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kids eat more vegetables guide

6 Ways To Get Your Kid to Eat More Vegetables: A Guide

Vegetables are a cornerstone of a balanced diet for children, providing essential nutrients and fiber vital to their growth and development. However, in the eyes of a 5-year old, they can be a nightmare. From picky eating habits to aversions based on texture or taste, there are many reasons why your kid won’t eat their vegetables. In this guide, let’s explore veggie-aversions, the types of vegetables to include in their diet, and ways to get them to eat more greens.

Why won’t my kid eat more vegetables?

It’s pretty common for children to not want to eat vegetables. This could be due to a range of factors, including picky eating habits and aversions related to texture and taste. 

Another reason why your kids refuse to eat vegetables is neophobia. This is when kids refuse or avoid trying new foods, which include vegetables. It usually occurs in the early years of childhood, when a child’s taste and shape preferences and food choices affect their eating habits. 

A third possible reason is that most vegetables are bitter. This affects your children’s eating experience, but this can easily be fixed with a hack or two!

What vegetables should I feed my kid?

kids eat more vegetables guide

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There are plenty of good vegetables you can feed your kids:

  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Peas
  • Avocado
  • Sweet potato or yams
  • Spinach
  • Pumpkin
  • Cauliflower
  • Butternut squash
  • Beets
  • Bell pepper
  • Potatoes
  • Mushrooms
  • Asparagus
  • Celery
  • Kale

Tip: Avoid raw, undercooked, and hard vegetables for kids as they may be hard to digest.

How can I get my kid to eat more vegetables?

kids eat more vegetables guide

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1. Get them involved in meal prep

Another way to get your kiddos to eat their veggies is to involve them in meal prep. Have them do simple tasks, like stirring the ingredients in a pot, using a salad spinner, measuring out ingredients or cutting the vegetables with a kid-friendly and safe knife and cutting board. As your kid learns about what goes into their food, you can spend quality time with them as a parent too!

Some of our fave family meal prep moments that we’ve seen online…

2. Be consistent

As a parent who’s trying to get their kids to eat more veggies every day, aim for consistency. Keep including vegetables in their meals and occasionally re-introduce the veggies that they don’t like.

3. Be patient

Likewise, be patient when introducing or offering vegetables in your kids’ meals. It actually takes multiple attempts before a child grows to learn and accept eating new foods into their diet. During meal times, don’t pressure your kid to finish his food and pay attention to their eating cues. If they can’t finish their food today, you can still try again next time. 

kids eat more vegetables guide

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4. Switch up the presentation

It’s no wonder that kids love colorful items. When preparing your kid’s meals, cut up the veggies into fun shapes or incorporate more veggies of different colors (e.g. carrots, spinach, and beets on one plate) to create a colorful meal. You can also include toppings, like herb garnishes, shredded cheese, and certain spices or seasonings. 

5. Change how you cook your veggies

Another way to get your kids to eat more veggies is to cook and prepare the veggies in a different way. For example, steaming, roasting, or air-frying them. You can also make a creamy hummus dip, or veggie fritters as a snack! This way, you can introduce the different ways of cooking veggies to your child. 

6. Be a good role model

Trick your kids into eating more veggies by setting a good example. During meal times, eat more veggies and encourage your kid to do the same. At the same time, make mealtimes interactive and fun for them as well. That way, your kid will be even more excited waiting for their next meal. 


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Bonus: Sneak secret veggies into your kid’s food

One of the best ways to get your kid to eat more greens is to sneak them into their food. For example, blending in leafy greens in a nutritious smoothie or adding the veggie’s juices into pasta dough to make it colorful! Not only will it do the trick, but it’ll also help mask the taste so your kid will never know. 

Side note from a parent: Be very careful in doing this and let your toddler know beforehand or else they’ll feel betrayed and have a meltdown.

Possible dietary restrictions

While it’s important to introduce more veggies into your kid’s diet, it’s also important to take note of dietary restrictions. Avoid foods that may cause an allergic reaction and foods that may cause discomfort for your kids. 

If your kid is still refusing to eat vegetables, you can consult a pediatrician for more advice. Another potential method you can try is adding supplements and vitamins and minerals to compensate for the lack of nutrients as your child learns to love their greens.  

Final thoughts

Through eating more vegetables, more children can get the nutrients they need in their lives as they grow. While picky eating can often feel like an uphill battle for parents and caregivers, it’s possible to foster a love for veggies in children. With patience, creativity, and persistence, you can ensure your kiddos eat more greens and embrace a healthier diet. 

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