Try one of OR all of these 7 ways to raise kids that love vegetables.
Ewww, that’s SO green!
Yuck, I hate broccoli!
I don’t like the taste!
Salads are for rabbits! (this came out of a grown up’s mouth!)
Do any of these complaints sound familiar? Or maybe you hear something else when the kids (big or small) look down on their plate and see that mound of string beans. For some reason kids (some big ones too) just aren’t naturally drawn to vegetables. They aren’t sweet like fruit and there’s just no appeal to them.
Since we all know how important it is to eat our vegetables, it’s not an option to forego them (eventually they will grow to enjoy veggies) so it’s probably a good idea to find ways to incorporate them into our family favourites.
Anyone can grow to love vegetables. Even the big kids who haven’t eaten more than a fist full in a years time.
I have tried so many ways to try to get my family to eat enough vegetables, some have worked amazingly well, others not so much but here’s the ways I have used over time to get my family eating their 5 to 7 servings everyday.
Yes!! Everyone should be eating 5 to 7 servings of vegetables every single day and it’s not that hard to do. Let me show you how you can do it, without the drama.
7 ways raise kids who love vegetables
1. Add their favourite dips: make a batch of whatever your family enjoys so they can dip carrot sticks, cucumber slices, celery sticks and baby tomatoes into it. This was my number one trick with the kids, they love ranch dressing and I made my own with greek yogurt. Yummy! Everyone enjoyed it. My daughter loves vinegar and will eat ANY vegetable if it’s drizzled with it. I know it sounds weird, but it’s how she eats her veggies, who am I to say no. She’s eating tons of good stuff.
2. Cheese makes everything taste good: you can make a simple cheese sauce to serve over broccoli, cauliflower or asparagus. Or, just melt a little shredded cheese over any vegetable (thinking green beans). Cheese has the magic to make anything taste delish. A hint: make enough cheese sauce that you can refrigerate it for another day.
3. Try casseroles: if you are make a casserole that your gang loves, you can get away with adding tons of yummy veggies inside. Depends on the dish. Lasagna is the perfect meal to hide mushrooms, peppers and spinach in. Remember there’s enough other ingredients they won’t see them. Potato casseroles with broccoli really go over well with my family. Or Spanish Rice because the bacon and cheese disguise any forbidden green things like peppers. The key is to make what they like and add the vegetables to that.
4. Spaghetti sauce: spaghetti sauce is a great hiding place for all types of fresh vegetables. I throw in carrots, celery, peppers, mushrooms and anything else I can jam into a pot of spaghetti sauce. The veggies are so smothered with yummy tomato sauce and parmesan cheese that the kids don’t even notice. Sneaky but eventually they do start to enjoy green stuff 😉
5. On a pizza: try sauteing vegetables like peppers, mushrooms and onions before putting them on the pizza, sometimes when they are cooked better kids will enjoy them more. Or add them right into the pizza sauce. Layer the pepperoni over the vegetables and who’s going to know?
6. Soups: making a pot of homemade soup is always a delicious way to boost the veggie intake. When the kids were really young, I would use the blender to liquify the chunks and they loved their soup. One of our favourite soups is the Hearty Hamburg Soup. It’s been kid approved over and over.
7. Let them in the kitchen: when kids are allowed to help in the kitchen, they want to eat what they prepare. Let them help make the dips, slice the veggies (if old enough) or add vegetables to the soup. Let them nibble and try the raw vegetable as you chat about where the food came from and how it’s so healthy for you to eat. It’s fun!
There’s many other ways to add vegetables to your kids diet, be creative and make it fun. Start young and always, always make fresh vegetables a part of your kids meals or snacks. If you looking to learn about real food and what the rules are, this post is a great place to start.
I wanted to mention that our doors are open and we are now accepting enrollment to the 6 Weeks to Real Food Program that will start the beginning of June. I would love for you to join us!
Do you have tip you can share on how you make sure your kids get their veggies daily? I would love to hear about it in the comments below.