Learn how to make more vegetable recipes for kids with my go-to kid-friendly dishes—and you might just be able to increase the chances that the kids will actually eat what you cook for them!
Vegetable Recipes for Kids
I’m always recommending that the best way to get our kids to eat more vegetables is to make sure that they taste good to us. These vegetable recipes for kids hit that mark and are great places to start if you’re looking to introduce new veggies—or veggies that you’ve previously tried—in new ways.
Because while we all know that kids need their veggies for so many aspect of their health, they are often so reluctant to actually eat them. So thinking about how to make them easy to eat and yummy is one way to try to help the situation.
Remember that it can take kids upwards of 20 times of seeing a veggie to be brave enough to actually try it. Which absolutely does not mean you need to keep track, but is just to remind you that this is a process of learning. So keep modeling enjoyment by eating these foods yourself, offering it in small portions without pressure, and having the foods you want them to eat around regularly.
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Kids Vegetables List
I should say that this is not a comprehensive list of recipes (that would be epic!) but it’s a perfect place to start if you’re looking to incorporate more vegetables into your kid’s diets.
I will note any potential issues with choking hazards for toddlers, cooking tips, and flavor profiles for each recipe to give you a head start with trying some of them out.
This list of vegetables include sides, main dishes, snacks, and breakfast ideas.
During the spring and throughout the year, asparagus is always a favorite vegetable to share with the family
When I learned how to cook asparagus in the oven, it was like a lightbulb went off. This method is so easy because all you do is to toss the asparagus with a little oil, sprinkle, with salt, and let the heat from the oven soften up the stalks.
Asparagus Baby Food
They even get a little sweet as they roast and are easy to blend into baby food.
Beets Recipes for Kids
Beets are a good source of fiber and antioxidants. They have an earthly flavor which some kids love…and others may not.
Easy Boiled Beets
Beets are naturally pretty sweet, when cooked they have a soft texture that’s easy for kids to eat, and they taste ridiculously good with a little butter and salt. This boiled beets recipe takes about 30 minutes and is mostly hands off—and it’s a good one to make-ahead to reheat later!
Boost the nutrition—and the color!—in your next batch of homemade hummus by adding beets.
Bell Peppers Recipes for Kids
Older toddlers and kids may love raw bell pepper sticks since they tend to be sweet, especially the red, yellow, and orange varieties. They can be hard to chew for kids under 3, so keep that in mind.
Bell peppers, which are sweet and not spicy, come in a range of colors and are delicious raw and cooked. They’re also a good source of Vitamin C.
Oven-Roasted Red Peppers
With a simple sheet pan method and pantry spices, you can learn how to Roast Red Peppers in the oven to use in tacos, sandwiches, and just as a simple side. You can season them with just salt or add cumin and a dash of chili powder for a Mexican take.
Easy STuffed Peppers Skillet
With the classic flavors of easy Stuffed Peppers, but much less work, this skillet version cooks up in just 20 minutes for a healthy family dinner option. You can use a mix of colors of peppers for a bright and fun visual.
Broccoli Recipes for Kids
Broccoli is often seen as the holy grail of veggies when it comes to kids, and while I love to try serving it in all sorts of ways to see what the kids like, it’s okay if the kids are still learning.
With a handful of accessible, healthy ingredients, you can bake broccoli tots that are soft on the inside and crispy on the outside. And…they kind of taste like broccoli tater tots! You can even make them ahead and store them in the freezer for later.
Broccoli Cheddar Soup
Broccoli, cheddar, and split peas team up in this healthy Broccoli Cheddar Soup recipe that’s packed with plant-based protein and fiber—and is a great family meal alongside crackers or muffins. It also freezes wonderfully!
When my oldest kiddo was little, she went to a daycare that served roasted broccoli regularly and all the kids devoured it. (Really!) It gets slightly sweet when roasted, which is a plus. Try to cut the florets to the same size for even cooking.
A fun riff on classic pesto that’s a perfect pair for pasta!
Try this with babies as an easy way to introduce and serve broccoli.
Brussels Sprouts Recipes for Kids
This veggie can be bitter at times, so look for a recipe that has acid in it (like lemon juice) or that caramelizes them, like what happens during roasting—both of which can help balance the flavors.
Sauteed Brussels Sprouts with Lemon and Honey
Try this quick Sauteed Brussels Sprouts with Lemon and Honey for a simple side for dinner. It’s slightly sweet and pleasantly nutty, and not a bit bitter!
