7 Ways I Get My Kids to Eat Vegetables

7 ways I get my kids to eat vegetables7 ways I get my kids to eat vegetablesIf you Google search "get your kids to eat veggies," you will get something over 18 million results. Apparently, this is an issue for people.

Personally, I've never once had to bribe/beg/force my kids to eat vegetables. I try to save my forcing/begging/bribing for back-walking. They're only little once, people. Either way, I figured that I'd try to help at least ten of those 18 million people who don't know how to get their kid to eat a mushroom. (Answer: put a pizza under it).

1. I make veggies the treat, not the enemy
Sometimes that means mixing a veggie with something else they like more (not hiding, mind you, mixing) like tomatoes with blueberries, or broccoli with cheese. This says that I equate these two things as equal, and they should, too. Note: Tomato and blueberry salad with some balsamic vinaigrette? TO DIE FOR. Will make you the hit of the block party.
And what kid will say no to one of these 10 ways to serve vegetables?

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2. I don't operate in stealth mode
I don't hide vegetables in other foods, like chocolate cake. Which, honestly, is hella-good, but still. Cake should be cake and broccoli should be broccoli. They're both equal, and there is a time and a place for both. My opinion is that they don't need to eat the broccoli as much as they need to learn to eat the broccoli, so hiding it in cake it totally defeating the purpose.
Find out why one mom refused to lie about veggies to her kids

3. I don't cook gross food
They can eat brussel sprouts at Grandma's house on Christmas. I don't fix my kids any food I wouldn't eat myself, and I don't ask them to eat things that 97.382% of all children on earth find disgusting. We have a trust-system going - they trust me to make them food that tastes good, and I trust that they'll try everything I make a few times.
Want to give your kids healthy attitudes about food? Try these 7 tips

Related: 7 foods you can make in a flower pot

4. I provide a "Dislike" button on every plate
Once I know they don't like something, I don't make it again for a while. Example: My kids flat out hated lettuce. I couldn't understand it, but I could work around it. I gave them sliced tomatoes and cucumbers instead of a traditional salad, and everyone was happy. Eventually, they grew into lettuce, but in the meantime, they still ate salad. Which means I win. Which is all I'm really going for.
Have a picky eater? Try these tricks to help them taste new foods

5. I run a cheerocracy
I simply don't give them the option of not eating their veggies, period. I don't give them a whole lot of options just yet in anything, truth be told. We have a one-bite rule, and if that means you have to eat some green beans, then I guess you just have to eat some green beans. The end.
Another way to get kids to try new foods? The "kiss it, lick it, and bite it" technique

Related: Purple ketchup...and 7 more failed food products we'll never eat again

6. I encourage them to change their minds
The average lifespan of a human tastebud is 10 days. You tell your kids this, and it becomes a game of "see what the new tastebuds like" every two weeks.
If you're still stumped, try these tips for getting kids to eat vegetables

7. I make veggies their toolkit
We talk about our food like tools. My kids can, and will, tell you exactly which food will rebuild your cells, will make you smarter, will help you see better, will help you have will help you have good poops, or will make your womb strong. I find they're willing to eat a lot more when they know it will help their bodies grow big enough to drive my car one day.
Tell your kids about the nutrients in these brain-boosting smoothies

- By Shannon Carroll

For 3 more ways I get my kids to eat veggies, visit Babble!

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Shannon CarrollShannon CarrollShannon Carroll is the blogger behind Whiskey In My Sippy Cup, a critically acclaimed blog about nothing in particular. She is also the Conference Programming Manager at BlogHer.com. She is the mother of a teenaged son, a tween boy, and an elementary-aged daughter, which means that everyone in her house absolutely *loves* K$sha, just for very different reasons.