5 Tricks for Getting Your Kids to Eat More Fruits and Veggies

It’s tough for parents to make sure their children get all the nutrients they need. This is particularly true if you’re the parent of a picky eater. Picky eaters rarely like fruits and vegetables. Here are five tips and ideas to help you get more fruits and veggies into your child’s body.

It's sometimes hard to get your kids to eat their fruits and veggies, especially if you have a picky eater. Here are 5 tips to help make it easier.

1. Smoothies – Children love smoothies and milk shakes. You can add fruits and even vegetables to a child’s smoothie without them knowing they’re drinking their fruits and vegetables. Bananas, berries, carrots and even apples and celery can be added. You can also add leafy greens like spinach in small amounts, so that the color won’t be a dead giveaway. You may want to introduce more leafy greens later when your child is accustomed to smoothies.

2. Snacks – It’s amazing what happens when you place a tray of vegetables and dip on the table during snack time. When children don’t have to eat their vegetables they’re more likely to enjoy them. A low-pressure snack with celery, carrots, cucumbers and other child-friendly vegetables is a great way to get a few more vegetables into their diet. Good dips to consider include ranch dip and hummus. You can also switch it up with an occasional fruit and cheese tray.

Tip: Try this healthy after-school snack recipe, which contains dried fruit

3. Purees – Okay, it’s sneaky but it works. You can add vegetable purees to just about anything. You can add them to spaghetti, muffins, brownies and even taco meat. Squash makes a great puree but so too do vegetables like cauliflower, broccoli, carrots and even beans. I even put zucchini in a chocolate cake and none of my family could tell what was inside!

4. Serve two vegetables at mealtime – One great way to get more vegetables into your child’s diet is to serve two vegetables at mealtime. Serve a cooked vegetable and a salad, for example. If you’re also being sneaky and placing purees in your food, then your child may be getting three servings of vegetables at dinner time.

5. Serve salsas, sauces, relishes and dips – Any sauce or dip that’s made from a vegetable helps you get more veggies into your child’s diet. Serve salsas and sauces at mealtime when appropriate. For example, salsa with scrambled eggs or hummus with celery stalks. Even apples and peanut butter can get a serving of fruit into your child.

With a little planning ahead, a bit of sneakiness and a commitment to five a day, you can get more fruits and vegetables into your child’s diet. It’s important to take a relaxed approach to eating. If you force a child to eat veggies, they’re likely to resist. Instead, ask them to try their fruit and veggies.

Children have different taste buds than adults. It may take a few ‘tastes’ for them to learn to like a fruit or vegetable. Of course, don’t reward them with dessert if they don’t eat their vegetables, but forcing it may result in a backlash. Provide your child with plenty of opportunities to eat fruits and vegetables and they will develop healthy eating habits.

What are some of your tips for getting kids to eat fruit and veggies?

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4 thoughts on “5 Tricks for Getting Your Kids to Eat More Fruits and Veggies”

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    I’ve found with both of my kids, offering them the same foods we were eating since they were little has worked out well. We eat a fruit or vegetable and sometimes both at every meal of the day. My daughter doesn’t like raw broccoli and my son doesn’t like cooked cauliflower. But other than that, they pretty much eat everything else. Peanut butter on apple slices is a favorite at our house. We also like cheese slices on top of apples. So yummy!

    1. blank

      That’s such good advice Shelly! I did that with both of my kids…my daughter will pretty much eat anything, but my son will turn up his nose at a lot of veggies, declaring that he doesn’t like something, even if he has never tasted it before and has no idea what it actually tastes like. So I have to be more sneaky with him 😉

      Peanut butter on apples is a favorite at our house too!

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