12 Tricks to Get Your Kids to Eat Vegetables
We all know that eating more veggies can drastically improve health and make your family feel even more vibrant. However, getting kids to eat more vegetables is one of the toughest food challenges most parents face, so we’ve outlined tried-and-trusted tips from moms that may just do the trick.
- Make vegetables the easy option. Have them washed, cut, and at eye level on the counter or in the fridge for easy access.
- Cook with your kids. Let them measure, wash, or stir veggies before cooking or eating. Let them snap green beans, tear lettuce, or break the flowerets from broccoli and cauliflower. Older kids can chop, cook, and do taste tests.
- Take kids to the farmers market. Most farmers markets offer samples of produce which allows kids to try before you buy.
- Get them while they're hungry. If they're hungry, they'll eat. Before dinner, serve an appetizer of colorful vegetables, such as carrots, cucumbers, and red bell peppers, along with a hummus or salad dressing.
- Institute the "no thank you bite" rule. Tell your child he/she has to take a bite before vetoing something on his/her plate.
- Prepare vegetables differently. Raw, steamed, mashed, and grilled are just some of the ways you can prepare vegetables. If your child has issues with the textures of vegetables, preparing them differently can make a world of difference.
- Have a veggie night. This way, there's no competition from other types of foods. Most kids generally prefer “crispy, crunchy, and juicy” veggies over “mushy, squishy, and slimy”.
- Hide the veggies. Add pureed veggies to tomato sauce for pizza and pasta.
- Don’t give up. As with so many aspects of parenting, persistence and consistency are critical to the success of your veggie game plan. It can take 10 or more exposures to a single vegetable before a kid becomes accustomed to a particular taste.
- Bribe with dessert, coins, or stickers. Didn't want to finish what was good for them? No problem – no dessert! This may not be the healthiest way to get kids to eat vegetables, but it has worked for some. Awarding coins or stickers are alternate options that may inspire greater participation.
- Do as you say. The best way for adults to encourage vegetable consumption among their children is to be good role models.
- Encourage the herd mentality. If you’re child doesn’t like to eat vegetables, have him/her hang out with other kids who do.