Carla S from “All Things Kids” shared with Healthy Lombard that some kids will eat anything. Then, like the flip of a switch, your kid is shaking their head at the vegetables you thought they liked. It’s tricky to convince them to try new vegetables.
It’s a classic question: how to get kids to eat vegetables?
If you have a picky eater, we have a few tips to improve your kids’ relationship with vegetables.
When vegetables are a separate serving, your kids zero in on the problem. By integrating veggies into mixtures or soups, it’s challenging to pick out one food. If you make the vegetables smaller, your kids can focus on the flavor of the food they prefer.
One tasty example is cauliflower in mac n’ cheese. You can also finely slice and dice vegetables to add into a rice mixture.
Pureeing disguises vegetables. You can puree vegetables into a side serving, like potatoes, or make a smoothie. Banana or citrus fruits can disguise many veggie flavors, transforming a vegetable serving into a treat.
Whether you tell your kids about the trick is up to you. Younger kids might resist on principle, even if it tastes yummier. Older kids will probably appreciate the ingenuity.
One straightforward answer to how to get your kids to eat vegetables is to make veggies the first food they see. You can offer a veggie platter snack after school or serve veggies first at dinner.
When you put vegetables first, the idea is that kids are getting them out of the way. The downside of this approach is framing vegetables as an obstacle. Some stubborn kids might choose not to eat anything rather than force down vegetables.
Be careful of the language you use. Framing vegetables as the “bad” food can sometimes teach your kids to dislike vegetables. Try not to say, “you must eat this before you get that.” Similarly, avoid bribes or punishments.