How to Get Kids to Eat Their Vegetables

2 years ago
This article was written by a member of the SheKnows Community. It has not been edited, vetted or reviewed by our editorial staff, and any opinions expressed herein are the writer’s own.


how to get kids to eat their vegetables

Do you struggle with getting your kids to eat their vegetables? Most kids don’t get the daily number of recommended servings of fruits and vegetables in their diet. Fruits and vegetables provide essential micro-nutrients that your child’s growing body needs. Plus, most parents fail to give their child a multivitamin to help make up for the missing nutrients. . Try these ideas and keep encouraging your child to eat more vegetables.


Make Food Look Fun

I love Pinterest because there are so many fun ways to try to encourage kids to try new vegetables. You can make kabobs or use cookie cutters to make fun shapes. Also, you can even give them some low fat dip to dip their new creations in. You can even make your own lunchables for your child’s lunch and add in some fun vegetable kabobs, ect. Here are a few other ideas that I found on pinterest.

Stock Up on Popsicles

Who doesn’t enjoy a delicious popsicle? Try finding popsicles in your local whole foods market that are made using real fruits and vegetables. If you can’t find them in your area, you can even make your own using a good blender. Simply use a food processor to blend up fruits and vegetables into small pieces. Then add a yogurt or juice base to make the popsicles enticing to your children. The yogurt or fruit juice base will give it just the right amount of sweetness and they are more than likely to enjoy their new treat.

Mix Vegetables Inside of Other Foods

I have seen other moms mix vegetables into other foods such as meatloaf or muffins. You can grate the vegetables using a metal cheese grater or a food processor. If your child is turned off still by the vegetables hiding in other foods, try making them finer and harder for your kids too see. However, hiding vegetables inside of other foods especially things that they already enjoy get most kids on board. They usually won’t realize that they are even eating their vegetables. Get creative and try a few new recipes. You can even try adding vegetables to dishes that they already like too! For example, I add corn to jambalya sometimes. Soups are another great way to tempt kids to eat their vegetables too.

Buy Portable Snacks

I love giving my son portable snacks. They are easy for him to grab and go when he is wanting a snack. I always point him in the direction to choose healthy alternatives instead of eating junk all the time. I like purchasing those portable to go snacks like GoGo squeez or even the toddler food pouches in the baby section (my youngest loves them even at the age of 4). Search for ones that contain a combination of fruits and vegetables. You can also purchase your own reusable pouches and make your own fruit and vegetable pouches. If you make your own, they do need to be consumed or put into the freezer immediately because they don’t contain preservatives like the ones that you buy in the store.

Try Making Fun Shapes or Zoodles

There are plenty of tools that you can use such as the 3 in 1 Vegetable Spiralizer to make fun shapes using a variety of vegetables. You can even use it to make zoodles (you can use zucchini or even carrots) to replace regular pasta or mix it with it. After you make the zoodles, steam them and top with spaghetti sauce. Or you can even make fun shaped carrots, coat them with a small amount of olive oil and bake them on a pan. Then add seasoning as desired.

Make Smoothies

I just started making smoothies a few weeks ago and I added some fresh spinach to my smoothie. My 4.5 year old even enjoyed it and little did he know that he was getting a serving of fruits and vegetables.  Do try to avoid the ones in shops or chain restaurant chains because they contain too much sugar.

Cheese Please

My mom would add cheese to vegetables that she served when we were kids. Try adding cheese to a variety of vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, squash, and other veggies. Give it a try and see if your kids enjoy it.

Add Garlic Salt or Other No Calorie Seasonings

I love adding a small amount of garlic salt to my most of my vegetables. It adds tons of flavor without adding a ton of unnecessary calories. My youngest sees me doing it and asks for garlic salt on his veggies too.

Pair Vegetables with Food they Already Enjoy

Try pairing new vegetables with foods that they already enjoy like bacon, butter, ect. It is a way to get your kids to try vegetables that they would have normally rejected without trying them first.

Don’t Force Them to Finish Vegetables

I always follow the “one-bite” rule in our house. I at least make them try it. Kids usually say they don’t like something before they have even tried it. Try not to get frustrated with them if they do take a bite and don’t like it. It isn’t good to force your child to eat something they don’t like at first. It takes up to 8 to 10 times for a child to reject a food before they actually decide if they like it. So keep offering them different vegetables until they have had a chance to really determine if they like it or not.

Get Them to Help You in The Kitchen

Take them with you on your next trip to the grocery store. Allow them to pick out a few vegetables that they are interested in trying. Then get them to help you chop, cut, or prepare the vegetable dish. Kids usually enjoy helping even in the kitchen and it is a great way to teach them valuable life skills too.

I hope that these ideas have been helpful and that you are able to get your child to enjoy more vegetables. Most kids don’t get enough servings of fruits and vegetables in their diet so give these easy ideas to get your child to try new vegetables today.

Further Reading: How to get Your Kids to Eat Healthy


Christy Garrett

Up Run for Life

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