Fun vegetable ideas for cooking, playing, eating and growing. Encourage your kids to try something new. Suitable for all kids - not just for picky eaters.
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From dislike to antipathy and these days simply ignoring them, the journey to get my kids to like vegetables has been long indeed!
True to form my three children are all completely different when it comes to their approach to veg.
My youngest loves most vegetables and almost always eats them up first.
My daughter, the middle child, likes some veg but refuses others. Perhaps she is the most typical child when it comes to her approach to eating vegetables.
The ideas that I talk about here are the most likely to work with her - in particular getting her involved in cooking.
And with my eldest child it's still a struggle to get him to eat any vegetable at all. Although we have had great results with cooking together.
Should you "make" your child eat his or her vegetables?
When my eldest was younger he had a friend over for the day who couldn't believe that my son "gets away with" (in his eyes) not eating his vegetables.
"Why don't you punish him?" he asked?
The thing is - that I've tried it all!
I've tried reward charts, bribes, threats (not proud of any of those) and nothing works.
In fact they all made the situation worse.
Removing the pressure to eat veg
Nowadays I just keep on serving up the veggies, eat them myself, let him see his peers and his siblings enjoying them and hope (keeping everything crossed here) that one day he just decides to join us!
He no longer recoils or runs away at the sight of vegetables - he just ignores them - which is progress of sorts.
Making vegetables fun
In the meantime I have been working on some new ways to make vegetables fun.
Fun vegetable ideas can involve something as simple as how you chop, prepare or serve them. Alternatively it might be getting the kids involved in cooking, chopping or maybe even growing their own.
Need inspiration? Here are some fun vegetable ideas for kids
1. Change the shape - try spiralising your veggies
Spiralising is a great way to make noodles or spaghetti out of vegetables. Older kids can even do the spiralising themselves - but watch out for the sharp bits.
We have this spiraliser*. I love it because it does a great job yet hardly takes up any space in the cupboard.
2. Get the kids involved in cooking with vegetables
Cooking with my kids has made an enormous difference to their eating. Even toddlers can get involved with simple jobs such as chopping soft vegetables, spreading and mixing.
Older children can peel, chop tougher veg and start to cook (supervised of course).
As my kids have got older we've even done some online cookery classes together which has been both fun and has resulted in surprising amounts of vegetables being consumed!
If you would like to buy a child-safe knife try the Foost first knife* - you can get 10% off any Foost purchase with the code SNEAKYVEG.
5. Grow your own veg
Kids love gardening! Even if you don't have a garden you can grow herbs or cress on a windowsill and tomatoes or beans will thrive in pots on a balcony.
If you want to get creative why not plant a storybook garden as Kitchen Counter Chronicle did?
7. Play with your food
Letting kids play with food is a brilliant way to normalise vegetables and is a great way to get picky eaters interested in vegetables.
Here are some fun ideas for playing with your food:
- Use craft materials to make a vegetable patch.
- Set up a toy greengrocers with some toy food - or let them loose in your cupboards and create a supermarket with real food.
- Introduce a colour theme for meals and play.
- Let them play with real fruits and vegetables as a sensory experience - what can you learn about touch, taste and smell?
Pin fun vegetable ideas for kids for later
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