Roasted Brussels Sprouts
This method for making Brussels sprouts may be on that your kids love. In my house, I have one kiddo who loves them and one who doesn’t so keep trying if the first time isn’t a success!
Vegetable Recipes for Kids: Carrots
Carrots last forever in the fridge, are a good source of Vitamin A, and are super versatile. Here are some of our favorite carrot recipes.
Easy Baked Carrot Fries
These are easy to prepare (you basically just need to slice them). They cook in just about 20 minutes (with no stirring or tending required). And they are totally delicious dunked into ketchup.
Quick and Easy Sauteed Carrots
So easy and fast, this is one of our favorite veggie side dishes.
Like carrot cake, only healthy and appropriate for breakfast!
Add some veggies to a basic hummus for a nutrition boost.
Carrot Zucchini Muffins
Double veggies for double flavor!
Turn fresh carrots into a simple, nourishing baby food with this easy method…no special baby food makers required.
Carrot Cake Oatmeal
Make the easiest Carrot Cake Oatmeal and serve up a dose of veggies for breakfast in a kid-friendly form everyone will love! This is such a great way to start the day with a nutritious breakfast packed with fruits and veggies.
This easy Carrot Smoothie is bursting with freshness—and Vitamin C. It’s made with carrots, mango, and orange and is such a nice breakfast or snack component!
Kid-Friendly Cauliflower Recipes
Cauliflower, which is in the same family as broccoli, has nutrients including fiber and Vitamin C. Here are some favorite ways to prepare it.
Cauliflower with Parmesan
It’s simply steaming the cauliflower florets and then tossing with flavorful enhancements—butter or olive oil (if you need dairy-free or just prefer olive oil) and cheese. (We usually find that cheese helps almost any veggie go down easier.)
With just 6 simple ingredients, these Cauliflower Tots are a healthy homemade finger food the kids (and the parents) will enjoy. Bonus: They reheat from frozen beautifully!
Cauliflower Mac and Cheese
With a simple cheese sauce that has cauliflower right in the mix to help thicken, this healthy Cauliflower Mac and Cheese is a fast weeknight lunch or dinner option for toddlers.
Homemade Veggie Nuggets
This simple veggie nugget recipe is made with quinoa, cauliflower, and some cheese, so they have a nicely cheesy texture and flavor.
Strawberry Smoothie with Cauliflower
Cauliflower, when fresh or frozen, makes smoothies nice and creamy!
How to Serve Cucumbers to Kids
Cucumbers are filled with hydration and are a fairly neutral flavor, which the kids may prefer. Pair with a favorite dip as you like.
Raw Cucumbers: You can of course make cucumber salads and such, but this is a good veggie to serve raw. Peel and chop into small pieces for younger toddlers until you know they can handle the texture and chewing skills needed to handle larger pieces.
Vegetable Recipes for Kids: Edamame (Soy Beans)
Steamed or Boiled Edamame: Buy a bag of frozen edamame in the pods and cook according to the package directions. (It’s usually boiling or steaming them for 5-10 minutes until the beans are soft). Sprinkle with salt and show the kids how to pop the beans out from the pods.
You can also serve the beans chilled as a simple snack.
Vegetable Recipes for Kids: Green Beans
Green beans have potassium, fiber, a little iron, and protein, and are a really versatile veggie. be sure to cook them soft so they’re easy for the kids to chew.
Sesame Maple Green Beans
These green beans are slightly sweet, a little bit salty, and it’s a perfect side dish to meat, chicken, eggs, or even beans. And they’re quick to make!
Quick and Easy Boiled Green Beans
These are perfectly tender and only take about 5 minutes to cook.
Vegetable Recipes for Kids: Kale
Kale is loaded with nutrients and while it can be a more challenging flavor to love, here are some more kid-friendly ways to prepare it.
Cheesy Kale Bites
These Cheesy Kale Bites are basically a meatball with shredded kale in place of meat. They have tons of flavor from the cheese, and they taste really great when dunked into ketchup or salsa.
Quick and Easy Cheesy Greens
You can use almost any leafy green you like (though baby kale and spinach will be one of the softest/easiest to manipulate for younger eaters) and you can vary the cheese according to what you have on hand. These are lightning fast and easy to make in small or larger amounts.
