Getting kids to eat vegetables is a task that often leaves parents feeling defeated. If you’re struggling to get your picky eater to eat more variety, try some of these tricks for sneaking more veggies onto your child’s plate.
Play with your food
When veggies seem fun, you can hide them in plain sight! Kids are extremely visual and imaginative, so parents should use this to their advantage during meal time as a means of getting kids and toddlers to eat vegetables.
Kids are probably going to play with their food either way, right? When food is presented in a fun way, kids are more likely to eat whatever is on their plate – even veggies. Instead of disguising vegetables for toddlers, let your kids make art with their food, or give the food a cool name. Broccoli is more fun when kids pretend they are “trees,” (like we do in our Mac and Trees meal, packed with calcium and 21 grams of protein!) and carrots seem pretty cool when you call them “X-Ray Vision Carrots.”
Disguising vegetables in muffins and pancakes for toddlers and kids
Being creative with your muffin or pancake mix is a great way of getting kids to eat vegetables. Adding veggies provides vitamins, minerals and fiber, and can actually improve the texture of whatever you’re baking!
Using mashed sweet potato, carrot, or avocado adds moisture to baked goods, which means you don’t need as much oil. Getting picky eaters to eat their favorite muffins or pancakes isn’t tough, which is why this is a great trick. You can also disguise other vegetables in muffins or pancakes, like shredded zucchini, or even spinach or broccoli by just using your food processor.
Getting your picky eaters to eat meatballs is easy
Disguising vegetables for toddlers and kids in meatballs is simple because meatballs are so versatile. Finely chop some veggies of your choosing (or better yet, let the food processor do the work), or roast and puree some carrots and mix them into your favorite meatball recipe.
You could also give your kids Mighty Meatballs! These are made with hormone-free, antibiotic-free, grass-fed beef and pork that’s mixed with whole wheat bread crumbs and served in an all-natural sweet and sour sauce every kid can love. They’re served with fresh, honey-glazed carrots so you can still count on your kids getting their serving of vegetables while enjoying a well-balanced, wholesome meal.
Get your kids to eat vegetables disguised in sauces
Making your own sauce is a great way to add some extra nutrition to your kids’ meals while also solving the problem of how to get kids to eat vegetables. Try using cauliflower in your alfredo sauce, or blending some veggies into your spaghetti sauce like the one used in our Bowl of Yays. This dish includes a healthy mix of carrots, sweet potatoes, and tomatoes in the disguise of a hearty bolognese your kid will love.
Smoothies are a popular way to get toddlers to eat veggies
Smoothies are probably the most well-known way of getting picky eaters to eat vegetables. Blending veggies with fruit and/or yogurt makes the veggies essentially undetectable.
Start with a 3:1 ratio of fruits to vegetables in order to avoid overloading with veggies and sacrificing taste. To make smoothies extra creamy while providing healthy fat, try adding a little avocado. Another fun idea for disguising vegetables for toddlers and kids is to serve the smoothie in a bowl, topped with fruit and other fiber-rich foods such as nuts, seeds or granola.
Think about texture when considering how to get kids to eat vegetables
Getting picky eaters to eat often requires figuring out the reasons why they don’t like a food. Texture plays a big role in whether or not a food is liked, for both kids and adults. Keep this in mind as you think of ways to get toddlers to eat veggies.
When toddlers or kids are trying new foods, it might take time to adjust to certain textures. Try incorporating veggies in foods like chili, casseroles or even eggs so the veggies can be cooked and softened for your little ones. Our Chili Chili Bang Bang is a perfect option for introducing vegetables in an approachable texture. It’s an all natural veggie chili that’s lightly spiced and rich in protein, fiber, and iron for striking that ideal balance of flavor and nutrition.
Snack time fun
For kids, snack time seems to be all the time. Getting kids to eat vegetables might be as simple as letting them help you make a new snack! Try making some crunchy “chips” out of kale or thinly sliced carrots or sweet potatoes. Or, let them help you mix up some guacamole or veggie dip.
Getting kids to eat vegetables shouldn’t be a chore
The best tip for even the most sneaky parent on how to get kids to eat vegetables is to lead by example. Kids are like little shadows, and they are constantly learning from their caregivers. This includes meal time! If they see you eating a variety of veggies, chances are they will eventually try them, too.
Finally, don’t get discouraged if you’re struggling with ways to get toddlers to eat veggies. Try not to force or make a big deal about vegetables at mealtime, and just keep offering. It’s important for kids to learn that vegetables are just another food.
For well-balanced meals that take the stress out of getting toddlers to eat vegetables, try Yumble! Our nutritious homemade meals are both super healthy and kid-friendly, so even your pickiest eaters will love them.