4 ways to get kids to eat their vegetables

kids eat vegetables

There’s a daily mealtime battle in many homes. Parents ask kids to eat their vegetables, but kids push them aside. After several skirmishes, many parents give up and stop putting vegetables on their kids’ plates. So, the results of a recent survey are no surprise: On most days, American children are more likely to eat french fries than vegetables. However, vegetables are loaded with important vitamins and minerals kids need for healthy bodies. Consider four ways to encourage kids to eat their veggies as featured in the Huffington Post:

  1. Make it fun – Introduce vegetables to kids by showing them how they’re grown:
    • Visit a farmer’s market where kids can see different vegetables. Have them pick out a few to try at home, such as corn on the cob, green beans, carrots or leaf lettuce.
    • Tour a garden store to look at vegetable seeds and plants that are growing in starter pots.
    • Grow a vegetable garden in your own yard or plant them in containers. Show kids how to water them, and chart the progress of each plant. 

  2. Mix it up – Most kids are born with about 10,000 taste buds. That’s why many kids are sensitive to new flavors. If kids don’t like brussels sprouts or broccoli, don’t give up. According to Dr. Stroustrup of Mount Sinai’s Icahn School of Medicine, you may need to offer a new food as many as 10 times. Start by introducing kids to vegetables, such as sautéed green beans with bacon bits, baked carrots with a honey glaze, or strips of celery, sweet bell pepper and cucumber with a dipping sauce.

  3. Lead the way – Kids often mimic their parents. If you pick vegetables out of foods, your kids probably will follow your example. So, if you want kids to try different vegetables, make sure you’re eating them, too. Serve clean raw veggies with every meal. Many veggies, like baby carrots, come packaged washed and ready to eat. Or create a side salad with mixed greens, sliced cucumber, grated carrot and cherry tomatoes. Offer your child two or three different salad dressings to see what he or she likes best.

  4. Be creative – Vegetables can be added to many favorite foods without changing the flavor:
    • Add pureed zucchini to soups, casseroles, pizza sauce or lasagna.
    • Make a stir-fry with a tasty sauce, protein and vegetables.
    • Serve zucchini noodles with spaghetti sauce.
    • Bake a roast with vegetables on the side.
    • Cook a cheesy omelet or frittata with diced vegetables inside.