Ten Tips and Tricks to Make Your Kids Eat More Veggies

Ten Tips and Tricks to Make Your Kids Eat More Veggies

Getting your kids to eat right is a battle many parents know all too well. The challenge becomes even tougher when it comes to vegetables. Despite the grimaces and stubborn refusals, veggies are non-negotiable for their vast health benefits. They’re packed with vitamins, minerals, and fibers essential for growth, development, and overall health. How, then, can you transform these nutritious must-haves from mealtime villains into heroes? The answer lies in creativity and a dash of culinary magic. This article will walk you through ten clever tips, complete with recipes, to make vegetables a favorite on your kids’ plates. Let’s dive into a world where veggies are not just eaten but enjoyed.

Make Vegetables the Star with Fun Shapes

Kids are more likely to eat something that looks fun and appealing. Using cookie cutters to create shapes out of vegetables can turn a regular meal into a playful experience. Imagine the delight in your child’s eyes when they see stars, hearts, or even dinosaurs on their plate, all made from veggies. This method works exceptionally well with cucumbers, bell peppers, and sweet potatoes. Serve these shaped veggies with a favorite dip or as a side to a dish they already love.

Prep Vegetable Bases for Easy Cooking

One of the keys to incorporating more vegetables into meals is having them ready to use. A vegetable base like the Italian soffritto can add depth and flavor to a variety of dishes, from stews to sauces. The soffritto recipe consists of finely chopped onions, carrots, and celery sautéed in olive oil. Here’s a simple way to prepare it:

  • Ingredients: 1 onion, 1 carrot, 1 celery stalk, all finely chopped.
  • Method: Heat a splash of olive oil in a pan over low heat. Add the vegetables and cook slowly until they are soft and golden. This mixture can be frozen in batches and added to dishes throughout the week, sneaking in those extra veggies without any fuss.

Incorporate Veggies into Smoothies

Smoothies are a fantastic way to pack in a variety of vegetables, especially for breakfast or as a snack. The natural sweetness of fruits like bananas and berries can mask the taste of spinach or kale, making them undetectable to picky eaters. Try blending a handful of spinach with a banana, frozen mixed berries, a spoonful of Greek yogurt, and a bit of water or almond milk for a delicious, nutrient-packed smoothie that kids will love.

Vegetable-Infused Pasta Sauces

Pasta is a favorite among children, and it provides a perfect canvas for hiding vegetables. You can blend veggies like carrots, spinach, and zucchini into your tomato sauce, significantly increasing its nutritional value without changing the familiar taste your kids love. Simply steam or sauté the vegetables until soft, blend them into your sauce, and mix with your pasta of choice. It’s an easy and effective way to get your kids to eat more veggies without them even noticing.

Creative Dips and Spreads

Raw vegetables become much more appealing to kids when served with a tasty dip. Hummus, yogurt-based dips, or a homemade ranch can entice kids to eat their greens. Try making a simple yogurt dip with plain Greek yogurt, a squeeze of lemon, and some dried herbs for a healthy and delicious option. Offering a variety of colorful vegetables like carrot sticks, cucumber slices, and cherry tomatoes with a fun and flavorful dip can make snack time both nutritious and enjoyable.

Veggie-Packed Pizzas

Pizza night can be a celebration of vegetables rather than a break from healthy eating. By encouraging kids to top their pizzas with a variety of veggies, you turn meal preparation into an engaging activity that allows them to experiment with different flavors and textures. Opt for whole wheat or cauliflower crusts for an additional health boost. Offer a selection of toppings like spinach, bell peppers, mushrooms, and cherry tomatoes. Making their own pizzas with these nutritious toppings not only provides a fun experience but also increases the likelihood they’ll enjoy eating their creations.

Sneaky Veggie Baked Goods

Vegetables can make a surprising and delightful appearance in baked goods, adding moisture, texture, and nutrients without compromising taste. Incorporate grated zucchini into bread, pureed pumpkin into muffins, or beetroot into chocolate cake. These ingredients can enhance the nutritional profile of treats, making them a smarter option for snack time. For example, zucchini bread can be a delicious way to sneak in some greens. Simply grate zucchini and mix it into your batter. The result is a moist, tasty bread that kids will love, with the added bonus of hidden vegetables.

Interactive Veggie Gardens

Involving kids in growing their own vegetables can transform their attitude towards eating them. Starting a small garden allows children to witness the growth process from seed to plate, fostering a connection with their food that is both educational and rewarding. Whether it’s a windowsill garden of herbs or a backyard plot with tomatoes and carrots, the hands-on experience of gardening can make children more eager to try the fruits (and vegetables) of their labor.

Educational Cooking Sessions

Cooking with kids is an excellent opportunity to introduce them to a variety of vegetables, their nutritional benefits, and how to prepare them. Through hands-on experience, children can learn how vegetables contribute to a dish’s flavor and texture. Preparing meals together also allows for conversations about healthy eating, different types of vegetables, and the importance of a balanced diet. For instance, assembling a vegetable stir-fry with your child can demonstrate how to maintain the vibrant color and crunch of veggies while cooking, making the dish more appealing to them.

Rewards for Veggie Eating

Implementing a reward system for trying new vegetables can motivate kids to broaden their dietary horizons. Rewards don’t have to be food-related; they can be as simple as stickers, extra playtime, or a small toy. The key is to celebrate their willingness to try healthy foods, making them feel proud and accomplished. This positive reinforcement encourages an open-minded approach to eating vegetables, turning potential mealtime battles into opportunities for exploration and praise.


Introducing more vegetables into your kids’ diets doesn’t have to be a struggle. With a little creativity, patience, and these ten tips, you can turn veggies from feared to favored. These strategies not only make eating vegetables more enjoyable for kids but also instill healthy eating habits that can last a lifetime. Ultimately, the goal is to create a positive and fun environment around vegetables, making them a beloved part of every meal.