Trying to make a dinner everyone will love at my house is always a challenge. If it is not mac and cheese, it is not their favorite thing to eat. Getting my kids to eat more vegetables has always been a challenge. Here are some sure fire easy steps you can take to get your kids to eat more vegetables everyday. These tips and tricks are easy to implement for any family and any budget and may even save money too.
10 Tips and Tricks to Get Kids to Eat More Vegetables
1. Buy vegetables. I know this sounds so easy. You need to buy vegetables in order for your kids to eat them. Some veggies are very cheap. Even organic ones. Organic Carrots are about $1.50 per pound. Purchase easy things like onions, celery and carrots to add to dishes you already eat. These veggies add flavor and help make the meal more filling.
2. Buy veggies they like. Buy vegetables your kids like to eat. Offer their favorite vegetable, especially if you are introducing a new one. There is something familiar along with something new. Kids will tend to eat more vegetables if they already like them.
3. Have an out. Ask them to try a new vegetable. Put just a very small portion on their plate. Ask them to try just one bite, and if they don’t like it, you will take it off their plate. This way kids don’t feel pressured to at least try a new vegetable. Studies show if someone tries something ten times they may like the taste.
4. Add cheese. I know this sounds lame, but getting them to eat vegetables is half the battle. Broccoli with cheese sounds so much better, than just steamed broccoli to a kid. It is something familiar. Just about every kid I know loves cheese and it will help to get them to eat more vegetables.
5. Buy veggies in season. Introduce a wide variety of veggies in season. Veggies in season tend to taste better, since they are not shipped as far or grown in a hot house. Usually veggies in season are on sale. Learn how to freeze fresh vegetables in season to eat all year round.
6. Be sneaky. I will often shred or purree veggies to add to dishes to get a variety of different veggies in their diet. I will often shred carrots and put in the pasta sauce. I cook the carrots first. I have even called my zucchini fritters zucchini pancakes. They love homemade pancakes and love the fritters too.
7. Add veggies to their favorite meal. Mac and cheese is a huge hit at my house. It is the first thing out of their mouths when I ask them what they want for dinner. Why not add a few veggies to their favorite dish? Butternut squash is easy to add to mac and cheese or add a little broccoli, if you can get away with it.
8. Serve veggies before dinner. Every mom hates the kids saying “I’m hungry,” as she is about to cook dinner. It is impossible to cook dinner any faster. Offer some carrots or celery sticks and homemade ranch dressing before the meal, or veggies your kids like. They will eat their vegetables first. If my kids can dip something, it is fun.
9. Make it fun. Make up new names and have themed meals. My son loves when I pack him a fun lunch box idea like a dinosaur lunch. The black olives are the dinosaur eggs and carrots are logs. Try to be creative and create faces or shapes with veggies at lunch. Kids will not feel like they are eating anything healthy. It will just be fun to them.
10. Make soups. This is a trial and error. During the winter I will make a soup or a stew once a week. If you are on a tight budget, this is budget friendly meal idea for under five dollars. Usually you can make two or three meals out of one pot of soup. Add in veggies your kids will eat. If they are against it, puree the veggies to make a thick soup. Then they don’t even know they are eating them.
These are a few tips and tricks you can use next time for better kids nutrition. The most important thing is not to make it a battle to eat more vegetables. Make it fun. Try one or two of these tips or tricks one week and move on a different one next week. You will find something your kids will love. I know we have. It has not been easy to get our kids to eat more vegetables, but we have tried these and they seem to work.
What are some ways you get kids to eat vegetables in your home?