10 Ways I Got My Kid to Eat Veggies

I’m no Holly Homemaker – but I have had marginal success on this matter.  My kids eat (or have eaten) broccoli, apples, plums, peaches, carrots, salad (yes salad), cauliflower and more.

Are you having veggie trials in your home? Here are a few tips …

1)       You go first!
Let your child observe you eat salad, apples, some broccoli – and ENJOY it! You have to be a live commercial for eating the healthy stuff. (“Mmmm these are really good carrot sticks!”)  This should be genuine and reoccurring! Not one fake ditch to get him to do it. If you don’t like brussels sprouts and don’t eat them – don’t expect him too either. And you thought this was only about getting HIM to eat veggies 🙂

2)       Puree Okay?
I buy frozen veggies; thaw them a bit (sometimes); and throw them in the blender with a touch of water. Then, I use it to lace my spaghetti sauce, taco meat, mac-n-cheese, lasagna, you name it!  Takes less than 5 minutes. I use cauliflower mostly because it’s clear and doesn’t really have a taste. Runner-up to that are carrots because their color blends into a lot my dishes. I also use broccoli, but make sure you really puree it because our rascals are smart and pick-up on the color difference. If you do use the frozen veggies, be mindful of the extra water.

3)       C’mon let’s dip baby!
Serve a dip or salad dressing to go with the veggies – like ranch dressing dip for broccoli or carrots. But remember, don’t drown your food!

4)       How does it feel?
We don’t like our veggies (among other things) limp and neither do kids. Some veggies – like raw carrots – are a little too hard. Some fruit – like cantaloupe – is too soft. This is why you have to switch it up. It’s a game of chess but your little one will help you determine the right move.

5)       Try something new – often.
See #4.  I also make awesome kale chips. I just bake kale in the oven with a sprinkle of Pam and sea salt and they came out tasting like potato chips! The kids loved these too!

6)       Shape Up!
Try different shapes. He may not eat a whole apple – but an apple cut up into the shape of French fries is a winner! Why do you think McDonald’s serves them this way?  Try the small carrot sticks too!

7)       Melt cheese on it!
Who doesn’t love cheese? Just cover that whole piece of broccoli with cheese – even sliced cheese will do. Make sure it is good and melted, otherwise, he will just peel it off and eat it.

8)       Dessert.
Make a fruit dessert or at least add fruit to the dessert. I don’t buy cookies, and cakes and I sure don’t bake. So for us, fruit, apple sauce and yogurt is the dessert. Try adding honey on fruit (but not too much).

9)       Got Juice?
Yes – we’ve made our fair share of the ‘green juices’ with an actual juicer. This worked for a while, because if you make it right (hint hint), a juice with spinach, lettuce and lots of fruit is sweet and the kids love it. The trick is you actually have to do the juicing and not let the machine sit on the shelf collecting dust.

10)   Consistency.
Make sure you put veggies and/or fruit on his plate with every meal – if possible – even when you eat out. It may be weeks before he gets around to actually eating them, but you are setting the precedence that this is how you eat.

OR TRY THIS!

Here’s a completely different approach. Does your child express more interest in the food on your plate than what’s on his – even though it’s the same dish? Does he whine and almost break his neck to get to your food before even tasting his own?

Well – you can throw (almost) everything I just mentioned out of the window and do try reverse psychology.

The next time you sit down to eat together (another hint), only put the veggies and/or fruit on your plate. When he clambers for it, tease him a little (you really want to try this?) and then let him have it. 

This is how my child came to eat salad. Do you know he even eats grapefruit and plums and pears- oh my!?

Now, I don’t want to give you false hope. I’m still working on my 2 y.o. who only wants to eat meat and the 4 y.o. is on a hiatus from broccoli. I was so excited that he liked it I served it everyday and he probably overdosed. Go figure.  Like everything – it’s an evolving process.

And when ALL ELSE FAILS – I bribe them. Oh yes, some fruit snacks or a small sucker will get the veggies eaten every time!  A small counterproductive deal with the devil – but it works.

What do you do to get your child/ children to eat fruits and veggies? Please leave a comment and let me know!

Advertisements

13 thoughts on “10 Ways I Got My Kid to Eat Veggies

  1. Great ideas! I have great fruit eaters but not so much on the veggies. My 5 year old is a dipper so that helps but I have not found a dipping sauce my 3 year old will touch. It is pretty much cooked broccoli and raw carrots as veggies for us.

    • Yes – that’s still my challenge too! They do eat fruit pretty easily! I love the way they start off all slow sticking their tongue on it first and taking a small bite to test it – once they find out it’s sweet it’s a no-brainer. Veggies are still more of a challenge 🙂

  2. Yep, my favorite is You First. And being animated! How many times have we watched Popeye eat that spinach and go, “man, I want me some spinach”. And it wasn’t always cause it made him strong, but because he seemed to love it. When we really make a big deal over things, it makes us want to try it!

  3. Some great advice here! I find if veggies are a part of your life, and why wouldn’t they be, then they will be a part of your kids lives. But, that can stop (or at least be influenced to stop) when they get to school and other kids don’t eat veggies, and tell your kids that veggies are gross, etc. So, if we all ban together as parents, we’ll get kids eating veggies, and loving it.

    My 9 1/2 month old eats just about everything, and I’m always trying new things, it surprises me what he likes still. The other day, I was munching on a raw red cabbage, and carrot slaw, made with olive oil, vinegar, lime juice, pepper and a little salt. Hardly baby friendly, I thought, but when he saw mommy eating it, he just couldn’t help putting his little fingers in my bowl and helping himself to some, and he loved it. He made the sour face, but continued. He’s got some teeth, and can gum-chew like nobody’s business, and the slaw was very fine, so I was happy to let him munch away.

    My only warning with veggies and kids (and adults for that matter) is to be wary of using too many hidden veggies, and purees, especially if you use squash, because it just might be too much fiber in one meal. I once let my baby eat too much homemade squash, and knew about it the next day, and the day after, when I had a lot of diapers to change. They barely have a colon, so it doesn’t need to be overworked, or cleaned out, like ours does… hee, hee.

    But, you have gorgeous, healthy (obviously), awesome children, and great blog. Thanks for visiting mine too. Cheers! Amy

    • wow – I didn’t know – or think about- an underdeveloped colon… although I have always been curious as to how they have bowel movements faster. THANKS for sharing that – something to think about. That’s great about getting your child to eat cabbage though – we haven’t gotten that far. It’s a little crazy when they like something earlier on and then change up – but that’s to be expected I guess. My goal is to at least expose them to various veggies and fruits. You are doing a terrific job!

  4. These are great! And they work! Hurray for being a genius! I don’t have kids yet, but I’ve heard the stories. I’m holding my breath….oh no, wait. That’s what THEY do! My mother always used the dip and the cheese methods. But I like the shapes and dessert idea. Frozen grapes are a wonderful dessert. Even for a grown-up! I won’t give up. Thanks for the encouragement. Even if I have a while! 🙂

    • Thank you!! I don’t know about being a genius – did you read my Battling of the Broccoli post? It’s a work in progress. I still have to try the frozen grapes one. Thanks so much for the feedback!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s