Sneaky veggie-loaded applesauce for toddlers

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December 1, 2013 by Caroline Mincks

More sneakiness. This is turning into a bad habit.

Like most kids his age, Ethan would eat his body weight in applesauce if I let him. Daily. Twice. He loves it. I usually make it from scratch for him since it’s so easy, and I’m happy to let him eat lots of it since it’s low in sugar when I make it. However, because I am the sneakiest sneak who ever sneaked, I couldn’t help trying to find a way to pack in some of those vegetables my boy has been avoiding like the plague. Here is my solution!

Applesauce with veggies

2 carrots, chopped
1 sweet potato, baked, peeled, and diced
4 crisp apples, diced (I leave the peel on, but that’s totally optional)
Cinnamon and sugar to taste


1. Take a hastily-assembled, inaccurate photo of your ingredients. Make sure you forget that you used four apples instead of two and that sugar is an ingredient altogether.

I'm such a professional.

I’m such a professional.

2. Put carrots in a medium pot and cover with plenty of water. Simmer over medium heat until fork soft.

3. Add apples, stirring occasionally. Add water whenever necessary.

4. Add the baked sweet potato, then use a potato masher to eliminate the majority of the chunks.

5. Use a food processor or immersion blender to puree into a smooth sauce. Let cool and serve. Laugh maniacally on the inside as your child happily consumes vegetables without knowing it.

photo 1

It doesn’t look terribly pretty there, but in person, it’s easy to see how beautifully the vegetables are disguised. The carrots and sweet potatoes blend in with the apples so well, especially once the cinnamon is added and darkens the mixture a bit. I took a couple of bites and was so pleasantly surprised – it’s delicious! I would happily eat it myself. The texture is almost more like apple butter than applesauce, so I’m tempted to try it on some toast. I wasn’t sure how Ethan would react since I usually serve him applesauce with chunks of apples in it, but after a few cautious tastes, he dove right in! I count this one as a big success.

photo (2)


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