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The Ultimate Guide on How to Get Kids to Eat Vegetables: Advice from 25+ Moms
What’s Inside: tips, tricks, and quotes from real moms on how to get kids to eat vegetables, that actually work, even with picky eaters!
Have you ever wondered how to get your child to eat their vegetables?
I’m sure you probably have!
In fact, I’m sure that’s a question all parents end up asking themselves at least once while their kids are little. Between picky eaters and children wanting to test their limits 24/7; it can be hard to imagine how we will ever get past the stage of saying ‘my child won’t eat vegetables‘ whenever we’re asked about their eating habits!
Luckily, you will eventually get past that stage…Hopefully! Some parents will get through it more easily than others, but we all may very well struggle, especially with picky eaters. I know, my oldest is a very picky eater and her younger sister is trying to take after her…
Sometimes you’ll have to be creative and start sneaking veggies in toddler food for your toddlers, or even hiding them in your own food. Because obviously, whatever is on your plate is way better than what’s on your child’s plate, and they insist on eating what you have, even when the same food is on their plate.
I get it, it’s hard sometimes. But, it doesn’t have to continue being a struggle forever!
Check out the amazing advice in the posts and quotes below. Build up your confidence in knowing how to conquer the picky eating and stubbornness that may arise when feeding your kids.
Some of the strategies below may even have you feeling and knowing that it doesn’t have to be as difficult as you imagine it to be! So, read on and take our advice, from one mom to another!
If you’re wondering “How can I trick my child into eating vegetables?”
First, know that you’re not alone.
Many parents wonder this, especially with picky eaters in the household.
Don’t feel like a bad parent for wanting to deceive your child, simply to get them to eat their veggies. You’re only thinking of what’s best for them. You want your child to grow up healthy and strong; and that means that you need to do what you can to help or encourage them to eat the food that is best for them, such as veggies.
There’s plenty of recipes you can choose from to sneak veggies into a childs diet. Check some out in this post: 18 Healthy Recipes with Hidden Veggies for Kids
And, don’t forget to take advice from the posts and quotes from 25+ real moms below!
Find out 12 different types of food you can sneak veggies into (plenty of recipes to try), along with the pros and cons of sneaking veggies into your childs food.
“I like to hide veggies in other foods. My sons has fallen in love with chocolate zucchini bread. It may not be the most healthy thing, but at least I don’t have to wrestle him to the ground to get him to eat it.” ~Brittany from Figuringitout101.com
This post teaches you the important of beets, includes healthy recipes for kids to eat beets, and other fun things you can help your child do with beets to encourage them to enjoy and interact wit them. Including making pink play-doh and more! Perfect for little girls and boys who love the color pink, go check it out here.
“Smoothies! I add all sorts of veggies to them and my kids are none the wiser! 😂” ~Lexi from Jesuscoffeeandmomlife.com
How to get your child to eat their veggies without sneaking them!
Maybe sneaking veggies into your childs food won’t work for you.
Your children are older and will know.
Or, maybe you like to be completely honest with your child and encourage you children to eat what’s good for them with knowing it’s good for them.
I totally get that!
I’m all about trying to get my kids to develop healthy habits and know that they are. Other moms are too, and share many different tips and tricks on how to do this.
Check out the tips and posts from real moms below, who are getting their kids to knowingly chow down on veggies!
Sometimes, it’s just about they way you present food: from seed to table!
This post contains a lot of helpful tips for getting kids to eat their veggies, along with why it is so important. One such tip is making sure your child eats a rainbow everyday. Find out what that means here!
“Make a variety of vegetables in different ways to see what your child likes. Don’t stick with just 4-5 plain vegetables. Spice them up with spices and herbs! Pinterest is amazing for vegetable side dish ideas.” ~Samantha from journeytosahm.com
“I was amazed at how enthusiastic my children have been to eat the veggies they’ve grown in their gardens. The planting, tending, and harvesting has gotten them more enthused and engaged with the food on their plate. It can be a real fun process for us all!” ~Jenn
Did your child go from eating all foods ever given to them to being an extremely picky eater? You’re not alone, check out this post with plenty of ideas to help get your toddler eating veggies again after they’ve stopped; from making and buying them play food to growing their own gardens
Make it fun
It’s no fun to force your kids to eat the veggies that are good for them. So, stop making such a fuss about what they eat and start making it fun!
