Getting kids to eat vegetables is definitely not always easy. There are many different ways that parents go around trying to get their children to eat vegetables. Some will work for you and some probably won’t. Even some of the suggestions I give you will be a hit or miss situation, but if you keep trying and don’t give up, you may just find a few vegetable lovers in your midst.
Tips for Getting Kids to Eat Veggies
Hide Them – This is a controversial idea. I’m going to speak only from my own personal experience and what worked for all five of my kids. I have several picky eaters, who are now all picky teenager eaters, but I was determined to get them to try and love different vegetables. I began with simple ingredient additions like adding Zucchini to make Chocolate Zucchini muffins, or pureeing some sweet potatoes to make sweet potato muffins with a sweet potato frosting. Yes, I realize, not healthy options, but I really had to start somewhere. Shortly after, I began pureeing carrots and sweet potatoes and adding them to my homemade macaroni and cheese. It just made the cheese a little more orange but it still tasted great!
Grow Them – Growing Vegetables is a really fun way to get kids involved in choosing what vegetables to grow and later encouraging them to try the bounty.
Use Them in Favorites – Slowly introduce vegetables into dishes your child already loves. Often if you pop vegetables in the dish, they will sometimes still eat it, because it was already a favorite. Just go slow, dice the vegetables to make them less noticeable and just hope for the best.
Try Games – Games never really worked for my kids. Lots of encouragement and sometimes a little bartering worked. If you eat that little scoopful, we might be able to have dessert. (We are not a dessert every night kind of family so this was always an incentive).
Too Many Might be Too Much – Don’t try to introduce too many vegetables at one time. And if you find one your child really likes, stick to it and try to fit it into as many dinners as possible.
Snacks – Using vegetables as snacks is a great way to introduce new vegetables. We used to serve them with some dip and just out of wanting a snack, they were willing to try more vegetables. If you provide the vegetables, often they will at least try them. This is their favorite homemade ranch dressing.
Mash ‘Em Up – Most kids loved mashed potatoes. Try mashing up cauliflower and see if they will eat it. Once you’ve tried something like that, see if you can do mashed carrots or sweet potatoes and then go from there.
Eat the Rainbow – I did this with my children, and since I now I care for a toddler again, we “eat the rainbow”. Occasionally for a meal, we will go to the store and find a vegetable to represent each of the colors of the rainbow. We will come home and prepare them and “eat the rainbow” as a meal. I guess this is sort of a game, but we really just thought it was fun to do.
Do you have any great tips to get kids to eat vegetables?