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Mommy Hides Veggies in the Meatloaf. Toddler Friendly Recipes Part I


I just returned from a week’s vacation at the Jersey Shore. With all four kids….

The Jersey shore, for those unfamiliar, is mile upon mile of sandy beaches interspersed with boardwalks featuring amusement parks, water parks, restaurants and shops. We had a blast. But… the baby didn’t sleep, my newly potty trained toddler was afraid of the toilet, the teenagers were moody and I got tendonitis in both wrists from wrestling with two beach carts and a double stroller everyday on the beach.  So when we got home, I asked my eldest daughter what she would like for dinner, with the caveat that it was simple to make. She requested my meatloaf.

My meatloaf is incredibly easy and quick to make. In fact, my husband thinks I’m making it right now so he’s watching the little ones for me. But I’m already done. Shh…

Yes, I hide veggies in my meatloaf. I can’t get either of my little ones to eat vegetables. As a granola and veggie loving mom, this makes me feel like a huge failure. So I hide them.

First mix up your ground beef and ground turkey (or use meatloaf mix).

Add a shredded small zucchini, 3 shredded carrots, 1 egg, salt, pepper, and seasoned breadcrumbs. Mix well. (Optional: add 1/2 small onion, chopped and sautéed).

Place in a 4 quart casserole dish. By the way, that’s TWO veggies!


Yes, I know you can still see the veggies. Don’t worry, I have another trick up my sleeve.

Pour 20 ounces of marinara sauce over the top. I count this as a vegetable. So now you have THREE veggies.


And voila! They’ll think they’re eating a hamburger with ketchup. I serve it with corn (FOUR veggies!) and mashed potatoes. Are potatoes a vegetable? I think in the case of toddlers it is. So FIVE veggies! Did I say I was a failing, granola and veggie crunching mom? I take it back. I should get a red SuperVeggie cape and change into it in the bathroom when I’m hiding from all my kids.

Oh yeah, the meatloaf. Bake it at 350 for about one hour. Enjoy!


Hidden Veggie Meatloaf
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1 egg
  • 1 small zucchini shredded
  • 3 carrots shredded
  • 3/4 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste
  • 20 oz marinara sauce
  • 1/2 small onion chopped fine and sauteed (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

  2. In a large bowl, mix together the ground beef and turkey (You can substitute 2 lbs meatloaf mix).

  3. Add remaining ingredients, except for the marinara sauce, and mix well.

  4. Place in 4 qt casserole dish. Cover with marinara sauce.

  5. Cook for 60 minutes or until center cooked through.

  6. Put on your SuperMom cape and enjoy!

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