Whether you can make beautiful pictures with food, like on Pinterest (follow me here), or your idea of being creative is turning eating healthy food into a game with incentives; there will always be a way to make eating healthy fun.
Stop stressing over meal time, stay positive, and do the best you can, instead!
Check out the posts and ideas below to see what other moms have done to make eating veggies fun and more enjoyable for their kids, and themselves!
From making fun shapes with their veggies to never giving up, this post is full of practical tips to get your kids to eat veggies. Check it out here.
“My favourite veggie hide is pasta with orange sauce. I started with sauces in jars which they saw me open, didn’t suspect veggies & loved the taste. Now I make a sauce with roasted Mediterranean veggies & lots of tomatoes & blitz it smooth in the food processor ( all done while they are at school/nursery) & they think it’s just another jar sauce.” ~Debbie
This post shows you many different ways to get kids to love eating healthy food, including an app that gives kids an incentive to create healthy habits! The app is suggest for kids no younger than 6. So, if you have children who toddlers, but are picky eaters, check out the app in this post and try it out with your kids. I just downloaded it for my daughter who just turned 6, once she wakes up she’ll get to choose her avatar and get excited about using an app on mommy’s phone!
“We’ve started offering real food exchange for eating real food of bargaining is necessary. For example, they love sweet potato. If they eat all the zucchini, they can have more sweet potato.” ~Brooke from Happysimplemom.com
Sometimes all it takes to get kids to eat veggies is letting them help us make them or trying them in a different way, like raw with dip instead of cooked. Check out 3 more simple tips in this post!
“I would recommend dipping sauces to go with vegetables, like hummus or a yogurt-based dressing. It gives the vegetables extra flavor.” ~Joyce Felix at Celebrate Moms Forever (celebratemomsforever.com)
Start as early as possible and get them talking about food
I may have started my girls eating home made baby food earlier than other parents. At three months old, I started my girls on home made rice cereal to help keep them full and sleeping just a tad bit longer. Then came the fruits and veggies! The first foods they tried are still their favorites; bananas and avocados.
Starting your kids eating fresh, whole foods, such as fruits and veggies, and encouraging them from the time they begin to eat will do wonders for helping them eat healthy later in life.
However, don’t feel bad if you didn’t make home made baby food from fresh fruits and veggies a priority when your kids were infants. NOW is the best time to start getting your kids to eat the best they can, which includes eating plenty of veggies.
There’s different tactics you can use to get your kids to eat veggies once they start to talk. Find out how to talk about veggies to encourage your children to eat more of them, and other tactics to influence your childs behavior towards vegetables in the posts below!
With the understanding that most kids are picky eaters, this post goes into saying that we have a lot of influence over our children’s eating habits. Check out the 6 tips inside to help your picky eater eat a variety of foods, such as talking about how the food tastes instead of just having your child say it’s ‘yucky’. Read the other 5 tips here.
“I ask my older one (5-year-old) to describe in every detail what he doesn’t like about the veggie. What does it taste like? Why don’t you like it? etc etc. And we compare the veggie to funny things too. It usually makes him try it a few more times to get the right words out and then he’s fine eating it the next time. ” ~Lakshmi
From starting babies off the right way with eating food to providing 7 more ways to get toddlers to eat their veggies; this post has quite a bit to offer if you’re truly struggling getting enough nutrients from veggies into your kids. Plus, she states how she was able to raise a less picky than usual toddler than most other parents claim to have! Check it out here.
“I’ve given them the same food I cook for us every tome since they were little . No Mac and cheese , no special kids food. They eat what we eat . I don’t treat veggies like they’re some kind of special food and this loosens up the tension around them . My daughters eat everything, even salad. Just keep trying new things, even if you don’t like it yourself . I used to hate broccoli but then I realized my kids would miss out on it because of me . So I started cooking it and now I love it!” ~ Delia Cantoriu from delia-in-a-nutshell.com
Sometimes It’s as simple as having veggies and dips available
Instead of thinking “what vegetables can I add to kids meals?”
