Green Macaroni and Cheese: Add pureed spinach to the pasta cooking water

Spinach leaves

Here’s how Stephanie sneaks green vegetables into boxed macaroni and cheese:

My 21 month-old son refuses to eat leafy greens but has no problem gobbling up cheese and carbs. No surprise there right?

I have figured out a way around this. Before preparing his mac and cheese, I take the amount of water that the box calls for, heat it and put it in the blender. I then throw in some frozen or fresh spinach and puree the heck out of it. Then I put the spinach water puree in a bowl, add the mac and cook it as per the microwave instructions.

Other then the pasta being green, he has no clue there is spinach in it, which he would normally never touch. The green mac and cheese tastes pretty much just like without.

For older kids, you could maybe say it’s Oscar the Grouch mac and cheese or Martian mac and cheese.

Hope this helps!


  1. Craig says

    We solved the mac-n-cheese problem by renaming it “mac-n-cheese-n-peas-please”. To my daughter, mac-n-cheese is unnatural if it doesn’t come with peas.

  2. TK says

    You can hide baby food veggies in lots of things like muffins, and bread. It saves you the trouble of pureeing them in a blender.

  3. kytyn says

    frito chili pie (or chili & rice) with frozen spinach mixed in is a favorite at our house. I’ve also chopped the heck out of vegetables (carrots, broccoli, cauliflower) and mixed into the spaghetti sauce.

  4. kittenpie says

    I use baby food veg as sauce for everything – a mix of green and orange veggies means a pleasing colour and flavour mix, while giving the benefits of both. Peas and carrots, beans and squash, anything plus sweet potato, for example, go over really well.

  5. Jill says

    Mine like pesto, so spinach is often renamed. Other bits of green are often (correctly or not) called “herbs”, and since they like to go pick herbs from our backyard they are less likely to complain.

    If you aren’t doing these tricks yet with older kids, it may be hard to start. However, as St. Patrick’s Day approaches, so does the opportunity to make green food. Creamed spinach in an egg casserole makes for awesome Green Eggs and Ham, and is a good starting place for future sneaky vegetables. Don’t overlook carrot juice or a carrot-apple blend in the sippy cup either!

  6. dani says

    Trader Joe’s has a drink called “Very Green” which is mainly kiwi but also has spirulina, spinach, kale and other dark greens in it. My kids love it!

    TJ’s also sells “Very Green Powder” which is the same mix of veggies that can be sneakily put into sauces, smoothies, etc.

  7. Sarah says

    The only green veggie my now 2 year old has been willing to eat, for the last 6 months at least, is “green bean sundae”. It’s baby food green beans puree spooned over plain whole milk yogurt. She loves baby food carrots but won’t eat the regular ones. She seems to have a thing about texture.