3 Tips To Encourage Kids to Eat More Veggies


“My kids don’t like veggies!” Can anyone relate?! This is a phrase I hear often, and I totally hear you. My daughter used to not eat vegetables either, and it could be so frustrating and overwhelming. Thankfully, I now have two girls (9 and 12) who will happily eat the veggies I serve them. Here are 3 tips I recommend to my clients that have helped them get closer to their goal of raising healthy eaters.

Tip 1: Reframe Your Thinking – and Help Your Child Do the Same

Instead of saying, “My kids don’t like veggies” start saying “My kids are still learning to like veggies.” If your child says, “Mom, I hate veggies!” Encourage them to say, “I don’t like veggies YET.” Let them know there are so many delicious vegetables out there to try, and so many different ways to serve them. We just have to work together to find a way for them to enjoy both new things, and things they’ve tried before and not enjoyed. This opens their mind up to the idea of liking them in the future, and creates a mindset of growth around veggies.

I believe all kids can learn to like veggies! It just may take some time, patience, consistency, and experimentation to find a few they will eat and enjoy.

Tip 2: Choose 1 Veggie and Find 5 Different Ways to Serve It

Start by choosing 1 vegetable, or better yet, have your child pick it! Then Google all the different ways to serve that veggie. Choose 5 different ways (so it doesn’t feel too overwhelming, hopefully) and start experimenting! Keep track of what they like; if they don’t like it, be sure to ask them why. Get curious. Maybe you will start to notice patterns in terms of the texture, flavor, smell, and appearance of their likes and dislikes.

Lets start with sweet potato, for example. Here are 5 different ways you can enjoy sweet potatoes. In addition to baked sweet potato or mashed sweet potato; you can also add it to muffins, bread; use it as a crust for a quiche; make fries or even add a thin layer to a quesadilla.

Here are 5 Different Ways to Try Sweet Potatoes:

Tip 3: Use the Taste-O-Meter as a Tool to Help Make Trying New Foods Fun

Whenever we try a new food in our house or at my kids cooking classes, we use the Taste-O-Meter – an amazing tool to help make trying new food fun and take the pressure off. Instead of saying “Take a bite” which can sometimes turn into a battle, try saying “What do you rate it?” This simple shift in language can make a powerful difference, you can learn more about my experiences with this in the post ”Why I Ditched the “No Thank you Bite.” You can also download this tool for FREE here! If you give it a try, I’d love to hear from you. If they don’t want to try it that is perfectly ok, too – one of my favorite phrases to help relieve stress at the table is “You don’t have to eat it.”

Be sure to have your child help make the recipe or prepare the veggie by washing, drying, or chopping it. This alone is great exposure – and a huge win! They are still smelling it and feeling it, even if they decide not to taste it. 

If you have a picky eater or just want to be proactive in preventing picky eating, download my FREE Picky Eater Guide here. It has 10 tips to help you get started today – plus, a bonus recipe. Enjoy! 

Previous articleSoaring Syndrome: Three Keys to an Empty Nest
Next articleA Pediatrician’s Musings on the New AAP Recommendations around Childhood Obesity
Hi, I'm Misa! I'm a certified health coach, educator, mom of 2 girls, and a wife. I enjoy exercising, cooking, being outdoors, playing with my family, and a night out with my girlfriends. My favorite place is the beach. I feel very lucky to live on the Seacoast with miles and miles of coastline to explore. Prior to staying at home with my girls, I was a first grade teacher for close to 10 years. I recently took a leap of faith, and decided to turn my passion for nutrition and my experience as an educator into a business! My mission is to help families make small, sustainable changes with their nutrition to improve their health. I offer virtual kids cooking classes to help empower kids in the kitchen and show them that food can taste delicious AND be good for us! I especially love working with families of picky eaters, offering them practical tools to add to their toolbox, helping to shape young tastes to appreciate real food. Connect with my on instagram @MisasCleanKitchen, facebook www.facebook/misascleankitchen and my website www.misascleankitchen.com


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here