"N" is for Nine Tips for Getting Vegetables into Your Children

My children love vegetables and eat pretty much anything though I know this isn't the case for all kids. So I thought I would share some ideas of how to get your child to eat their veggies & suggestions of ways to sneak them into foods if they aren't willing to eat them!

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  1. Dips- Kids LOVE to dip food and eat with their hands! Cut up different cold veggies, arrange them in a fun shape and serve it with ranch dressing or even hummus. Or cut up celery and let them dip it in peanut butter.

2. Let your child help prep the vegetables- Kids love to be involved and many times if they feel like they had a special part of helping mom or dad prepare a dish, they are more willing to try it. Even a young child can use a vegetable peeler or check out this cute chef kid fruit & veggie prep kit for their own kid size kitchen prep tools.

3. Get creative with how you serve your vegetables- No one likes overdone or mushy veggies. Try roasting your vegetable with some olive oil & garlic salt then top with some parmesan cheese (you can do this with almost any variety of veggies). What about grilling your veggies? Asparagus tossed with olive oil & garlic salt then grilled is A M A Z I N G! Steamed green beans or carrots with a little bit of butter, honey (or brown sugar) and a smidge of cinnamon changes up the taste. Check out one of my highest pinned grilled veggie recipes.

4. Fake them out- Do they like chicken wings? How about making my Buffalo Style "Chicken". Guaranteed you'll fool them! Zucchini "french fries" are another favorite around here. Served with a marinara sauce for dipping and my kids can scarf a pan down in no time! Do they like pizza? Make a pizza crust from cauliflower and let them put their own toppings on.

5. Have your child grow their own vegetables- This goes along with letting your child help prep their veggies but taking it a step further, let them grow something. If you don't have a garden, you can grow many things in just a pot on your deck. They will get to watch in amazement how food goes from seed to plant to being able to eat! (it's also a great way for some hands-on learning).

6. Be a role model- Let's face it, if you avoid eating vegetables, how do you expect your child to eat them? Kids love to mimic their parents so show them how yummy veggies can be! Also in our house, we have a rule you have to try something at least once. Sometimes they surprise themselves and actually like what they first thought they wouldn't like. 

7. Make smoothies- I don't know what child doesn't enjoy a delicious smoothie! You can combine fruits, veggies and some greek yogurt for a full meal-in-a-cup! Kale & spinach work great in a smoothie. Yes it will be green but come up with a cool  superhero name for it and your child will be hooked!

8. Make your own spaghetti sauce- Seriously, you can cook down almost any vegetable with the tomatoes, puree it up, add your typical italian seasonings and BAM you have a delicious sauce chock full of vegetables! Granted, if your child doesn't like spaghetti, I guess you're out of luck (but what child out there doesn't like spaghetti?) In fact, if you REALLY want to be sneaky, make your own zucchini noodles using this awesome tool and top it with your homemade sauce! Just peel the skin off so your child doesn't see the green noodles. 

9. Hide veggies in dessert- Oh yeah, when all else fails, make dessert with vegetables then quietly snicker as they scarf it down! Zucchini muffins, butternut squash cupcakes or zucchini cobbler (<-- I even fooled my kids with THAT one!)

You can check out my list of recipes which many of them contain vegetables in different forms!

What is YOUR childs favorite way to eat vegetables?

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