Trying to work more veggies into your kid's diet? Here are a few kid-friendly eating strategies!
Serve fruits and vegetables in different ways: raw, steamed, or even sprinkled with a little bit of cheese, or herbs and spices.
- Offer him a colorful variety of vegetables. Expose him to as many different tastes and textures as possible. But if he claims to hate 'em all, try to win him over by serving veggies that kids like best—corn, peas, carrots, beans and sweet potatoes are all hits.
Your preschooler may prefer raw veggies to cooked ones. Lots of vegetables take on a stronger, slightly bitter taste when they're cooked—something that we all know turns young children off!
Serve your child veggies and dip (yogurt, hummus, black or white bean dip and guacamole tend to fare well with kids). Your child will be far more likely to chomp through that plate of veggies if she's got dip to dunk 'em in! Bonus: the good fats in the dip will help her body to absorb the vitamin A and beta carotene in the veggies. When planning meals, try to focus on fruits and vegetables that are rich in vitamin A (carrots, spinach, cantaloupe and apricots) and vitamin C (tomatoes, green peppers, oranges and strawberries). Fruits and veggies are major sources of these two must-have vitamins.
If your child is an extreme veggie hater, you can sneak vegetables into foods he already likes. Try puréeing vegetables and adding them to spaghetti sauces, soups or stews; adding chopped spinach, mushroom or green pepper to omelets; making veggie lasagna, pizza with all vegetable toppings or meatloaf packed with vegetables; increasing the vegetable content of ol' family favorites like shepherd's pie or tuna casserole; or throwing together a batch of carrot or pumpkin bread or zucchini bread or muffins.
If all else fails, bump up his servings of fruit. Fruit can help replace some of the nutrients he's missing on the veggie end.