Learn the best ways to serve greens to kids with easy, kid-friendly recipes and cooking tips. With ideas from muffins and pancakes to pasta and tots, these greens are the ones the kids will actually eat!

greens-for-kids-grid

Greens for Kids

Getting our kids to eat their greens often feels like the holy grail of modern motherhood. But greens like spinach, kale, and lettuce are just some of the vegetable options we can offer, not the only ones. And while I 100% do not think that our kids need to be eating a steady stream of kale to be healthy, it can be fun to find ways to offer them greens that they like.

I try not to make a big deal out of any one nutrient, and I recommend that you do the same, and instead simply make these delicious recipes with greens as part of your regular meals. Because they’re great for kids and adults.

It can help to have the kids help make a recipe so they can feel in control of what they’re being offered. Or you can explore the ingredients in the grocery store or at the sink as a way to engage with them without pressure. Even learning what the names of greens are can be a great place to start.

(You may like Iron-Rich Foods for Kids.)

Your toddler won’t eat? Help is here!

Sign up for our email updates to get tips and ideas sent to your inbox. 

Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.

Quick Tips for Greens for Kids

  • As with food for adults, try to make sure that the food tastes good before serving it to kids—so actually taste it to make sure it’s not bitter or bland.
  • Add a little salt, cheese, sauce, or dips to help make it more appealing for your own child’s taste buds.
  • Recruit the kids to help make a recipe, if you have time, so they get familiar with the ingredients (this can help reduce anxiety about being served green foods).
  • Remember that green foods are only one option and it’s okay if it takes some time for the kids to learn to like them.

spinach banana muffins on pink plate

Spinach Banana Muffins

Sweet Green Spinach Muffin with Banana are a super healthy and yummy toddler or big kid breakfast or snack. Each bite is packed with nutrients from greens and fruit and the interior is so moist that even babies can enjoy these easy blender muffins!

Sweet Spinach Muffins with Banana
These healthy spinach muffins taste like a delicious banana muffin, but with the added nutrition of a big handful of spinach. These store well, so you can make them ahead of time and pull them out of the fridge or freezer to serve.
Sweet Spinach Muffins with Banana
spinach banana muffins on pink plate
spinach banana pancake stack with fruit rainbow

Spinach Banana Pancakes

These sweet Banana Spinach Pancakes are a Sunday favorite when you’re looking to boost nutrition in a favorite breakfast option. Or to have a little fun at the breakfast table by serving up a colorful meal!

Best Banana Spinach Pancakes
This is a thin batter that makes tender, naturally sweet Banana Spinach Pancakes. Be sure to let the pancakes cook until the surface is almost entirely firm before you flip them over.
Best Banana Spinach Pancakes
spinach-banana-pancakes-on-white-plate
Spinach eggs with fruit and toast on two plates

Spinach Eggs

Blending spinach into eggs before scrambling them is easy, and a fun way to change up the expected color!

Favorite Spinach Eggs (Green Eggs Recipe)
Packed with spinach (and iron!), these bright green eggs are fun and delicious. You can serve them as you would scrambled eggs, or use in a breakfast burrito or egg sandwich.
Favorite Spinach Eggs (Green Eggs Recipe)
spinach eggs on two plates on countertop.
Green pasta sauce pasta in bowl with spoon.

Green Pasta Sauce

With two green veggies in the mix and an easy method, this is one of our favorite pasta recipes.

Easy Green Pasta Sauce
Give homemade mac and cheese extra oomph with this power-packed Green Pasta Sauce. It is cheesy, has a dose of greens, and is super easy to make.
Easy Green Pasta Sauce
Green pasta sauce pasta in two bowls.
spinach pasta sauce on plate.

Spinach Pasta Sauce

Creamy, easy, and a great way to use a pile of spinach, this yummy sauce is also freezer friendly.

Spinach Pasta Sauce
Packed with greens and with a creamy texture that pairs so perfectly with any noodles, this Spinach Pasta Sauce is a most delicious green pasta sauce. And it's ready in about the same amount of time as it takes to cook the pasta!
Spinach Pasta Sauce
spinach pasta sauce on plate.

pesto-pizza-on-pink-plate

Spinach Pesto Pizza

When blended with cheese, sunflower seeds, and lemon juice, spinach turns into a perfect topping for pizzas or pasta—and is also packed with nutrients that you want your kiddo to eat with glee. This is a staple in our house—we make extra each summer and freeze it to use throughout the rest of the year.

Easy Spinach Pesto
Try this healthy pesto with your favorite pasta or in place of pizza sauce on pizza!
Easy Spinach Pesto
spinach pesto in jar

green-smoothie-in-glass

Simple Green Smoothie

Start the day with a Simple Green Smoothie that’s designed to taste good and be easy to make—so it’s not too thick, includes accessible ingredients, and is sweet enough to help kids enjoy every sip.

Simple Green Smoothie
Frozen bananas give the smoothie a creamy, naturally sweet base, though you can make this with a fresh banana as long as the other fruit is frozen. It’s easy to add whatever berries or fruit you have on hand, so customize it for your kiddo. 
Simple Green Smoothie
green-smoothie-in-glass

cheesy greens on divided plate with pink fork

Cheesy Greens

Quick, easy, and super cheesy, this is a simple way to serve greens to toddlers. You may be surprised but this is often a big hit with one year olds!

