Do your kids hate eating their vegetables?
The benefits of vegetables and fruits are well-known, but getting children to eat them can be a struggle. Many parents resort to bribery, force-feeding, or hiding vegetables in dishes their children already enjoy. However, there are many creative ways to add vegetables and fruits to your children’s diet without making it seem like a chore. Here’s my top 4 creative ways to get your kids to eat fruits and veggies!
1) Add Vegetables To Smoothies Or Juices
This is a great way to sneak in some extra nutrients without your children even realizing it. Simply add a handful of spinach or kale to their favorite fruit juice or smoothie recipe. You can also add diced carrots, celery, or cucumber to give the drink more body and texture.
Children often enjoy eating fruits and vegetables when they are cut into fun shapes. This St. Patrick’s Day Smoothie Bowl is one my kids love! Use cookie cutters to create vegetable shapes such as dinosaurs, flowers, stars, etc. Be sure to offer dips alongside the veggies for an extra tasty treat.
2) Find Alternative Recipes For Their Favorite Meals
If your children are fans of macaroni and cheese, pizza, or chicken nuggets, there are many recipes that incorporate hidden vegetables into these dishes. For example, you can make a healthier version of macaroni and cheese by using whole wheat pasta and adding pureed cauliflower or butternut squash to the sauce. Or try this healthified version of Creamy Chicken pasta. You can even use a lentil or chickpea pasta instead of traditional pasta to get more veggies your kiddos plates.
Alternatively you can look up some vegan mac and cheese recipes online. Pizza can be made with a vegetable-based crust and topped with tomatoes, peppers, mushrooms, etc. Chicken nuggets can be made by coating diced vegetables in breadcrumbs and baking them in the oven.
3) Plant A Garden Together
One of the best ways to get your kids to eat their vegetables is to involve them in the process from start to finish. Planting a garden together is a great way to do this. Not only will they be more likely to eat the fruits and vegetables that they helped grow, but they’ll also learn about where food comes from and how it’s grown.
If you don’t have a lot of space for a garden, you can even try growing some herbs or tomatoes in pots on your balcony or deck. Just make sure that you involve your kids in every step, from planting the seeds to watering and harvesting the crops.
Harvesting the crops is especially fun for kids because they get to see (and taste!) the fruits of their labor. And, if you have a picky eater, they may be more likely to try something new if they’ve helped grow it themselves.
4) Incorporate Vegetables Into Their Favorite Desserts
If your kids have a sweet tooth, you can sneak vegetables into their desserts. For example, you can make a healthy chocolate cake by adding pureed beets to the batter. Or, you can add grated carrots or zucchini to muffin recipes. (My kiddos love this Zucchini Chocolate Chip Muffin recipe. And it is great for school lunches too!) Adding vegetables to desserts is a great way to get kids to eat their veggies without even realizing it.
These Carrot Cake Breakfast Cookies are so delish that the kiddos won’t even realize how many healthy ingredients there are in it. And you can make a batch of these to last all week.
There are many creative ways to get your kids to eat fruits and veggies. By incorporating them into smoothies and other recipes, or planting a garden together, you can make sure that your kids are getting the nutrients they need without making mealtime a battle.
Sign up for more healthy eating tips by joining my email list: