- Serve veggies raw (carrots, zucchini, green beans, celery, etc.) with a preferred dip like ranch, peanut butter, sour cream, etc. Obviously, there are some choking hazards with the toddler crowd, so be careful of raw carrot and celery. Some kids like the crunchy texture much better than cooked and dipping is usually a win with kids. Plus, dips help mask the sometimes strong taste for kids. Yes, we want them to be able to eat them plain, but this will help get them there. Don’t hesitate to try this with a hot meal that you wouldn’t normally pair it with, raw veggies pack the most nutrition.
- Serve frozen veggies frozen. I know that sounds crazy, but it really changes the taste. A lot of kids think it is silly and are likely to give it a go. Peas work really well for this one and I would try it as a snack.
- I can’t say this one enough… cook with your kid. In particular, have them prepare the veggies. Tear lettuce, cut up cook carrots, peel a cucumber, whatever is appropriate and safe for their age. It could be as simple as mixing some seasoning on top or placing the veggies into a bowl. Take a few bites while your cooking and casually suggest that your kid try a bite. Maybe they’ll surprise you!
- Have the veggies ready first. As soon as I start to cook (if my kids aren’t helping), they start hovering like bees around the hive. I put out the veggies we’ll be having with dinner anyways and they often gobble them up, well at least Sam will. Sometimes I even just set them on the cutting board. He’s helping me cook and snacking on veggies while he’s doing it. Isaac may actually eat a bite or two, but for him that’s great progress.
- Use boxed pureed veggie soups like in the picture above. I love these, obviously I shop a lot at Trader Joe’s, but they are everywhere. These soups are very thin, have very little texture, are low in calories and predominantly vegetable. I serve it as a side, both my kids love a wide variety of these. I also add milk or cheese to thicken it up and will pour it over noodles, rice, couscous, or barley as a sauce.
Update: Click here for part 2 or here for part 3, How to Get Your Kid’s to Eat Meat.