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How to Get Your Kids to Eat More Vegetables

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How to Get Your Kids to Eat More Vegetables

Iíve met a few kids in my time who have never had more vegetables than a carrot stick and, if they had to guess what an artichoke is, would say itís a karate move. But not my kids, of course. They eat their vegetables all the time. At least sometimes. I mean, they all go through phases of pickiness, but when itís all said and done, they eat almost every vegetable there is. Whatís my secret? Well, I have 10 of themÖ

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1. Serve them raw. Seriously, have you ever eaten a raw pea? Itís heaven on earth. No need for butter. Kids eat them like candy. I put a plate of raw cut-up veggies on the dinner table every nightóyes, carrot sticks, but also sweet red peppers, celery, fresh peas. Cauliflower and tomatoes.

2. Let them have dip. Itís not the end of the world if they have a bit of Hidden Valley Ranch dressing on their veggies (in fact, there is an organic version of Hidden Valley Ranch dressing). It does make a piece of raw broccoli really much more yummy.

3. Plant a garden. Studies show that kids who grow veggies themselves will eat almost anything. Iíve seen it with my own eyes. If you are growing an organic garden, kids can eat stuff right out of the garden without rinsing. Unless itís a carrot or potato or something like that (for you non-gardeners, those veggies grow underground, so they are covered in dirt when you harvest them).

4. Just add butter. Organic butter, of course, but a little bit never hurt anyone. And some vegetables, like spinach or kale, need a bit of oil for their nutrients to be absorbed better into our bodies. Corn on the cobÖneed I say more?

5. Add them to soup. Itís amazing what kids will eat when itís submerged in a savory broth. If you suspect they wonít like something, chop it up till itís really tiny. After a half hour in the soup, it will magically disappear!

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Read more: Blogs, Children, Diet & Nutrition, Eating for Health, Maria's Farm Country Kitchen, , , ,

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3:22PM PST on Feb 11, 2013

thanks. i am really working on eating more veges myself. i buy but do not use them. these are good ways to step up my own efforts to eat better. and for dip - try different types of dressing. my son will only eat ranch. i dip veges in honey mustard or basalmic dressing.

4:06AM PST on Feb 11, 2013

Thank you Maria, for Sharing this!

3:09PM PST on Feb 8, 2013

Letting them help grow and cook them help a lot!

6:18AM PST on Nov 19, 2012


1:03PM PDT on Jul 25, 2012

I always ate vegetables as a child. Other moms were surprised and asked my mother "she's so well-behaved, she eats vegetables, unlike my child!". Why yes, duh.

3:23PM PDT on Mar 27, 2012

Lots of luck parents. (No kids.)

6:48PM PST on Feb 1, 2012


8:20AM PST on Feb 1, 2012

thanks. I was one of those picky kids, I still am at 22. But I try my hardest to eat as many veggies as possible (I always eat waaaay more fruit than I should). This is time consuming, but my dad used to cut stuff up into different shapes so I would eat it AND he didn't have to waste the money on buying those lunchables.

11:37PM PST on Jan 31, 2012

Personally I don't understand why parents want kids to eat more---unless the child is diseased and suffering from malnutrition. I've not known a child to starve himself to death when they have access to food. My son had access to real food and was not offered junk or fatty things like cheese sauce to get him to eat veges. He grew to 6'4" and very healthy. If someone is taught to eat veges only when they have cheese on them, this can lead to obesity by the time they are 30. I say, let them eat real food..........and it's amazing what they will eat when they are not filled up with junk food prior to a meal. Consider the old saying: "You can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink". Then consider this: "The horse will drink if you first make sure it is thirsty"

11:25PM PST on Jan 31, 2012

helpful article, thank you.

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