The Real Mum’s Guide to Veggie Smuggling – Healthy Eating Made Easy

Want to give your family meals a healthy, nutritious boost but not sure where to start? Cue some very clever veggie smuggling.

Not sure how to go about it? Relax, help is at hand.  In fact, Woolworths stores are a brilliant starting point in making healthy changes, and here’s why.

For parents of kids who collapse to the floor at the very mention of peas, we’ve got all our best fruit and veggie hiding tips for you, turning family cooks into veggie smuggling ninjas.

Making healthy changes to the family diet is as easy as starting with adding extra seasonal fresh fruit and vegetables to meals. Also making healthy swaps (brown rice instead of white rice or wholemeal bread instead of white bread are great starters). Add-ins and swaps not only make your favourite meals healthier, it keeps them interesting too. You’ll hit those healthier dinner goals in no time.

With that said, let’s get busy making healthier meals!

Healthy and Fresh Inspo Galore!

Healthy changes start at the supermarket! Woolworths is making choosing healthier choices easier for families by adding these handy in-shelf signs to their aisles right throughout the supermarket. Each sign displays delicious fresh food suggestions you might have otherwise not thought of, such as using lemon to replace salt and using wholegrain wraps as pizza bases – genius (and no having to make dough!).

ideas for healthier eating for families at WoolworthsEasy to Spot Health Star Rating

Not sure which product is healthier than the others? Woolworths is applying the Health Star Rating to more and more Woolworths food products. The rating ranges from a ½ a star to 5 stars, designed to help you gauge at first glance how good for you the product it is.

The higher the star rating, the more nutritious the product. Simply reach for the stars when filling your trolley, it’s that easy!

star health rating Woolworths

Eat the Fresh Food Rainbow

Fresh fruit and vegetables are packed full of vitamins, nutrients and minerals to help fuel our bodies. Generally, the more fresh food you put on your plate, the more you eat (especially so for adults!). Striking a good balance of fresh fruit and vegetable vitamins is as simple as choosing a broad variety of coloured fruit and vegetables to strike a good nutritional balance on your plate. Green broccoli, orange pumpkin, purple cabbage, red tomato, yellow capsicum – it’s so easy to make sure you have most colours in your trolley!

A great way to start raising your family’s vegetable intake is to look towards the fridge vegetable crisper for healthier snacks. Add slices of tomato and avocado to rice cakes, mushrooms on wholemeal toast or vegetable sticks with hummus. All are healthy, delicious options to munch on.

healthy after school snack ideas

Kids, Fruit and Vegetables … the Struggle is REAL

It can be REALLY difficult to convince kids to try, let alone eat, a wide range of fruit and vegetables when they flatly refuse to eat anything beyond a white potato. The struggle is most definitely real for parents. Don’t give up though. Keep offering variety to kids, one day they’ll surprise you by putting that piece of capsicum to their lips for a taste!

Thankfully we have several fruit and veggie smuggling tips up our sleeve so you can sit back, smug with sneakiness while the kids gobble up a vegetable filled dinner, none the wiser. Texture plays a big deal in veggies going undetected – finely diced, grated or pureed are all tried and true methods of sneaking vegetables into family meals.

Easy Veggie Smuggling Meals

When it comes to which vegetables are the easiest to sneak into meals, zucchini and carrot get top marks for their discretion. Other vegetables that can be smuggled into family meals with minimal fuss include broccoli, cauliflower, capsicum, celery – even baby spinach leaves! See our smuggling suggestions below:

  • Mac and Cheese Load your mac and cheese with cooked, pureed cauliflower. It goes undetected thanks to the cheese. So sneaky, so delicious.
  • Spaghetti Bolognese – One of my family favourites, even when using an off the shelf jar, you can boost the nutritional value with added grated/ finely diced/ blitzed onion, capsicum, zucchini, mushrooms and carrot. If you’re feeling brave, add baby spinach leaves in the mix too. Delicious!
  • Quiche – Grate a zucchini and add to your favourite quiche (you can peel it first if the flecks of green might be an issue).

