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14 Ways to Get Your Kids to Eat Vegetables ... and Love Them 

1. Start early. Offer your toddler a variety of foods, including vegetables, and let him or her see you enjoying those foods. What you eat has a big influence on your child's attitude toward food.

2. Periodically reintroduce foods your child (any age) rejects. Nutritionists say it can take as many as five introductions before a youngster will try something new.

3. Keep servings small when you introduce a new vegetable (as small as a tablespoonful) so your child won't be intimidated to try it.

4. Set out raw vegetables and dip for your kids to snack on while you are preparing meals (that's when they're the hungriest).

5. Add finely chopped carrots, diced squash or zucchini (or pureed vegetables) to your spaghetti sauce, or add vegetables such as sliced eggplant or squash to the layers of your lasagna. Add chopped veggies to your pizza, casseroles and soup.

6. Sprinkle vegetables with a favorite food: salsa, grated cheese or herbs, or spread peanut butter or cream cheese on things like celery.

7. For young children, make a smiley face salad using things like grape tomato eyes, a baby carrot nose, red bell pepper lips, cucumber ears and spinach or alfalfa spouts hair and serve with salad dressing dip.

8. Serve a vegetable every lunch and dinner and offer the "sweeter" vegetables such as tomatoes, sweet potatoes, peas and corn.

9. Use pureed vegetables in baked goods such as cakes and muffins.

10. Keep fresh vegetables available, visible in the refrigerator and ready to eat.

11. Let your child pick out vegetables at the grocery store.

12. Start a vegetable garden so your children can different plants develop. They'll be interested in eating the produce they grow.

13. Get your kids involved in planning a meal, shopping for it and cooking; they are more likely to eat foods they prepare and to try new things.

14. Realize that children's taste buds are more sensitive than adults', so it may take a while for them to enjoy things like Brussels sprouts, asparagus, spinach and bell peppers.


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