It’s a tale as old as time: parents arguing with their children about eating vegetables. If you’re a parent, chances are you’ve had at least one battle with your kids over what they will or will not eat! One of our great success stories as a company is how many families have reached out to tell us that our products are the reason their kids now eat vegetables! How amazing is that? Besides using our dressings in a variety of ways (which we’ll get to), what are some other ways you can get kids to not only eat vegetables, but enjoy them? Read on to find out!
Vegetables for kids at lunchtime
Variety is the spice of life, and it’s true for kids, too! Try to have a variety of vegetables in your kids’ lunches, rather than the same items all of the time. It’s okay to include a dip with your veggies (our dressings can work as a dip, too!). Instead of always reaching for celery and carrots, try including snap peas, green beans, or edamame as an option.
When stocking your refrigerator, make sure you’ve got a lot of grab-and-go options that are easy for the kids to grab themselves. For example, washed and cut broccoli, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, and carrots can make it easy for them to choose veggies over whatever might be in the pantry.
For young ones, don’t forget to make it fun! A celery stalk can turn into a butterfly with a little hummus and some imagination. Getting kids involved in the preparation can also help; teach them how to safely chop veggies, or let them spread the hummus or peanut butter and see how excited they’ll be to eat their creation!
Vegetables for babies and toddlers
When introducing your baby or toddler to veggies, it’s best to start with sweet flavoured ones, like squash or carrots. You’ll want to introduce them slowly so they get used to the texture and flavour. You can mix the puréed squash or carrots into their cereal mix early, so they can get accustomed to the new flavour. Another thing to try is to mix veggies with more palatable sweet fruit. For example, a bitter broccoli might be sweetened with some raspberries. Try different vegetables with your baby daily, so they get used to them! A baby only gets accustomed to a vegetable’s flavour when it has been exposed at least 8 or 9 times.
What to do when your child refuses to eat vegetables
We believe kids should have some autonomy over what they eat - we’re not in the business of forcing people to eat things they don’t want to! However, if you can find a way to *sneak* vegetables into things that they do like, then it’s worth a shot, right?
A fruit smoothie can easily hide some leafy green spinach, and a pasta sauce already loaded with tomato can hide some stealthily-blended carrots, onions, or legumes like lentils if you are sneaky enough.
Don’t be afraid to add butter or other flavourings to veggies to make them more palatable! Raw vegetables aren’t the only option: try steaming some broccoli or cauliflower and serving it with butter and/or cheese, and see how the kids respond! Chop butternut squash or yucca root into long strips, toss with extra virgin olive oil, sea salt, and spices (or one of our dressings) and roast them in the oven. They’re almost guaranteed to love a twist on french fries that aren’t potatoes (although those are great, too!).
When in doubt: try breading it and frying it! Try this recipe from Fork to Spoon for breaded broccoli and get on the air fryer trend. It’s a lifesaver for getting kids to eat vegetables according to a lot of moms!
In conclusion, getting kids to eat vegetables can often be a challenge, but there are a lot of ways to introduce these important building blocks to a healthy diet. Let us know if you’ve got any tried and true tricks we can share with our audience!