How to Get Kids to Eat Their Veggies
Kids, Picky Eaters, Tips / How-Tos

Get Kids to Eat More Vegetables

We’re always looking for ways to get kids to eat vegetables, and sometimes it’s tempting to just sneak in what you can. From adding pureed spinach into meatballs to blending kale into a blueberry smoothie, masking healthy veggies can seem like the most convenient way to go. But even if your kid isn’t eating their vegetables, does hiding veggies in other food send the wrong message?

How Do I Get My Child To Eat Vegetables?

When feeding your kids, you’re goal is likely twofold: You want them to eat healthy and nutritiously, but you also want to help them establish a positive relationship with food. Because of the latter, it’s important to be transparent with your kids when it comes to what they’re eating and where it comes from. Be creative with how you incorporate vegetables rather than sneaky, and always answer truthfully when your kid asks about ingredients. Here are three ways to help you and your young ones explore vegetables in new and approachable ways.

Creatively Incorporating Veggies For Your Kids

To help your kids establish a healthy, positive relationship with food, it’s essential that you’re honest with them about the ingredients in their meals. But that doesn’t mean you can’t be creative in how you incorporate healthy vegetables in your kid’s meals. At Nurture Life, we add pureed cauliflower to our kids classic mac & cheese and carrots to our marinara sauce. Even our turkey meatloaf has an extra veggie boost! Sauces and soups offer lots of opportunities to incorporate vegetables in a fun and benign way for your kids to enjoy.

Vegetables can even be incorporated into sweet dishes. Smoothies and popsicles are a surefire way to get you kids to your kids to eat their veggies. Try out a Blueberry Flax Smoothie with a boost of spinach and prepare some Cucumber and Raspberry Pops for those hot summer days.

Crudite All the Way: Kid-Friendly Raw Veggies

If you’re looking for an easy vegetable snack for kids, look no further than the classic crudite. This fun hors d’oeuvres proves that you don’t have to hide vegetables to make them kid-friendly. In fact, crudite can be a real hit with kids. Slice up some veggies like bell peppers, carrots, cucumbers and celery so they’re finger-friendly. Don’t forget about the produce that’s already ready to eat, like broccoli, cauliflower or cherry tomatoes. Have some fun with your little ones by exploring new dips or even making your own, and these raw vegetables will be a real treat.

The Benefits of Frozen Vegetables For Toddlers and Kids

You may be a big believer in “fresh is best.” However, frozen vegetables are usually packed at their peak ripeness, making them a good choice. At the end of the day, taste is the main difference between frozen and fresh produce, since frozen produce has the same nutritional value as its fresh counterpart. Also, having your kids eat frozen vegetables is also convenient for you: Frozen produce doesn’t go bad as quickly and you can keep your kid’s favorite vegetables on hand year round.

Your baby or toddler can start enjoying frozen vegetables as soon as they start teething. Frozen peas are a good starting point. Toddlers can pick them up with ease, the temperature will help with teething pains and the peas thaw pretty quickly, making them easy to eat. Frozen veggies are also a great way to cool down soup that’s too hot to eat. Some kids even like to eat cold vegetables as a snack on their own.

Honesty and creativity are essential for helping your little ones learn to love and eat their veggies. Your transparency about what your kids are eating fosters a healthy lifelong relationship with food. Creativity in the kitchen can make healthy vegetables more approachable for toddlers and kids and can be a fun cooking experience with the family. The food adventure is one you and your kids take together, so have fun, and be persistent, positive and patient with your children as their palates and expectations adjust.

Lara Field at Nurture Life

Lara Field

Lara has been working with Nurture Life since its inception, collaborating with the culinary team on the creation of all menus and recipes to ensure they are nutritionally appropriate and correctly proportioned for every age and stage of a child’s development and providing pediatric nutrition expertise to Nurture Life customers. Lara is the owner/founder of FEED—Forming Early Eating Decisions, a nutrition consulting practice specializing in pediatric nutrition and digestive diseases. Lara has over a decade of experience in clinical practice at two of the top ranked pediatric hospitals in the country, Lurie Children’s Hospital and University of Chicago Medical Center. Lara received her B.S. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and M.S. and dietetic internship from Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, Illinois. Lara truly enjoys the process of eating (and feeding!), from procuring the ingredients at various grocery stores and farmers markets, to organizing her pantry/refrigerator at home to make it easy to select healthy options, to preparing balanced meals with her children. Whether it be a decadent treat to a hearty, home-cooked meal, there is no greater satisfaction for Lara than enjoying food with her family.