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13 Clever Ways To Get Your Kids To Eat More Veggies

Parents of picky eaters, this one's for you.


If you've ever tried cooking for a picky eater before, you know just how hard it can be to get them to eat their veggies.


But with a few clever tricks, you can get them to not only eat their veggies but actually enjoy them, too

So here are 14 clever tips to get your kids to eat more veggies without having to trick them:

1. Serve veggies with dip so they're not only delicious, but also fun to eat.

Kids love dipping sauces, so pairing veggies with dip makes complete sense. You can stick to the classics like ranch and honey mustard, or you can branch out and try something new like green goddess.

More: Get a recipe for green goddess veggie dip cups.

2. Get your kids involved in the cooking process.

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If your kids are excited about cooking, chances are they'll be excited about eating. Kids can help out in the kitchen by peeling veggies, stringing beans, and squeezing citrus without slowing you down. It's also a great opportunity to teach kids about different types of foods.

More: Check out six easy ways to let your kids help in the kitchen.

3. Load veggies into pastas, pizzas, and other comfort foods your kids already know and love.

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If your kids love pasta, why not bulk it up with some veggies? Classic comfort foods are a great platform for adding veggies. Cauliflower is a great one to start with β€” it's mild, can be chopped up, and practically melts into anything you cook it with. Try adding it to mac 'n' cheese or fried rice. Chances are, your kids won't even notice it's there.

More: Get a recipe for baked cauliflower mac 'n' cheese.

4. Bulk up your ground beef with chopped veggies.

Any recipe that calls for ground beef β€” from lasagna to sloppy joes β€” can be bulked up with chopped veggies. Just throw whatever veggies you like into a food processor and chop them into tiny pieces. When it's time to cook the beef, add the veggie pieces and cook them at the same time. They'll soften up and become tender β€” and they won't change the flavor of your dish.

More: Get a recipe for sloppy joes made with over two cups of veggies.

5. Turn them into creamy sauces perfect for tossing with pasta.

Certain veggies β€” such as carrots and sweet potatoes β€” are perfect for blending into silky sauces that can be used as the base of all kinds of dishes. Butternut squash, for example, can be turned into a creamy mac 'n' cheese sauce that even veggie haters will love.

More: Get a recipe for stovetop mac 'n' cheese made with two cups of butternut squash.

6. Incorporate them into desserts to up the protein without changing the flavor.

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Adding veggies to your baked goods is a good way to show kids that they're not only meant to be eaten with dinner. Veggies such as black beans, avocados (OK, not technically a veggie), and sweet potatoes are all great bases to transform into something sweet, so why not play around with incorporating them into your favorite desserts?

More: Get a recipe for brownies made with both avocado and black beans.

7. Try riced cauliflower and zoodles for a fun way to reimagine veggies., Olgamiltsova / Getty Images

Just about everyone loves rice and noodles, so making cauliflower rice and veggie noodles is an easy way to incorporate veggies into dinner. Nowadays, you can find both in the frozen section of most grocery stores, and there are plenty of recipes available online to give you ideas for how to cook with them.

More: Learn how to make cauliflower rice at home.

8. Season them with flavors your kids love β€” because nobody wants bland broccoli.

Everybody, not just kids, hates bland veggies β€” so when you cook them, make sure you give them the attention they deserve and salt and season them with spices your family loves. When in doubt, butter, salt, and garlic is always a good combo.

More: Get a recipe for garlic parmesan broccoli.

9. Lead by example and eat your veggies first.

It's simple: If your kids see you eating and enjoying your veggies, they'll probably be more likely to eat and enjoy their own. So dig in and eat your veggies!

10. Make crowd pleasing veggie tots and french fries.

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Let's be real, nobody dislikes french fries and tater tots, so why not just make them with other veggies instead of potatoes? It's the perfect way to make veggies delicious and fun to eat.

More: Learn how to make four different types of veggie tots.

11. Try serving them frozen.

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OK, so this may sound crazy, but serving veggies frozen (such as peas or corn kernels) on a hot day can make them more fun to eat. Just put them in a bowl, set them out, and watch the kids snack away. This certainly won't work for everyone, but it's worth a try!

12. Start serving raw veggies, like carrot sticks, during snack time to get them excited about eating them.

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Just swap out the crackers for fresh veggie sticks. It'll make veggies seem like a treat and not a chore.

13. Don't force them to eat something they don't like.


When it comes down to it, don't try to force anything. Some kids take longer to come around to eating veggies β€” and forcing them to eat can sometimes make them dislike veggies even more. So take your time, don't get upset, and realize that it takes time.

Let's get cooking!


Looking for recipes your whole family will love? Check out our meal plan below for an entire week's worth of easy, customizable dinner recipes loaded with fresh veggies!

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