Ages 2-5Food

Pink Pancakes for Picky Eaters

Confession time: I was the parent who said that I would never add secret vegetables to my kid’s food. That is, until my kid became a picky eater and decided that anything with vegetables was automatically “yuck”.

In the past, I’ve made the mistake of adding secret vegetables to her food, and then after she has a bite and declares it “yum!” and I reveal the secret ingredient, she pushes it away and won’t eat another bite. To other parents of picky eaters: I feel you. (These pancakes may only have a small amount of beets but any food I can get my kid to eat that isn’t white bread or white rice is a victory in my house.)

So recently, I made Pink Pancakes (the secret ingredient is beets!), adapted from a recipe in Jessica Seinfeld’s Deceptively Delicious cookbook. The verdict: my 3-year-old precious picky eater declared it “YUM!” 


Recipe: (makes 6-8 pancakes)

Note: You don’t need a recipe to make this as long as you remember that pancakes have approximately a ratio of 1 cup of mix per 1 cup of liquid. My pancakes have a lot of wet solid ingredients so my ratio favors the liquid side; adjust to your own liking. I added the egg, beet, and applesauce to a measuring cup first and then added the milk up to the 1 1/4 cup line.

I also had pre-made beet puree by steaming the beets with a little water and then pureeing with my immersion blender (and I save my veggie purees in 1/2 cup baggies in the freezer, a tip I picked up from Jessica Seinfeld’s book). You could also use a jar of baby food or other puree to your taste.

I add a little sugar to my pancake mix because I prefer to serve it without syrup or a fruit compote.


  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup beet puree
  • 1/4 cup applesauce
  • ~1/2 cup milk (more for thinner, less for thicker pancakes)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • (optional) 1-2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 cup dry pancake mix (I used buckwheat)
  • (optional) butter
  • (optional) chocolate chips


  1. Beat together the wet ingredients and spices (eggs, purees, milk, vanilla, cinnamon, sugar) in a large bowl until everything is well mixed.
  2. Add your pancake mix and stir until just incorporated. Let it rest for 5-10 minutes (while your pan is heating up to medium). (Add butter to the pan and let it melt.)
  3. Ladle your pancake mix onto your hot pan. (Optional: while the bottom is cooking, quickly add your chocolate chips to the top of the pancake in whatever pattern you want.)
  4. When the top of the pancake starts to bubble (anywhere from 2-4 minutes for me), flip over and cook for another 1-3 minutes until set.



Mary Brock works as an Immunology scientist by day and takes care of a pink-loving princess child by night. She likes cloudy days, crafting, cooking, and Fall weather in New England.

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