short of the recommended intake of vegetables, this all seems like a brilliant idea. Yet some experts caution against relying on this technique. “Yes, it’s a good thing nutritionally,” admits Marcia Pelchat, Ph.D., a psychologist with the Monell Chemical Senses Center. “But if children are only exposed to vegetables in ways that mask their smell, texture and flavor, they may not learn to eat them.”

Perhaps the best approach is a two-pronged one: expose kids to actual, whole vegetables on a regular basis, but slip some extra into their food to supplement their intake. And while you don’t have to let them know what you’ve snuck in there, you’ll build trust by letting kids be part of the process.

“If your child is used to traditional mac and cheese, then tell them if you’ve added butternut squash or cauliflower,” suggests Toby Amidor, M.S., R.D., Healthy Eats contributor and author of The Greek Yogurt Kitchen. “They’ll get to experience the new flavors, and you’ll avoid the backlash of them not liking the surprise factor.”

For toddlers, Amidor recommends including vegetables in kid-friendly foods from the start — that way it will be what they consider normal, and no “sneaking” will be necessary later on. For older kids, get them involved in the meal prep. “Making them part of cooking can help kids embrace vegetables,” says Amidor. “Do build-your-own tacos or pizza and let them decide which vegetables to add.” They may start with a single slice of pepper, but with time — and repeated exposure — including vegetables in their meals will become a habit.