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Vegetables and Kids: They Can Go Together

posted Aug 28, 2017, 11:49 AM by Tracy Ducker, MS, RDN

Are french fries the only vegetable your child will eat? You’re not alone, vegetables tend to be a least favorite food for kids. So what’s a parent to do? You can always sneak the veggies into other foods, which is also a good way for everyone to get more vegetables. But your child isn’t actually learning to like vegetables. It is important for kids to learn to like and eat a variety of foods, including vegetables, but it takes time. Children need to be offered foods they don’t like up to 15 times or more, according to some experts, before they will accept it. Even then, sometimes they will eat it one day but the next time not even touch it. It’s what kids do. The best way to help kids learn to like vegetables and other foods is to not force it. As parents our job is to prepare and provide the food and the child’s job is decide whether or not eat it. The more times they see it on their plate, the more likely they are to try it.

Here are a few tips on getting your kids to eat more vegetables; offer a very small portion, try preparing it different ways (cooked, raw, in a sauce), and let them help pick vegetables out at the supermarket and help prepare it. Studies have shown that the more involved children are with the foods they eat the more likely they are to try new foods. So go ahead and make pumpkin pancakes or add vegetables to spaghetti sauce, just let them help you so they know how to make delicious foods that are healthy.

For more information check out Ellen Satter’s website at