Surprisingly simple ways to get your children to eat vegetables

children to eat vegetables
*This is a guest post

Parents have many worries on their minds, and one of the biggest ones is keeping their children healthy. This includes, among other things, providing them with the healthiest food they can get. However, how can you do that when your little ones push away the plate with broccoli, zucchini, cauliflower and other vegetables each time you serve it to them? Also, they happily embrace chocolate, candies and greasy snacks. You are not the first parent dealing with picky eaters, and there are many tried-and-true methods to get your children to eat vegetables and even enjoy them. Here are some of those methods that are surprisingly simple.

Sneak the veggies in a meal they like

We know, this move is kind of sneaky, but you just want to introduce healthier food into your children’s diet, and this can’t happen overnight. Over time, they will be ready to eat their veggies without you masking them, but for now, this is the way to go. For example, if your kids love mac & cheese (like most of them do), you can add veggies like peas, corn or bell peppers to it. Veggies on a pizza are also a good option, and if you want to step up your game, you can make a cauliflower pizza crust. You can even include veggies into a dessert, by preparing zucchini-based brownies.

Mix it all up

Smoothies are an excellent way to provide your kids with all the vitamins and minerals their bodies and minds require in order to develop properly, without them even noticing it. They can have a veggie smoothie for breakfast or as a snack, or you can even give it to them as a dessert. To make it more appealing to them, add some fruit to it. As for the veggies, use healthy but delicious things, like avocado, spinach, cucumber, kale, carrot and pumpkin.

Keep it colourful

One of the biggest aesthetic advantages of vegetables is the richness of their colours. However, if you are not serving fresh veggies, you should know that some cooking methods can deprive them of their natural colour and make them look brownish and unattractive. This also depends on the cookware you are using. Quality cookware, such as Scanpan bamboo steamers can cook veggies to perfection, while allowing them to maintain their fresh and beautiful colours.

Get them involved in cooking

Apart from being the basic life skill every kid should acquire at some point, cooking is very useful because it encourages kids to learn about different tastes and ingredients. Also, it increases the chance they’ll actually eat the dish they’ve helped make. Of course, for toddlers and younger kids, being involved means doing simple tasks such as plucking the herbs and picking out the watermelons, while older kids and teenagers can tackle more challenging chores like peeling the potatoes and making pasta.

Pair it with something less appealing

Researchers at Texas A&M University came to an interesting conclusion when it comes to the patterns in food consumption among school kids – they are more likely to eat veggies on a plate when it is paired with something that is not too tempting to outshine the veggies. So, do your kid a favour and pair broccoli, green beans, spinach or another veggie with a serving that is not very popular with the kids, such as baked potatoes or deli sliders. Definitely avoid dishes like burgers and chicken nuggets.

Work on your serving

Children are visual beings, and if something on their plate looks “yucky” they won’t be too eager to eat it. So, turn their plates into an art piece, by creating a forest out of the most hated veggie (broccoli), an octopus out of bell peppers, a flower out of carrots, etc.

Suprisingly simple ways to get your kids to eat veggies

These simple tricks will help you encourage your children to eat vegetables. This way, they will become healthier and form a habit of eating healthy food, which will stay with them throughout their lives.

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  1. Fantastic tips! I love getting my daughter involved in cooking because it’s an easy way to help her learn and discover new flavours 🙂

  2. These are great ideas. My son will happily eat carrots, peas, corn and broccoli until the cows come home but won’t touch onions, peppers or mushrooms, all of which I put into bolognaise or lasagna. So I have to blitz them in the food processor to use them in my sauce!

  3. I love this! I was an awkward child that was a vegetarian that wouldn’t eat vegetables. My Mum had a right nightmare trying to get me to eat them and I’m sure she used many of these ways. I’d eat anything now!

    Ami xxx

  4. My mummy is super sneaky about getting vegetables into me, she hides them, makes them look pretty and occasionally feeds them to me for snacks when I crave surgery snacks! Great ideas x

  5. I love all of these tips. We always blitz Evie smoothies so she’ll have things like spinach and we try to hide things in meals. She is usually so fussy but this week I got her to help me cook a whole meal from start to finish. It was a slightly spicy curry (her choice) and we packed it full of greens she wouldn’t normally eat. She demolished it! I was so proud. I think cooking definitely helps big time. x

  6. My two younger ones are fine with vegetables but my 9 year old wretches when one even goes near his mouth. We have tried everything to get him to eat them

  7. my son and youngest daughter eat really well but my eldest daughter can be quite fussy, we have tried hiding vegetables in other foods but she sniffs them out, I’ll be honest, bribary is the best for us, rewarding her for trying 2 or 3 bites tends to do the job but if she genuinely doesn’t like something there’s not much you can do about that

  8. My eldest son eats really well but my youngest is really fussy! My tip is to keep trying and let them try foods off your plate. Avoid giving too many sweet snacks in between meals.

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