Last Updated on May 23, 2023 by Ellen Christian
Are you trying to get your kids to eat vegetables without World War II at the kitchen table? Check out these tips for dealing with a picky eater.
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Ten Tips to Help Get Your Kids to Eat Vegetables
I won’t lie to you. My children are really not all that fond of vegetables. Sure they have a few select veggies that they like. These include the favorite corn on the cob and carrot sticks. I can bring those to the table every single night and they’d get eaten without any problems at all.
Unfortunately when I bright other vegetables to the table like zucchini or lima beans, that’s another thing entirely. They get this look on their face that’s laughable and act like I’m trying to feed them something inedible.
I’ve always required they clear their plate no matter what but I try to make the veggies something they’ll like. I want to make sure that they’re eating a healthy dinner. Here are a few things that worked when they were younger.
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Cut the veggies into fun shapes. You can cut the carrots with slits for legs & arms and then put them in cold water and they will curl like a little man. You can make radishes into flowers. Or, you can use tiny cookie cutters to cut them into shapes.
Add something of interest to the veggies. My kids don’t like celery but if I put peanut butter and raisins on them, they’re thrilled with the ants on a log. Experiment to find your child’s favorites.
Add a Sauce
Cover the veggies up! Who doesn’t like broccoli covered in a rich creamy cheddar cheese sauce? I know I’ll eat a whole bowl of it that way. While broccoli with cheese sauce isn’t as healthy as plain broccoli, it’s better than no broccoli at all when you have a picky eater.
Serve it in the form they like. My daughter hates cooked cauliflower but loves it raw. I let her eat hers raw instead of cooked. It really doesn’t matter which way they eat it as long as they have vegetables with their meal. Or, let them eat the entire meal with chopsticks.
Let them dip it! So maybe they hate carrot sticks. Give them some ranch dressing and they’ll enjoy dipping the carrots in there. You can also dip your vegetables into hummus and salsa if you’re looking for a healthier option. Or, offer a big bowl of homemade salsa with tortilla chips.
Don’t overwhelm them with a huge pile. I’ve always required the kids eat what’s on their plate but if I know they don’t like it, I give them a smaller portion.
Hide them in something. Sneaking vegetables into toddler food can be a challenge. But, you can grate up carrots and put them in things like meatloaf or spaghetti sauce and they’ll never know the difference.
You can be happy knowing they’re getting what they need. My Lemon Maple Zucchini Bread is a family favorite. Learn how to hide vegetables in food.
Top a Pizza
Put it on their favorite foods. My kids love pizza so I add mushrooms, peppers, and onions on top with lots and lots of melted cheese and they eat it happily.
Introduce the vegetables early to them. If you never give them broccoli and then give it to them at age ten, you may have an issue. Introduce it at a young age before they’ve decided they don’t like it based on friends or peer pressure. This dinner tray is fun mealtime idea.
Don’t give up offering it. Just because they’ve always hated zucchini doesn’t mean they might not change their mind someday. My daughter just recently decided that zucchini *sometimes* tastes pretty good. She’s hated it for almost eighteen years.
There are lots of ways to get your kids to eat vegetables without resorting to threats and unhappy parents. These worked for my children and now they generally eat just about anything. You’ll have to pick and choose your own battles.
Do you have any tips to get your kids to eat vegetables?
Ellen is a busy mom of a 24-year-old son and 29-year-old daughter. She owns six blogs and is addicted to social media. She believes that it doesn’t have to be difficult to lead a healthy life. She shares simple healthy living tips to show busy women how to lead fulfilling lives. If you’d like to work together, email firstname.lastname@example.org to chat.