SIMPLE GREEN Smoothie
Tuck some kale into a smoothie with fruit to balance the flavors with natural sweetness.
Kid-Friendly Recipes with Peas
Keeping a bag of frozen peas in the freezer is such a simple way to always have a veggie on hand to add to easy recipes—or to just serve on the side.
Spinach Pesto Pasta with Peas
Easy and a nice way to serve vegetarian protein!
Mac and Cheese with Peas
We have a tradition of having boxed mac and cheese for one weekend lunch and I always add some frozen peas to the mix. I find that my kids have no complaints about veggies in their mac and cheese since they love mac and cheese so much!
A slightly sweet and super simple puree to share with the kids.
Potato Recipes for Kids
Potatoes come in a whole range of colors, but even the white ones have nutrients including fiber, potassium, and more.
Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes
I love these so much since they reheat beautifully!
Healthy Mashed Potatoes with Broccoli
With just one pot and 4 ingredients, these potatoes are creamy, filling, and flavorful—and they have broccoli for an added nutritional punch too.
Baked Potato Soup
I know some kids are hit or miss about soup, but this one is way more fun from the added toppings!
Healthy Baked Sheet Pan Nachos
These healthy baked nachos have a tender potato base and are topped with black beans, cheese, salsa and (optional!) spinach.
Spinach Recipes for Kids
Spinach, whether baby or full size leaves, is versatile and easy to add to everything from smoothies to muffins and stir fries.
Spinach Banana Muffins
Serve up greens in a sweet and easy to eat format with these simple muffins.
Easy Spinach Pesto
This Spinach Pesto is one of our go-to sauces. I like it because the color stays bright green, the ingredients are straightforward, and it packs a serious punch of vitamins and iron from the spinach. This is, hands down, my favorite way to serve up greens to my kids.
Simple Green Smoothie
With just a few ingredients, you can make a healthy smoothie that has spinach and lots of natural sweetness from fruit.
Introduce your kids to the deliciousness of quickly cooked greens in this Cheesy Baby Spinach Recipe.
Mini Spinach and Cheese Pizza Roll
These fun pizza rolls are packed with nutrition—and even greens!—but the cheese, and silly spiral shape makes them much more appealing to toddlers and big kids!
Spinach Grilled Cheese
This is a veggie-packed variation on the classic sandwich that’s just so delicious. (This favorite kids sandwich is equally appealing to adults too!) It’s also easy to make and packed with iron…which is a nice bonus.
Vegetable Recipes for Kids: Snap Peas
Snap peas, especially in the spring, are a fresh and yummy veggie to share.
Raw Snap Peas
For older toddlers (closer to 3 and up), raw snap peas are often a big hit since they are crunchy and so naturally sweet. Younger toddlers may have a hard time chewing them, so keep that in mind.
Winter Squash Recipes for Kids
If you’re looking for ways to use butternut, kabocha, or another winter squash, here are some easy options.
Shortcut Butternut Squash Risotto
This Butternut Squash recipe involves roasting the squash, pureeing it into a sauce, and simply stirring it together with cooked short grain brown rice. Easy—and with steps you can do ahead.
Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese
The beauty of this recipe is that the squash adds that classic orange color and nutrients, but the kids just get the cheesy pasta flavor and texture that they love. Pick up a bag of precut butternut squash and you literally just need to fill a pot with water to get this recipe started!
Roasted Butternut Squash
Simply cut up butternut squash (into fun shapes if you want!) and roast them up in the oven. With a little salt, they’re a naturally sweet side dish to share with the kids.
Roasted Butternut Squash with Quinoa
With simple ingredients and lots of nutrition, this is a less messy way to serve grains to little kids—and a vegetarian side dish packed with fiber and Vitamin A.
Butternut Squash Muffins
With a dose of butternut squash and apple butter, these flourless Butternut Squash Muffins pack a lot of flavor and moisture (and nutrition!) in one easy to eat package.
Butternut Squash Puree
This is packed with Vitamin A and C, plus fiber, and has a naturally sweet taste that little ones enjoy.
Butternut Squash Hummus
Try this simple hummus recipe for a veggie-packed dip or spread to serve with crackers, veggies, or bread.
Oatmeal with Butternut Squash
Make healthy baby oatmeal (or toddler oatmeal!) for kids that features whole grains, fiber, and veggies. Plus, you can make this quick breakfast recipe in just 5 minutes and it tastes sort of like pie!
Sweet Potato Recipes for Kids
We love sweet potatoes—which are rich in Vitamin A as well as fiber—and there are so many sweet and savory ways to serve them to the kids.
Sweet Potato Baby Food
With one SO simple cooking method, you can roast sweet potato wedges to serve one of three yummy ways—BLW, mashed, or pureed into classic sweet potato puree.
Healthy Mashed Sweet Potatoes
Silky, smooth, and dairy-free, these Healthy Mashed Sweet Potatoes are SO darn good as a holiday side or a weeknight veggie. They have fiber, Vitamin A, and naturally sweet flavor.
Crock Pot Sweet Potatoes
This sweet and creamy version is made with such a simple method in the slow cooker and makes the best mashed sweet potatoes every single time. I honestly don’t bake sweet potatoes much anymore now that I know how foolproof the crock pot method is!
Chicken Nuggets with Sweet Potato
You can make homemade chicken nuggets easily and add way more nutrition by tucking in mashed sweet potato. So smart and yummy!
Roasted Sweet Potato Hash
With an easy sheet-pan method, this is a delish breakfast-for-dinner option for kids.
Sweet Potato Smoothie
This tastes like pie, but is full of healthy ingredients.
Sweet Potato Pancakes
These healthy Sweet Potato Pancakes are made with whole grains, taste naturally sweet, and they are a yummy way to pack a veggie into breakfast
Baked Chicken Meatballs with Sweet Potato
Combine 4 simple ingredients to make healthy Baked Chicken Meatballs with a veggie tucked right inside!
Tomato Recipes for Kids
Whether raw or cooked, tomatoes are an easy veggie to make regularly in the kitchen.
Raw Tomatoes: Chopped up, raw tomatoes (bigger ones or diced cherry or grape tomatoes) are a good way to offer tomatoes. Yellow or orange ones are often sweeter—such as the Sungold variety.
Veggie-Packed Marinara Sauce
Add extra veggies to your next pot of marinara sauce for more nutrition and flavor—but the comfort that your family expects!
Creamy Tomato Soup with Sweet Potato
With bright flavors from tomatoes and non-dairy creaminess from sweet potato, this is a simple and nutritious tomato soup. Serve it in a small mug or with a dipper!
Extra-Veggie Baby Pasta
Serve up a filling, yummy baby meal with this easy Baby Pasta. It includes a tomato based sauce with extra veggies and beans blended in for an iron-rich meal perfect for lunch or dinner.
Vegetable Recipes: Zucchini
Zucchini blends in to so many recipes—even muffins, breads, and cookies!
Corn Muffins with Squash and Raisins
With a moist interior, whole grains including cornmeal, and a fruit and a veggie, this Corn Muffin Recipe is a perfect dinner side or breakfast main dish.
Easy Zucchini Fritters
Baked in a muffin tin, this simple fritter recipe is a great way to serve up zucchini to kids. They’re soft enough for younger toddlers and reheat nicely.
With lots of veggies in the mix—which you can toss with pasta or even blend up in the blender and then toss with pasta—ratatouille is an easy recipe that can be very family-friendly.
Zucchini and Cheese Egg Cups
With just a few simple ingredients, you can bake up these mini egg muffins packed with zucchini and cheese to make a healthy breakfast or lunch option for the kids.
Moist, tender, and so good!
I’d love to hear how your kids like to eat veggies so I can add to this vegetables list, so please comment below to share!
This post was first published December 2018.
this is a great article! my kids eat too many junk foods and I now got the idea to slip in veggies to their food. thanks to you.
Agreed to this one! my kids also love junk foods and I don’t Know how to get them to eat veggies.is so important for me, so thanks for this article!
What can I substitute cheese with, or is it okay to leave it out?
My 1 year old absolutely love vegetables and will not eat any meat (even when I try to hide it in her veggies). She also does not like cheese.
P.S.: I notice that some of your recipes requires subscription for NYTimes Cooking. 🙁
Oh sorry, they changed that since I wrote this post. I will update it soon! Which ones specifically are you asking in regards to cheese? The answer will depend on the recipe.
What a thorough list! We were searching for vegetable cooking suggestions for kids to make and this definitely fits the bill. Thank you!
Thank you so much for sharing this master list! Finding creative ways to incorporate various micronutrients for toddlers has been a challenge for us, and these recipes were really helpful. Thank you again!
You’re so welcome!