Looking for ways to get kids to eat vegetables? Here are five easy ways to help your children get more nutrients in!
How do you get picky kids to eat vegetables?
If we’re being honest, my efforts to get my kids to eat vegetables have dwindled as they’ve gotten older. I’ve had my phases of giving them fruit and vegetables all day every day, and I’ve had my YOLO phases, too. (In other words, I let them eat what they wanted to.) 🙂
I think that going through cycles like this is sort of normal, because as life changes, so do our priorities and the amount of time and energy we spend on everything we value.
When I became pregnant with my second last spring, I was increasingly tired and sick. I couldn’t manage a lot of meal prep and I stopped buying certain things because they made me sick. Over time, it became clear that keeping my daughter fed was more important than her getting every single veggie on the market in her system.
But now that I’m no longer pregnant and am on a postpartum weight loss journey, I’ve found that I really need to prioritize healthy eating.
The problem is that now that I’ve let my daughter (and myself) get away with eating whatever, it’s harder than ever to bounce back.
My kids aren’t the only ones who need to eat healthier, I’m seeing that plain as day now. In my post about my weight loss journey, I talked about how I think I’m really, truly addicted to sugar. Now I’m also thinking that I am a carb-oholic.
Anyway, as I was brainstorming ways to get YOUR kids to eat more vegetables, I realized that I need to take my own damn advice for once. I have as much to work on as the next person.
Don’t Beat Yourself Up, Mom
These easy ways to get your kids to eat more vegetables are things that I used to do ALL of the time. I was pretty proud of myself. But I was a stay-at-home mom with a decent grocery budget and ONE kid. Now I am a mom of two, and I have been humbled by my newfound circumstances. Cheers to you moms of many, you are badass if you so much as keep them all fed and alive. 😉
The point is that even though I am a personal trainer and mom, I still struggle daily to make good decisions for my health. But I am okay with that fact because I know that as long as I don’t give up completely, I will always be okay.
I think that this is a really important approach when it comes to creating lasting changes in life. I no longer believe in crazy diets and rigorous exercise programs. They are okay for kick-starting health programs or just for fun, but they aren’t to be a substitute for consistent healthy eating and regular exercise.
I also believe that if you take this approach when thinking about ways to get your kids to eat more vegetables, you’ll enjoy yourself more and your kids will be happier not feeling “forced” to do what you want them to.
Anyway. Let’s get on with it.
5 Easy Ways to Get Your Kids to Eat More Vegetables
1. Offer Veggies at Every Meal
It sounds so obvious, but why don’t we do it? I need to get the notion that veggies are reserved for lunch and dinner out of my head.
I sat back the other day and thought, eh, veggies for breakfast? How could I manage that?
But then I remembered that before I’d had my second child, I was eating eggs with spinach, mushrooms, and bell peppers sauteed in every morning. Why would I just assume that my child would hate that?
Truth is that she might hate it, but I won’t know until I try! (You can also try some veggie + egg muffins like the recipe I made here!)
Perhaps the more important thing here is that, whether you can get your child to eat veggies at every meal or not, you should be modeling the behavior you want them to pick up on. In other words, it’s still important for your child to see YOU consuming vegetables of all kinds, and often.
2. Have Them Drink Smoothies
My daughter has enjoyed green smoothies since before she knew to ask what was inside. (That’s how you get veggies in at breakfast if need be!) Her favorite (and mine) is a tropical green smoothie with baby spinach, which is super mild in taste. Here’s how we make our favorite green smoothie, but there are tons of recipes on Pinterest, too:
- 1/2 scoop Rx Greens by Supplement Rx
- A few big chunks of fresh pineapple
- Cup no-sugar-added coconut water
- 1 large handful of baby spinach
- Cup tropical blend frozen fruit
Add all to blender and mix!
Important: Rx Greens are a supplement that I use every-so-often in my smoothies. They are a blend of pulverized superfoods and are a great way to add a boost to your smoothies, but they can’t replace the fiber in real fruits and veggies. So don’t skip the veggies altogether!
3. Start a Vegetable Garden With Them
I have always had a bit of a green thumb, so as soon as my daughter could, she started helping me in the garden. I blame our time together in the garden for her deep, unrelenting love for grape and cherry tomatoes. She loves to pick them off the vine while walking through the garden in the evenings, and has even been known to pick off salad greens to munch on.
I truly believe that because she has worked hard to grow her own vegetables, and seen how it works, she likes them just a little bit more. Plus, there’s nothing like home-grown veggies.
If you want to start a vegetable garden with your kids, start by letting them choose what vegetables they want to grow. The more invested they are in the whole process, the more likely they are to try what they end up growing.
Still need ways to get your kids to eat more vegetables? No worries, I have a few more tricks up my sleeve!
4. Try Creative Frozen Vegetable Sides
Have you noticed any new and creative veggie products in the frozen food aisles lately? I have! I have found riced cauliflower and broccoli, veggie tater tots, and amazing veggie fries like the ones below! These ones I have pictured have been 4-year-old approved and are actually really yummy! Update: If you have been wondering, “How can I get my toddler to eat vegetables?” these ones are officially toddler approved, too!
5. Involve Them In Everything
Kids will take their biggest cues from the examples you set. If you want to learn how to get your kids to eat healthy, this is a big one! It’s important to simply talk about what eating healthy means, but there are other simple ways to make a big impact. If you’re making a smoothie, getting ready to roast some veggies, make your own juice, etc., consider involving the kids! They may learn about how to prepare vegetables, which is important as they get older. If anything, they are spending time seeing you prepare the veggies (however you do it) and might try some new things!
Do you have any other creative ways to get kids to eat more vegetables? Tell me your tricks below!