Vegetable recipes for picky eaters

10 recipes containing vegetables for picky eaters!

These recipes use vegetables in a creative way, to help persuade picky eaters to give them a try! All recipes are suitable for those with dairy, egg and soy allergies. There are also many gluten free and nut free recipes to try.

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I have got plenty of personal experience with picky eating; my daughter was extremely picky as a baby and toddler. Like many picky eaters, she tended to like baked goods and carby foods. Oh, and puddings! Vegetables were a hard no. 

I had read lots of advice about how to help picky eaters, and knew it was important not to let mealtimes get stressful. But I must admit that I found it hard to stay calm when I was so worried about the impact of poor nutrition on her. 

So, I tried to introduce recipes which contained vegetables which were not immediately obvious (ok, hidden šŸ˜‚). These recipes were the kinds of foods she did like to eat; pancakes, low sugar biscuits, muffins, etc.

Once she was eating those, I found I could follow advice about keeping mealtimes positive more easily. I didnā€™t feel so stressed as I knew (even if she didnā€™t) she was getting at least some vegetables into her body. I carried on offering her a serving of vegetables at each meal – to continue giving her exposure – but I felt less worried about whether she ate them or not. 

From hidden vegetables to vegetable acceptance!

The vegetables in these recipes might not be immediately obvious, but they don’t have to stay hidden! Getting my daughter comfortable with eating these types of recipes was a good route to eating those vegetables straight up.

The process I followed was to first talk to her about the food in a general way e.g. weā€™re having pancakes for breakfast. Once she was comfortable eating them, I would chat about the ingredients and mention the veg without too much emphasis. She also liked to get involved with the cooking – helping (I use the term loosely haha) with mashing/stirring etc – so was getting hands on with the vegetables as well.

This then seemed to take some of the aversion away, and in the end she was happily eating portions of roasted sweet potatoes, crunchy carrot sticks and more. It was not a quick process; unfortunately it’s a long game. But it’s worth persevering. I’ve included links to some picky eating resources I found helpful at the bottom of this post. 

My top 10 recipes containing vegetables for picky eaters

These recipes contain a range of vegetables; beetroot, courgette, butternut squash and more.

They use vegetables in unexpected ways, as ingredients in foods like muffins, ice lollies, pancakes and even meatballsā€¦ hopefully there will be something in there that will suit your picky eater.

Dietary requirements

These recipes are all free from dairy, egg and soy. Many are also gluten and nut free, or have options to make them so.

Bread sticks using sweet potato dough
This easy bread sticks recipe is one of my favourites for baby led weaning. It's a vegan recipe, making it a great option for babies and kids with dairy and egg allergies.
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Baby breadsticks using sweet potato dough (Vegan)
Puff pastry pinwheels with a creamy spinach filling
Puff pastry pinwheels are a much loved staple of baby led weaning! They're especially handy if you're weaning with allergies, as they are so adaptable to different dietary requirements. These can easily be made gluten free by choosing a GF puff pastry.
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Puff pastry pinwheels for baby led weaning (dairy and egg free)
Carrot cake cookies for baby led weaning (vegan & gluten free)
In the ongoing quest to sneak extra veg into as many meals as possible, I present to you… carrot cake cookies! They are sweetened with fruit rather than sugar, and the oats, carrot and tahini make them a pretty good nutritional mix for a baby led weaning cookie. Nearly a complete balanced meal?!Ā 
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Carrot cake cookies for baby led weaning (vegan and gluten free)
Butternut squash mac and cheese (dairy free)
Dairy free mac and cheese – with a creamy sauce made using butternut squash – is one of our favourite family meals! Keep things simple and serve with a side of lightly steamed veg.
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Dairy free mac and cheese
Healthy carrot cornbread (gluten free and vegan)
This is a healthy & vegan twist on traditional cornbread. This recipe uses carrot to keep the cornbread moist, and is sugar free! A great option for babies and children.
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Healthy cornbread for kids (gluten free & vegan)
Raspberry & beetroot ice lollies
These dairy free raspberry & beetroot ice lollies are a great healthy treat for babies and toddlers. A delicious snack with two sneaky portions of veg & a big dose of calcium; what more could you ask?!
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Raspberry & beetroot dairy free ice lollies
Egg free meatballs – with sneaky carrot!
Meatballs are a reliable crowd pleaser, and this egg free recipe is one of our family favourites! Even the youngest family members can enjoy them; they are a great baby led weaning option.
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Egg free meatballs for babies and kids
Sweet potato pancakes for baby led weaning (egg free)
If your baby is a fan of pancakes then this egg-free recipe using sweet potato is a great option to add in some variation. It's handy for using up any leftover sweet potato, and it's nice to be able to include some extra goodness at breakfast time!
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Sweet potato pancakes for baby led weaning (egg free)
Dairy and egg free muffins – with sneaky courgette!
These vegan courgette muffins are great for a healthy snack or packed lunchbox filler. I always have some of these to hand in my freezer stash.
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Dairy free and egg free courgette muffins
Chickpea flour pancakes for babies (no egg and gluten free)
Chickpea flour pancakes are an ideal early finger food – especially for babies with allergies. They contain no egg or dairy, and are naturally gluten free! This was one of my absolute favourite recipes to make when doing baby led weaning with both of my kids.
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Savoury chickpea pancakes for babies (no egg & gluten free)

Resources to help with picky eating:

Below are some of the resources I found helpful when facing the challenges of feeding a picky eater!

If you enjoyed this post about vegetable recipes for picky eaters, you may also be interested in:

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