Ideas to Get Kids to Eat Vegetables

We know how important it is that kids follow a balanced diet. That's why we'll give you some ideas to get kids to eat vegetables. You'll see how easy it is!
Ideas to Get Kids to Eat Vegetables

Last update: 17 January, 2019

For many parents, it’s a challenge to get their children to eat vegetables. To help solve this daily struggle, we’ll give you some easy tips in this article.

The first thing you should know is that if you make your children eat vegetables, you’ll only make them hate them even more. In fact, they’ll link veggies with punishment.

It’ll be a gradual process until they become familiar with veggies little by little. In addition, kids’ opinions will change on their textures and flavors.

The trick to being successful, without much effort, is to know how to disguise the veggies. That way, your kids will eat them without even knowing it. In other words, it’s best to be subtle.

Ideas to get children to eat vegetables

As we mentioned in the beginning, the objective of disguising the veggies is to gradually introduce them to your children’s diet. This way, you can assimilate the flavor until they eat them on their own.

Take note of the following ideas:

Cream of vegetable with croutons

In all the guides of children’s recipes, you’ll find cream of vegetable soups as the first option. Without a doubt, this type of meal will definitely hide vegetables. 

The most recommended creams are ones that have a sweeter taste. For example, you could try zucchini, corn, pumpkin, chard and sweet potato.

As a nice side, you can have delicious croutons. Don’t forget that when dishes look fun, kids are more likely to enjoy them. Therefore, before serving it, you can decorate the soup with a smile made of croutons.

Make fun presentations

Children love dishes with striking colors like red, yellow and green. In addition, they like any shape that’s fun! For example, they like faces, animals, small planes, or whatever you can think of.

This will allow lunch time to be a playful space where you can tell stories and teach them to eat animatedly. Just as your parents encouraged you with stories of how Popeye turned into a strong man from spinach, you can also associate veggies with your child’s favorite superhero.

Ideas to Get Kids to Eat Vegetables

Healthy fast food or with extra vegetables

A good opportunity to get kids to eat vegetables is to make fast food recipes at home like pizza or hamburgers. Then, you can add lots of vegetables. Kids can’t resist the temptation to eat their favorite foods. If you disguise the ingredients well, they won’t notice that it’s full of vegetables.

We recommend replacing sausage with veggies on pizza. Also, make hamburgers with mushrooms, tomatoes, and lettuce so kids won’t even notice them.

Lead by example

It’s important that your children see you always eating fruit and vegetables too. Children tend to copy their parents’ attitudes and ways of behaving.

If they notice that you eat lots of vegetables, they’ll be interested and curious in trying your food. Therefore, try to provoke them and describe all of the flavors you taste when eating veggies.

On the contrary, if they notice their parents not eating vegetables, they won’t understand why they need to eat them. That’s when they’ll start being reluctant to try any.

Finally, try to make veggies look appetizing from a child’s point of view, not yours. On the other hand, keep in mind that boiled vegetables and sautéed vegetables don’t taste the same.

If your child likes cheese, you can add cheese to veggies. You can also bread them or add other ingredients your children like.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Collese TS., Nascimento Ferreira M., Moraes AC., Urteaga T., et al., Role of fruits and vegetables in adolescent cardiovascular health: a systematic review. Nutr Rev, 2017. 75 (5): 339-349.
  • Costa Rodrigues J., Pinho O., Monteiro PRR., Can lycopene be considered an effective protection against cardiovascular disease? Food Chem, 2018. 245: 1148-1153.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.