When I had my son I knew that I wanted him to be a healthy eater, despite the fact that I was not necessarily a healthy eater myself. From the moment he could eat something other than milk I was throwing vegetables his way. Fast forward a few years, it has taken a bit of trial and error to figure out what vegetables he and my daughter actually enjoy eating.
They have different taste preferences for sure. It has helped that they have grown up learning that they have to at least take a few bites of everything. How do they know they don’t like something if they haven’t even tried it. Even if it is a food they have eaten before, I make them take a few bites because perhaps I cooked it differently or seasoned it differently than the time before. Sometimes it’s just cutting something differently or eating the same food at someone else’s house that gets my kids feeling differently about a particular food. My point being don’t try try something once and give up. Try a variety of different vegetables over and over again. Cook and season them differently each time and take note of what they like!
Below I have listed the vegetables my kids absolutely love and how I prepare each one of them! I hope you will have success with them as well!
- For this method I first set the oven to 425 degrees. I then chop up some fresh broccoli in small pieces and add a little olive oil, salt, and pepper. I usually just keep my eye on it but it takes about 25 minutes for them to get nice and crispy. And that’s it. The kids eat them up like potato chips.
- I am not one to use specialized gadgets in the kitchen, like at all. However, when it comes to cooking broccoli this way it only works well when I use a wok. I can literally do the exact same thing in a pan and it will not be a hit with the kids but from the wok the kids love it. I heat the wok and put in olive oil. I then place fresh cut broccoli into the hot wok. I season with salt, pepper and lemon pepper seasoning. I stir occasionally and take them off heat just when they are getting fork tender. If I leave the kitchen they typically eat these straight from the pan (with the help of their dad).
- I heat up a medium sized skillet and melt butter to cover the bottom of the pan. You can cut the zucchini in simple circles or in spears. I have found that it is easier to control how they cook if they are cut in circles. I place the fresh cut zucchini in the hot pan and season with seasoning salt. That’s it. I let them cook until they are soft inside but still have a little crunch on the outside. If the inside is becoming translucent then they have cooked too long. For this particular vegetable consistency is key. If they get too mushy then the kids are no longer interested. They should have just a little crunch.
- This is an easy one. Just something about peas that my kids love. I boil them on the stove and once they are done I just season with salt and pepper. I am also careful not to get these too mushy. Texture is important to the kiddos.
- The kids love to eat cucumbers as a snack. I peel them and cut them into little quarters. I then add a little lime juice and some Tajin seasoning. They ask for this snack regularly. (So apparently cucumber is a fruit that is used as a vegetable. I’m not sure it exactly qualifies but I’ve included it anyway)
- Anywhere and Everywhere
- So technically I’m cheating here but it works. Spinach is an easy vegetable to corporate into any meal because it does not have a strong taste. So I add it everywhere I can. Most of the time I blend spinach into their smoothies. Ive also chopped spinach in a food processor so I can mix it into taco meat, spaghetti sauce, and hamburger patties.
If you have kiddos that don’t like vegetable at all I would tell you to use my “Spinach” approach often. Hide them wherever you can so they can get those nutrients without even know it. And DO NOT GIVE UP. Do not let them win. You keep offering those vegetables and they will come around. You’ll find something that they will eventually love.
If you know of some kid friendly vegetable ideas share them below in the comments! I’d love to give them a try!