Tips to Get Your Child to Eat More Veggies

boy hugging cornI was at the Farmers Market recently and I noticed all the families. They were purchasing fresh fruit and vegetables and I wondered “does your child really eat squash?” Then I saw a mom with a toddler in a stroller. The toddler tightly grasped a cup full of melon sticks. I had never considered slicing melon into sticks, but I really want to try it. In fact, my visit to the Farmer’s Market spurred my creative juices. I was ready to consider tomatoes, zucchini, green peppers, eggplant and cucumber in a different way. Are you ready to embrace fruits and vegetables?

With young kids, mealtime can be stressful. There’s the race to get home and fix a healthy and nutritious meal. Then there’s the issue of your toddler or preschooler eating what you’ve made. Helping your child eat more fruits and vegetables can take work, but it’s worth it. Most of us could improve our nutrition. So helping your kids to eat better might help you too.

Give Your Child a Job

Kids are more likely to eat foods they have helped with. Here are some ideas to encourage your child eat more fruits and veggies:

  1. little boys gardeningLet them help you prepare the food. Can they add the veggies you’ve chopped into the salad or stir together the fruit you cut up? Think of safe ways they can help.
  2. Talk about how you could cook the veggies and let them pick the recipe. You might give them a few options to choose from.
  3. Ask your child to select a few fruits and veggies from the farmers market or the grocery store.
  4. Plant a garden or a few potted veggies with your child. They will definitely want to eat something they grew.
  5. Visit a “You Pick” farm and pick fruits and veggies with your child.
  6. Read books about fruits and veggies (see my recommendations below). If your child’s favorite character eats veggies, they might too.

More Fruit & Veggie Resources

What's My Plate infographicI was really impressed by the resources I found at ChooseMyPlate. They have great seasonal food tips, kid-friendly activity pages, and information on how much fruit and veggies your preschooler needs. I was also impressed by the thoughtful information regarding specific age groups.

A final take-away: be a good role model of eating fruits and vegetables, and make family mealtimes a priority.

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Sherry Hess

As the Early Childhood Learning Coordinator, Sherry is focused on engaging young children and their families in play-based early learning experiences. The Learn & Play Bus and its service are at the heart of her work. Sherry has a background in early childhood education.