kids and vegetables

Valerie_C
Guide
Guide
How do I get my 20 month old and 4 year old to eat more veggies? My husband and I eat veggies pretty regularly. The 4 y/o likes 🥦, 🥕 and string beans. The 20 month old pushes away anything green. He is a fan of fruit and bread. I am thinking of making veggie muffins. Any tips?? Do your kids eat salad? It’s actually my dream to get them to love salads.
7 REPLIES 7

Daira
Member

Smoothies? Egg muffins with veggies? Zucchini muffins. I don’t have kids but from working with clients I’m finding that if you somehow make them participate in the process they seem to be more interested. 🙂 Good Luck!! 

kpc
Member

I had some success throwing a handful or two of spinach in the cuisinart and then mixing it into their beloved mac and cheese... 

WonderWo-mom
Member

Hiding veggies, Squeezy pouches and smoothies work great- try to get some that incorporate a little fruit since the bitter veggie taste compared to the sweetness of sugars isn’t enticing to kids. Keep eating like normal though and having them try different veggies. I show them how much I enjoy them and eat them because it’s healthy and they will see your positive role modeling- even if they don’t eat the amount you want yet. I tell my kiddos you have to at least try everything because you never know! As they grow their taste buds will continue to change. I notice when I pack fruits and  flavors they like in a finely chopped salad they like it! I don’t emphasize that we eating a salad. It’s just dinner. 

dss
Member

It may take time for them to develop a taste for veggies but always serve them at least a small amount even if they choose to not eat them. Eventually they will. You can try to make them fun to eat (make little people using a toothpick and various veggies - triangular piece of cucumber or squash as the body, a cherry tomato as the head, etc). This trick makes experimenting with new tastes fun. Works with fruit, too. If you and your husband always eat veggies and the children are served veggies they will eventually eat veggies.

Valerie_C
Guide
Guide

Thanks for all the great tips!

charmed
Member
My 18 month old loves smoothies! I mix in frozen fruits, spinach and some milk and it’s been a hit!

Heather_C
Guide
Guide

Hi! Chiming in with both professional and personal experiences, and hope it's helpful. 🙂 
1) Honor kids' preferences! They're learning about food and it can sometimes be overwhelming. If they don't like green, that's okay and pretty normal (to have a preference). Too much pressure will turn them off even more, so try to stay neutral about what they like/don't like. 
2) Try exposures in different ways! First #1, but if you sense they're interested just not sure, you can try exposing them to new foods 10+ times and they may eventually bite (pun intended, hah). 
3) Try mixing in the foods, as mentioned above, if you want to. But know that this doesn't help with the food recognition or preference, since they don't know what's in there. You could try involving them in the cooking/prep process, as much as is safe of course, and sometimes that helps! 
4) A few GREAT resources on this: @ FeedingLittles on IG, Virginia Sole-Smith's newsletter and podcast Burnt Toast, and a new book by dietitians Sumner Brooks and Amee Severson titled "How to Raise an Intuitive Eater"

Honestly, we don't need to stress about our kids liking vegetables. 🙂 They get those nutrients from a variety of foods, and the more we can honor their preferences while trying to help them try new things safely, the more likely they are to have a healthy relationship to food. ❤️