Start thinking about what dips or sauces you can add to veggies to help make them more enticing for your little ones!
This could be anything from different dressings to smothering them in peanut butter.
Just make sure that there are always fresh and washed vegetables available to your children and in eye level for them in the fridge so it’s the first thing they see!
Check out other tips and tricks from more moms below.
Want to know what happens when you set veggies out on the table while you’re making dinner? Check out this post to see how successful this one single tip is!
From pureeing veggies and adding them to sauce to making sure they are ready to eat soon after being bought: those are just two of the seven ways to add veggies into yours and your childs diet recommended in this post. It’s meant to help us as adults get veggies into our diets. But, most of these ideas will work for picky eater kids, as well! Check out the rest of the tips here.
“I use vegetable pasta with sauce and then give veggies on the side. The more you serve vegetables the better your chances of them trying them and liking them. It takes at least 20 times before you will get your little one to eat them. Also I put cheese on them which makes them taste better.” ~Cheree from homemademoma.com
Learn 3 simple tricks to get your kids to eat veggies, simply by how it’s prepared! Such as covering it in peanut butter, my oldest daughters favorite thing to do with everything.
“Cauliflower everything! My little guy will down an entire batch of caulitots! Or zucchini fries! If you make veggies into foods they already love you’ll definitely get a win!”
~Mandis from everydayemerson.com
If NOTHING seems to be working: Lean on Psychology
This is where my bachelors in psychology comes in, haha, or not.
Most of the tips below are simply common sense. Such as making sure you’re not overstimulating and producing anxiety when trying to get your kids to eat vegetables.
Or, using reverse psychology, making your child think you don’t want them to eat it, just so they will eat their veggies.
Don’t overlook using simple psychology facts to help you get your kids to eat their veggies, but don’t overuse reverse psychology so much that your kids always try to do the opposite of what you tell them to do!
Get more tips and tricks to get veggies into your kids below.
If getting your child to eat veggies so overwhelming that you don’t even know where to start; check out the 3 very simple, yet overlooked tips in this post that come from the basics of psychology. They may even have you thinking, ‘well, why didn’t I think of that’! Check out the post here.
“Introduce them early in the weaning process. We used to do a bit of puree and baby led weaning. I’d offer most veggies as soft finger food and I think this has helped my son love veggies now. He will pretty much try and eat most vegetables – age 5.” ~Emma from eandbmaketea.com
Learn one simple trick to get your kids to eat veggies! It may only work half the time, but half the time is better than not at all. (And, yes, that’s a picture of my 2 year old eating a salad above. You can get your kids to eat salad, too!)
“There was some research a few years ago. They found that stickers worked really well as an incentive for kids to eat their veggies. Sweets or dessert don’t work.” ~Eline
From keeping different foods separate to reverse psychology, I’ve used most of these tips before with my picky eaters, and they tend to work more often than not. Check them out here.
“We offered vegetables from the beginning and at almost every meal. We eat them in front of her. We celebrate them and cook a variety, with different cooking methods.” ~Megan from Howwemom.com
Getting kids to eat their veggies can be a huge struggle for most parents. But, it doesn’t have to be.
It doesn’t matter if you’re feeding your baby for the first few times, trying to get a stubborn and independent toddler to eat what you want them to, or trying to instill good eating habits in your older children.
With the advice from 25+ moms in this post, and more tips than I care to count within this and all the posts included, you’re sure to find at least one way for how to get your child to eat to eat their veggies that will help you, even if just temporarily. You know, until they get out of the picky eating phase they’re currently in.
Know that encouraging your kids to eat their veggies in a positive manner, and using the tips and tricks above; will help you much more than trying to fight with your kids about it or force them to eat veggies at every meal.
What is your favorite way to get your kids to eat their veggies? Share in the comments below. And, don’t forget to share this post with other moms having trouble getting their kids to eat their veggies!