quiche hidden veggies

  • Smoothies – Berries and bananas make great smoothies and you can even easily add a handful of spinach leaves to the blender for a healthy boost. Adding avocado to a smoothie gives it a wonderful silky texture – give it a go and you won’t look back!
  • Scrambled Eggs – Add smooth mashed cauliflower to whisked eggs and let them hit the pan to cook together. Yum!
  • Burgers, Meatballs and Rissoles – Add grated zucchini, celery and carrot to your family favourite meatball recipe. Or try this delicious Woolworths 4-step Asian pork meatballs recipe!

quick asian meatballs

  • Pizza – Give pizza sauce a healthy boost by adding in a pureed handful of spinach, carrot and capsicum.
  • Baking all the Cakes – Grated zucchini not only adds a nutritional boost to your baking, it also makes sure every slice is deliciously moist. Try adding grated zucchini to chocolate cake or banana bread.

hide vegetables in cake

Not so Sneaky Vegetable Meal Boosters and Healthier Food Swaps

If so much veggie sneakiness isn’t needed and you just want to incorporate more fresh foods and healthier choices into your day-to-day meals, try a few of these suggestions:

  • Casserole – Much like spaghetti bolognese, you can add a decent portion of the fruit and vegetable department in a casserole. Peas, zucchini, potato, pumpkin and beans are just some of the veggies up for the challenge.
  • Chips, Fries and Wedges – Kids love chips, am I right? Potato wedges and sweet potato fries are near impossible to say “no thanks” to!

healthy sweet potato chips

  • Stir Fry – Fill your stir fry with a rainbow of vegetables – capsicum, snow peas, purple cabbage, cauliflower and carrot to name just a few!
  • Fried Rice – add diced capsicum, corn, onion, snow peas and bean shoots to fried rice. A delicious side dish to stir fry, they’re the ultimate veggie-loaded dream team.

fried rice

  • Pasta Bake – add grated zucchini and finely diced pumpkin to a pasta bake. Yum!
  • Crackers and Dip – Swap out crackers for vegetable sticks (celery, carrot, cucumber are fab) to dip into a favourite dip.
  • Go Crazy Adding Leafy Greens – leafy greens are delicious! Just like Woolworths’ 4-Step Meat Free Pizza recipe below, top your pizza with a handful of rocket, mix baby spinach leaves in with your tossed salads or add basil leaves to your spaghetti.

no meat pizza

FREE recipe cards answering the age old question of ‘What’s for dinner?”

Making healthier eating easier at every turn of the supermarket aisle, keep your eye out for these awesome – and totally free – Woolworths recipe cards. Not only do the recipes look great, they’re quick, easy, chock full of healthy inclusions and are nutritionist approved.

Recipes on offer include 4-step chicken parmigiana and 25-minute zucchini and chicken fritters. You’ll be hard pressed to stop at picking just one – go on, take one for every night of the week. Flip the card over to the back and you’ll find a list of easy-to-find ingredients in store and easy to follow instructions. Dinner is in the bag!

Don’t want to wait to head in-store for the cards? You can find all the recipes online at Woolworths, so you can get cracking on your shopping list, pronto.

mum central

Perfect for a healthy after school snack or quick breakfast, here’s a sneak peek at the Woolworths 5-Minute berry smoothie recipe:

5-minute berry smoothies (serves 4)


  • 3 cups Woolworths Skyr Natural Yoghurt
  • 2 cups Woolworths 100% coconut water
  • 1 cup Woolworths rolled oats
  • 2 cups Woolworths frozen fresh mixed berries
  • 1 large banana, peeled, sliced


Place yoghurt, coconut water, rolled oats, mixed berries and banana into a large blender or food processor. Blend until a smooth mixture forms. Pour into four tall glasses and serve immediately.

Woolworths smoothie recipe

When it comes to making small (and not so small) healthy changes to your family’s diet, you can honestly take your cues from Woolworths just by wheeling your trolley around the store. Woolworths, The Fresh Food People are making healthier, so much easier!


Do you have some great tips for getting kids to eat more veggies? Or a foolproof way to sneak extra veg into a dinner or brekkie dish? Let us know in the comments. We can’t wait to see your tips!

This is a sponsored article for Woolworths

Avatar of Lexi Klaebe

South Australian mum and self proclaimed foodie, Lexi can most days be found in the kitchen, apron tied firm and armed with a whisk or wooden spoon!

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