Cheesy Baby Spinach
This fast side dish is a delicious way to serve spinach to kids. Use baby spinach, regular spinach, baby kale, or lacinato kale (sometimes called dinosaur kale) for best results and easy chewing.
Cheesy Baby Spinach
cheesy greens on divided plate with pink fork

spinach pesto pasta recipe

Spinach Pesto Pasta

This whole dinner comes together in about 20 minutes and has veggies and protein already in the mix so you don’t even need to serve anything with it!

Easy Spinach Pesto
Try this healthy pesto with your favorite pasta or in place of pizza sauce on pizza!
Easy Spinach Pesto
spinach pesto in jar

pesto pizza rolls

Kale Pesto Pizza Rolls

These Homemade Pizza Rolls with Pesto are one of my favorite family recipes to keep on hand in the fridge or freezer for quick dinners, especially on nights when the kids have activities. They have a veggie right in the mix and the cheese and pizza flavor make the whole package a bit hit with the kids!

Homemade Pesto Pizza Rolls
With just 5 simple ingredients, you can bake Pizza Rolls with delicious flavor from pesto. These are versatile, perfect for any age, and a great make-ahead lunch or dinner option.
Homemade Pesto Pizza Rolls
pizza rolls on wooden plate
kale-pesto-in-container

Kale Pesto

This packs a nutrition punch and is delicious on pasta and pizza.

Easy Kale Pesto
Try this healthy pesto with your favorite pasta or in place of pizza sauce on pizza! It's a kid-friendly way to serve up kale, and you don't have to worry about it turning brown if you store it.
Easy Kale Pesto
kale-pesto-in-container
Blueberry popsicles on purple plate with blueberries on side.

Blueberry Popsicles

Pack your next batch of freezer pops with fruits and veggies with these super simple—and so sweet!—Blueberry Greek Frozen Yogurt Popsicle Recipe with spinach!

Blueberry Popsicles (with Yogurt and Spinach)
If you have a high-powered blender you can add up to a cup of spinach. If you're relying on a food processor you may want to reduce it to ½ cup. Start with the lower amount and add more as you like.
Blueberry Popsicles (with Yogurt and Spinach)
Blueberry popsicles on purple plate with blueberries on side.

How to Bake Kale Bites

Cheesy Kale Bites

If it’s a challenge for you to serve greens that your child will actually eat, you’re going to love today’s recipe for Cheesy Baked Kale Bites. They’re packed with nutrition and are delicious when reheated so they are great to make ahead.

Cheesy Baked Kale Bites
You can use curly kale or flat kale in this recipe—both work well.
Cheesy Baked Kale Bites
How to Bake Kale Bites

mini-spinach-egg-muffins-on-wire-rack

Mexican Egg Muffins with Spinach

These Mexican Egg Muffins with Spinach are one of the ways that we like to turn eggs into a quick and easy meal that is easy for even the littlest eaters to eat.

So Good Spinach Egg Muffins
These mini Spinach Egg Muffins mix up in minutes and are one of our go-to easy meals. They're packed with iron and protein, and you can make them ahead and stash them in the fridge until you need them for the kids.
So Good Spinach Egg Muffins
spinach-egg-muffins-on-blue-divided-plate

healthy-chocolate-smoothie-with-straw

Simple Chocolate Smoothie

It can be hard for some kids to learn to enjoy smoothies, so meeting them where they are with a simple Chocolate Smoothie can help introduce the food group in a way that’s not too alarming. And this version even has hidden veggies inside!

Best Chocolate Smoothie (with Veggies!)
Be sure to blend this super smooth for the best texture. Use any or none of the optional ingredients. See the Notes for how to make this with regular milk.
Best Chocolate Smoothie (with Veggies!)
healthy-chocolate-smoothie-with-straw
green-smoothie-pop-on-plate

Green Smoothie Freezer Pops

If you have a toddler who’s not a fan of smoothies, or you just want a new way to serve up a green smoothie, try these freezer pops!

Green Smoothie Freezer Pops
If you want to make more pops, simply double the recipe! If you have a toddler who’s super sensitive to textures, use mango instead of kiwi for extra creamy results.
Green Smoothie Freezer Pops
green-smoothie-pop-on-plate
spinach-grilled-cheese-on-plate

Spinach Grilled Cheese

We’ve made this in the summer when we have extra kale from the garden and a concentrated scoop is great for adding to smoothies, eggs, or even pasta.

Easy Spinach Grilled Cheese
You can also do this with full size spinach if that's what you're able to find. Just discard any stems before starting the recipe.
Easy Spinach Grilled Cheese
spinach-grilled-cheese-on-plate

easy spinach quesadillas

Spinach Quesadillas

These are one of my favorite ways to power up a classic kid food. The simple spinach-cheese spread comes together in a food processor and is super delish—and it makes the spinach easy to chew for the little ones. (My husband loves these too, which is always high praise!)

Easy Spinach Quesadillas
Try these healthy Spinach Quesadillas for an easy kids meal or family dinner. These are easy to make, perfect to make-ahead, and a nice way to serve spinach to kids packaged up in a familiar food!
Easy Spinach Quesadillas
spinach quesadillas on pink plate.
zucchini tots with marinara sauce on white plate

Zucchini Tots

Like the ones in the freezer aisle, only less expensive!

Favorite Zucchini Tots
These bite-size Zucchini Tots are perfect to dip and dunk into ketchup, salsa, guacamole or sour cream. And they are such a delicious way to transform zucchini into a lunch or dinner main dish. Plus: You can make them in under 30 minutes and they store well for future days, too.
Favorite Zucchini Tots
zucchini tots with marinara sauce on white plate

I’d love to hear your feedback below in the comments, so please chime in!

This post was first published April 2019.

Related Products

Share it with the world

Pin

Filed Under

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *