Kids ~VS~ Veggies…

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend! We had a very nice weekend. School starts today. This is bittersweet. While I am glad to have a little time to myself to chill out, shop or clean…I will miss them. A lot. Since I’ve got kiddo on the brain, I have a kid-centric post for you today.

Do you have picky people to feed? Do you struggle to get your family to eat veggies? I do.

When my son was 5 or 6 he was so averse to eating any green vegetable he would gag, choke, and flail. He told me all green things were evil.

Fun times at dinner.

Ah. Fun times.

He’s 13 now, and while he usually no longer flails he still is not fond of many veggies. A recent gagging episode with rainbow chard reminded me of the not so good old days.

Despite the picture below, Veggies are NOT evil.

Well, except for Brussel-Sprouts. They are pure evil. Little green balls of evil.

Here are a few things I have done to get my kids to try new veggies…….

  • Try to get the kids involved in the veggie choices. I have found that kids are more likely to eat something if they helped pick it out.
  • Have the kids help in the cooking process. Just like allowing them to help pick the veggies, allowing them to help in the cooking process will sometimes make them more willing to eat the veggies.
  • Introduce the veggies in an unexpected way. The first time my kids tried black-eyed peas was in Texas Caviar. They still are not super fond of eating black-eyed peas unless they are in Texas Caviar, but they will give it a try now. They frequently ask for Texas Caviar and will gobble it up any time I make it.
  • Offer a few options, ask them to try a little of each. We have found that they are more open-minded about trying new things when there is a veggie they like on the table too.

A few things that you probably NEVER want to do…….

  • Never force your child to eat an entire serving of a veggie that they do not like. It’s frustrating for you both and I have found that they are less open about new veggies if you force one on them.
  • Never use a veggie as a punishment threat. Okay, this sounds funny, but I did this.

Picture this, I’m at the grocery store with two wild-things. They are running amuck. I (in the past) have been guilty of picking up a can of beets and telling them if they do not behave the beets are coming home with us. To be a main dinner feature. Yep, I did that. More than once. *sigh* So, it’s no surprise that it has been hard to get my kids to eat beets. You know, because I made them seem like a punishment.

So, don’t make veggies a punishment. Learn from my mistakes. Ha!

How do you get your kids to eat veggies?

22 Comments

  1. I wouldn’t eat that brussel sprout either. He has teeth! Ha, oh wait I mean veggies are cool.

    • Ha! I searched the term “vegetables are evil” for pictures and that was one of the first that I found. Funny and evil looking all in one. :)

  2. Am in total agreement with you on the brussel sprouts! When I was very young and we HAD to have school lunches (which were completely disgusting anyway) a boy in my class told me that if I ate cabbage, a tree would grow out of the top of my head. I was seriously worried by this, but am now (fortunately) over it and love cabbage!

    • That’s funny. A cabbage head. Im glad you over came your fear.

      We had cabbage patch dolls when I was little. That was random, but even a cute little doll never made me want to eat Brussel sprouts.

  3. I had somewhat no choice growing up, since we had a HUGE garden back then, and it was eat what comes out of the dirt or don’t eat. Still, I remember sitting for hours at the dinner table, staring down my broccoli (now my favorite veggie, hmm…) and refusing to eat it so I could get up and go. I’m not sure the “sit there ’til you eat them” approach is the best, but I really love my veggies now, so I guess my parents didn’t go too wrong with their parenting :D

    • I never cared for having to sit at the table until I finished my food. I was a stubborn child.
      I think it’s great that you were exposed to such wonderful, home-grown veggies. I’m slowly working new veggies into our diet. It’s a slow process, but worth the effort.

      • I was pretty stubborn, too–I’d be there for hours over broccoli. And corn off the cob. Don’t know why those were my two. And I’m glad I grew up with veggies, it’s definitely influenced how I eat now for the better–so way to go you for at least giving your kids a chance to try veggies :D

      • Corn off the cob bugged you? What about on the cob?

      • I was fine with, if unexcited about, on-the-cob, for whatever reason, but if I had a pile of kernels sitting on my plate–nothin’ doing. I was an odd child. And we’ll pretend that “was” is true, and shouldn’t be replaced with an “am” :D

  4. When my nieces visit, I try and mash veggies up so they don’t notice what they’re eating. It usually works if we’re having broccoli and potatoes!

    • Ha! Sneaky and effective. :)

  5. I was a picky eater when I was young, but have gotten much better. Just took me a bit more time to get accustomed to certain flavors, etc! I still don’t like brussels sprouts though…that cartoon explains it all. You’re right–pure evil!

    • I think it’s great that you’ve grown as an eater. Did that make sense? I think it’s normal for kids to be picky. :)

  6. I think my parents were very good at this – they would get me to taste something, but I didn’t have to finish anything I didn’t like. On the other hand, they were very up-front about expecting my tastes to change over time. I was allowed to “go off” something I’d liked last week, but in exchange, I had to regularly try things I didn’t like a year or two earlier. And now I like pretty much all veggies :)

    • That’s awesome Rachel!

  7. Thanks for the tips! My son is 6, and it is a struggle to get him to try anything, let alone veggies. Good to know it will get better with time!

    • It does get better! :) Keep trying new things!

  8. Janice

    Bulldog sauce. Ha, ha! That’s right, this is the miracle sauce that my son in particular will enhance flavoring of things he doesn’t like, and there are MANY things he doesn’t like!

    My girls are more open to trying new things so they actually like a lot more veggies than I expected. My son is not open. He is also visual. For example, he’ll like some dish I make but the moment he is sees a sliver of an onion, oh it just tastes terrible! So, instead, I mince the onions where he can’t tell. Ta-da! He likes the dish again because he doesn’t see onions, therefore there aren’t any (wink wink).

    • You’re sneaky. I like that! :) Great tips!

  9. one holiday we told the boys they had to eat ONE vegetable per meal – and they chose sweet potatoes for EVERY meal – I could not face them for about 2 years :)

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  1. My kids ate Brussels Sprouts « A Dash of Domestic

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