If you’ve got a picky eater at your table, chances are there’s been more than one occasion when you’ve let them eat something—anything—just to fill their tummies. If getting some veggies and protein involved seems more like a pipe dream, check out these easy recipes that just might get your kids to move beyond the buttered noodles.

Hidden Veggie Quesadillas

Upgrade those plain cheese quesadillas with butternut squash puree! It’s the same color as the cheese (a.k.a. easily camouflaged) and chock-full of vitamins and other healthy perks. Feeling extra adventurous? Try the Cilantro Lime Cream! Get the recipe from A Mind “Full” Mom.

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Classic Carbonara

A classic carbonara has no cream and no heavy sauce because the eggs do all the work, making it both light and decadent at the same time. This recipe from Scrummy Lane gives lots of tips on how to make the perfect carbonara.

Crock Pot BBQ Chicken Wings

Three ingredients and a few hours in a crock pot and bam! Now you have killer BBQ chicken wings to feed the masses, all thanks to this recipe from Intelligent Domestications. Plus the kids will get a kick out of the “secret ingredient.” Click here to get the complete, short-and-sweet how-to and check out their other crock pot recipes that require only a few ingredients.

Mac n' Cheese, Please

Let’s face it, “mac and cheese” are like magic words in Kid World. That’s why we like how this recipe takes a kid favorite and makes a few healthy additions. Broccoli smothered in cheese and pasta can open the gates for even picky eaters—but if your tots just can’t go green, you can always sub in cauliflower instead. Get the recipe from My Fussy Eater

Delish Fish

If your kids think there’s something fishy about fish, we’ve got a great solution. It involves mild white fish, crunchy parmesan crust, and yummy flavors that should satisfy even suspicious eaters. Get the recipe from !Hola! Jalapeño.

Sweet Potato Wraps

We’re always on the hunt for healthy snacks that the little ones will actually eat, and these sweet potato wraps from Lemons & Basil get the toddler seal of approval. You can fill them up with butter, cheese or peanut butter for a perfectly balanced snack. Get the recipe by clicking here.

Multitasking Meatballs

Just think of these meatballs as the secret agents of your dinner table. In addition to a veggie-full sauce, they’ve got a hidden dose of zucchini, onion, and mushrooms. Add it all up and your family will have a favorite new meal that’s actually healthy comfort food. Get the recipe over at Kitchen Sanctuary.

 

Carrot Cake Breakfast Cookies

Yep, you can have cookies for breakfast! These almost-too-good-to-be-true treats are bursting with fresh carrots and apples, which means they’re an awesome way to kick off your day. Bonus: they’re freezeable and sugar-free! Get the recipe from Kristine’s Kitchen Blog.

So Good Smoothie

Psst! Can you keep a secret? This pretty smoothie has lots of berry flavor and a superstar veggie ingredient: cauliflower! Once blended, kids will never know about this sweet treat's mystery ingredient—it’s perfect for breakfast or a snack! Simple Roots Wellness has the scoop.

Not Your Average Tomato Soup

Give classic comfort food a twist! In addition to tomatoes, this ahh-worthy soup uses two fresh bell peppers for an extra veggie kick. It’s sure to warm up your family and please the kids all at the same time! Get the recipe from Andrea’s Recipes.

photo: Maya Visnyei

Eat & Repeat: One Pot Pasta

If your picky eater’s go-to request is always pasta, why not make the most of it? This recipe sneaks in a few mushrooms but won’t overwhelm kids with unfamiliar flavors. Best of all, you’ll only need one pot for the whole shebang! Get the recipe from Sweet Potato Chronicles.

Irresistible Carrot Fries

Do you want fries with that? When it comes to these carrot fries (which are crunchy, cheesy, and baked, not fried) the answer is always yes! They’re a fun way to get kids excited about carrots and a snap to make, too. Get the recipe from Kitchen Sanctuary.

Your Go-To Stir Fry

Thank goodness for stir fry! This dish not only features a good amount of broccoli, it also has sweet and savory flavors that are better than any take-out options. And did we mention it only takes 30 minutes to make? Get the recipe from Get Inspired Everyday.

Baked Rollups

Roll up some ham and cheese for a dinner that will have the little ones forgetting about their pre-boxed meat, cheese and crackers (you know which ones we're talking about!). You and your kids can whip up this recipe from It's Peachy Keen in less than 20 minutes for a fun, fingers-only meal. Click here to grab the recipe.

PB&B Quesadillas

If your little one is tired of sandwiches, switch it up with this tortilla version on the stove. See A Whisk and Two Wands for a way to take this recipe outdoors, so your mini master chef can impress the whole family!

Apple Juice Chicken

You know that stock pile of juice boxes your family has been collecting? This sweet recipe, courtesy of Oatmeal With a Fork, puts them to good use! This chicken is flavorful and easy to make—and we’re willing to bet it’ll be a hit with kids and grown-ups alike. Get the recipe here.

Featured image: iStock

—Abigail Matsumoto