How Can I Get My Kids to Eat Vegetables?

We all know that eating vegetables is important, but some of our kids turn their noses up to lots of the veggies we serve. Getting kids involved in growing, shopping for, and preparing vegetables is a good way to get them to actually eat some.

Growing veggies: You don’t have to have a big garden. Try growing some vegetables in pots on your patio or deck. There are lots of internet sites that give you ideas for container gardening, here’s one: container gardens. A kid is much more likely to try what they have grown, and you are actually giving them a science lesson when you garden with them.

Shopping for veggies: Teach your kids how to choose vegetables in the produce section of your store, e.g. cauliflower without brown spots, peppers and cucumbers without soft spots, broccoli that is bright green, without yellowed flowers. Then, have them choose the vegetables for a couple meals when you are doing the weekly grocery shopping.

Preparing veggies: If your child is helping make any meal, she is much more likely to at least try it, if not eat and enjoy it. Think outside the box on ways to get veggies into kids—spaghetti sauce, soups and chilis that have vegetables blended into them (sauté the veggies and blend them with whatever liquid you are using, such as the tomato sauce for spaghetti sauce or chili, or the broth for a soup; have your child do the blending).

Here is a recipe for chicken, bean, veggie and cheese ‘quesadillas’ that your kids can put together.

  • Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees
  • 1-2 corn tortillas or ½ to 1 whole wheat flour tortilla per serving
  • Top each 2 corn or 1 whole wheat tortilla with a few tablespoons tomato sauce, or your favorite salsa, layer one have cup mashed black or kidney beans, ¼ to ½ cup shredded, precooked chicken, about 1 cup chopped veggies (bell pepper, onion, shredded carrot, spinach—whatever veggies your child decides to use). Then top with with ¼ to ½ cup shredded cheese (cheddar, Monterey Jack, etc)
  • Bake in 450 degree oven for 5-10 minutes, until the cheese is bubbling and the veggies are soft.
  • Cut into wedges with a pizza cutter, top with salsa, if desired and enjoy.