Lean in close…you will want to hear this. I talk to moms all the time, and do you know one thing they all have in common? They want to know how to get their kids to eat their damn vegetables!
Busy moms everywhere, like you and me, are tired of placing a plate of vegetables in front of their kids just to be throwing it aways an hour later. You know exactly what i’m talking about…
Fortunately, I have had 10 years to figure out how to get kids to eat their vegetables. And I am going to share these tips with you in hopes that it helps you get some vegetables into your kids as well!
How To Introduce Fruits and Vegetables To Your PIcky Eater
Picky eaters are a tough crowd. They often refuse to eat foods that most other kids will eat. At the same time they usually prefer unhealthy processed foods instead.
The trick to getting your picky eater to try new foods is to offer some kind of incentive. It doesn’t need to be anything elaborate. In fact, kids get excited over stickers.
We have a weekly chore chart where the kids can cross off different chores as they complete them. They get so excited grabbing the marker and putting a big X over the item.
Why not try this with healthy eating too?! I’ll tell you more below along with several other things you can try!
Why We Should Make Eating Vegetables Fun!
Sometimes we adults take healthy eating too seriously. Yes, it is true that we want kids to eat healthy on their own, but even as adults there are some foods we just don’t like. But when our kids hate a vegetable, we moms start worrying that they hate all vegetables.
Just the simple act of a child trying a new food for the first, second or third time should be celebrated.
Let’s say you hate cauliflower. Now imagine being yelled at and punished for not eating the cauliflower that someone else put on your plate. It would make you hate it even more!
Now, imagine you are sitting around with your friends and they encourage you to try it again. You put in in your mouth, make a funny face and everyone starts laughing. It’s a much more positive experience. Maybe you will find that it wasn’t as bad as you thought it would be.
We need to treat our kids with the same level of respect and it will set them up for a healthy relationship with food.
Tip: Try telling your kid that you want to take a picture of their Cauliflower face. Once you pull out your phone, they will shove that cauliflower in their mouth just to take a picture!
So let’s jump in! Here are 3 things to try today to get your kids to try vegetables!
#1 Food Chart For Kids
Kids will do almost anything for a prize! So why not use that to our advantage?
A Food chart is simliar to a chore chart – Click on the picture below to download your copy!
It is just a very simple chart with days of the week. Unless you have planned your meals for the week (highly recommended!), you won’t know what vegetables you will be serving. So your child can write in the vegetable after they eat it.
A fun idea is to serve fruits and veggies in a variety of colors. Each day, have your child use a crayon that is the same color as the vegetable. At the end of the week, they can see that they literally ate a rainbow!
Consider adding a prize at the end of the week to make it even more exciting!
#2 The Muffin Tin Trick!
As you already know, kids love finger foods. It’s like they start eating solid foods with tiny pieces and they never outgrow it! So let’s meet them where they are at.
If they want finger foods, lets give it to them! Grab a muffin tin and place a different fruit or vegetable in each muffin cup.
Then encourage your child to try each one. Have you ever heard that we eat with our eyes? Well, kids are no exception!
If we present the food in a fun and exciting way, they are more likely to eat it. While you are preparing the muffin tins, have the kids choose which muffin cup the different fruits and vegetables go into. They will love being a part of it!
#3 Fruit Kebobs
One more thing kids love, is ANYTHING on a stick! When the kids were younger, we would cut up pieces of fruits and let them put them on a skewer. Once they get used to that, I started adding vegetables. They may have noticed, but they were excited just to home more things to put on their skewers!
They are willing to try almost anything if they are able to put it on a stick! Don’t trust me? Give it a try!
Here is a picture of my kids a few years ago with one of their first fruit kebobs. Excuse the out of focus picture! This was before I was taking pictures for the blog!
If you are concerned about safety, just cut off the tips of the skewer and talk to the kids about safety. For example don’t run with the skewer and don’t point it at anyone. You get the idea…
Vegetables For Kids – Get Kids To Eat Vegetables!
If you have an extremely picky eater, you may want to start with fruits. Since they are sweeter, most kids can learn to love them. Then slowly introduce vegetables.
Kids can eat almost any vegetable, but there are a few that tend to be favorites. Some kids like broccoli and asparagus. But if you have a very picky eater, you might want to try some of these vegetables that your kids may be more receptive to!
- Cucumbers – try adding some salt if your kids don’t like it plain
- Cooked Cabbage
- Zucchini – They may not like zucchini slices, but try adding it to stir frys, spaghetti or try Zoodles!
No matter how your child reacts, just remember that it takes trying something 12 times before they may start to like it. So just be patient with them!
I had a picky eater but I just added a vegetable to her plate at each meal. We also had a deal that she would try one bite (and swallow it!) and eventually she started to eat them without complaining. So I am here to tell you that it does work!
If you struggle with it, or get frustrated, remember we are here to support you! Email me directly or join our Facebook Group for more support. We got you!!