Skip to main content

5 delicious ways to get your kids to eat their vegetables this summer

Ah, the famous table battles. Many parents have dealt with them and still wonder how to get kids to eat veggies. Sometimes you might think that doing every single chore around the house is easier than persuading your kid to eat vegetables. However, you stand with a long line of parents who have attempted to cook vegetables for kids. Believe it or not, even the dietary experts struggle with the same story.

However, hard times never last forever. So, here’s a short guide of five flavorful methods that’ll get your kids to eat more vegetables.

Mom and daughter making avocado toast
August de Richelieu

The camouflage option

Prepping vegetables for kids seems to involve being a master, culinary ninja. One quick solution for that is soup time.

You can prepare some homemade soup and make sure it is rich in vegetables, ranging from carrots, celery, onion, and cauliflower, to everything else that goes well with a broth or a creamed base. Your children will get all the needed nutrients; plus, they’ll have some fun with scooping up garnishes like shredded cheese or crumbled crackers.

Plus, you have other covert options to fall back on such as:

  • Hamburgers (aside from the garnish, you can grind up vegetables and add them to the ground beef)
  • Pizza with a veggie crust and/or toppings
  • Macaroni and Cheese with grated or pureed, undetectable squash, carrots, or cauliflower
  • Pureed vegetables added to a hearty marinara sauce

So, you need not wonder how to get kids to eat veggies when you can “hide” them in their favorite dishes.

Veggie Pasta
RF._.Studio

Fun shapes and sizes of vegetables for kids

Grab a spiralizer and start preparing your family’s favorite “pasta” dishes – the healthy way. Start implementing sweet potatoes, zucchini, or squash into their preferred noodle dishes. All you need to do is add some sauce on top, and there’s no way they’ll say no to the radical new shapes on their plate. They’ll have a delicious new version of pasta, plus interesting-looking noodles or spirals.

Another spin on this hack is to make a snack called Ants on a Log. You just cut some stalks of celery into two to three-inch pieces. Then you spread peanut butter inside the stalk and sprinkle it with raisins. If your child is allergic to nuts, then you can try variations with cream cheese or guacamole and other garnishes like bite-size crackers.

Make it smooth

Once again, this strategy is all about hiding the true texture of the vegetables. So how about trying a well-seasoned puree? In a study published by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers found out that very young kids would double their intake of veggies if they were served pureed vegetables. So why not use this knowledge to your advantage?

And what about older children who still hesitate to try veggies? Some nutrient-rich smoothies provide a tasty solution to this dilemma. For example, combine a ½ spinach cup with ½ avocado and banana, add ¼ cup of canned pumpkin and finish with ½ cup of water or milk. You’ll have a great summer smoothie that’ll please any palate.

Butter it up

Here is another quick trick to bring out the savory flavor of vegetables—add some butter. You might have noticed the bitterness in some veggies in their raw state. However, when you sauté them in butter or in olive oil with herbs and spices, you can prepare vegetables for kids while masking the odd taste. The next thing you know, your children are eating broccoli, beans or even spinach without any second thoughts.

The homemade dip

For the last suggestion, you’ll keep snack time smooth and easy. One effortless but yummy idea involves veggies with hummus or homemade sauce on the side. You can create a flavorful sauce at home that will not just cover the “regular” smell and taste of vegetables but will also make your kids ask for more.

Ranch dip is perfect in various combinations of vegetables for kids. But it’s even better when it’s homemade. Also, salsa makes a wonderful dip for vegetables and an excellent salad dressing. Yet another healthy and tasty choice is spinach dip. Your kids will love serving it from the classic bread bowl.

Pho noodles and vegetables
Jan Nyugen

Thankfully enough, you now have a plethora of options for incorporating more vegetables into your children’s meals and snacks. You won’t have to depend on the two common fallbacks, which are offering simply raw vegetables or steaming them. There are many more ways to prepare plant-based foods that the whole family can enjoy. With some creative problem-solving and a good balance between veggies and other food groups, you’ll be able to provide your children with food choices that are not only nutritious but also delicious.

Editors' Recommendations

Leslie Anderson
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Leslie Anderson is a freelance writer/writing coach from Roswell, N.M. She enjoys gardening, cooking, and helping students…
When can babies have chocolate milk? This is when it’s safe to let your child indulge
How to introduce this beverage to your child
A glass of chocolate milk with a straw

Introducing your baby to new foods is a fun milestone for every parent. Watching your little ones as they experience new tastes and textures is an exciting part of their development. Many parents know when they can begin to introduce milk to their babies, but may wonder if the same rules apply to chocolate milk. Are little babes old enough to try it yet? When can babies have chocolate milk? It can be quite the job to keep up with what babies can have and at what age. So, for this delectable treat, we will help you find out when little ones can indulge in a glass.

Babies shouldn't have sweets or milk if they're not at least a year old. But even if they've celebrated that first birthday, there are other factors to consider.

Read more
10 perfect toddler breakfast ideas that are fun for little ones to eat and easy for parents to make
Quick and easy toddler breakfast ideas that make life easier
Smiling toddler at the table eating.

Figuring out what to make for breakfast every day for your kids could easily fall into a boring routine. After all, there are only so many bowls of cold cereal to pour before they'll stop wanting to eat it. And toddler breakfast ideas need to be more creative, as their taste buds change so often and without warning. So, why not make something fun and new tomorrow morning for your little one?

With these toddler breakfast ideas, your kids will enjoy mealtime and parents will create fond memories out of the mornings together. After all, breakfast is so much more than just nutritious fuel for the day. Here are amazing and delicious (and easy) ideas for fun toddler breakfasts to liven up your morning.

Read more
4 great baby formulas for sensitive stomachs you can get quickly
What is the best formula for gas?
Mother feeding baby

Deciding whether to bottle or breastfeed your infant is a big decision. Once parents make the choice to bottle feed, the next big decision is the type of formula. Typically, new parents go with the formula recommended by their pediatrician, but what happens if baby has a sensitive stomach? Crying, wailing, burping, along with an extended and firm tummy all point to a sensitivity to their formula. Those symptoms mean you need to change up the formula you’re feeding them, stat.
Baby formula for sensitive stomachs can be hard to find though. Choosing a new baby formula is much easier said than done. How do you pick the best formula for your baby? How do you know which are the best baby formulas for gas?

Talk to your pediatrician
Babies are just like adults when it comes to their tummies. Some are more sensitive than others. If you're noticing your baby has excessive gas, is bloated, or has diarrhea, the culprit could be your baby formula, especially if those symptoms intensify after feeding time. Other signs your baby may be having tummy troubles include excessive crying, especially while passing gas, clenched fists, as well as kicking or lifting their legs up. These symptoms could mean your little one needs a baby formula more geared towards a sensitive stomach. It also might mean your baby is lactose intolerant or has a possible milk allergy.

Read more