a child in a high chair eating more vegetables

8 Tips On How To Get Your Kids To Eat More Vegetables (Avoid #7 As Much As Possible)

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Hello Mamas (and Papas), I just want to share with you 8 tips on how to get your kids to eat more vegetables.

I know as parents, we want our kids to eat healthy as much as possible.

This means they have to eat more fruits and vegetables but obviously, this is easier said than done especially with vegetables!

But don’t worry, there are tips that we can use to help get our kids to eat more veggies.

Our kids will be eating their veggies in no time with these tips. 🙂

8 Tips On How To Get Your Kids To Eat More Vegetables

The 8 tips to get your kids to eat more vegetables are starting them in the womb, modeling to them, telling them positive stories of what vegetables can do, sneaking the veggies into their favorite dishes, and treating them with a surprise dessert. You can also let them watch their favorite video, get angry, or just let it go and try again the following day.

1. Start them in the womb.

I have already heard this saying when I was still single: pregnant women should eat fruits and vegetables to ensure that their kids will eat fruits and vegetables, too.

So, when I got pregnant with #1 and #2, I made sure that I was eating a lot of fruits and vegetables (I don’t have a problem eating them though).

And I think that there’s some truth to it because both my kids love eating fruits and vegetables. We don’t have a problem getting them to eat vegetables, except on days that they’re not in the mood to eat or are grumpy.

When I was pregnant with both, I continue to eat spicy foods even though I have read some articles saying that pregnant women should avoid spicy foods. And surprisingly, both kids eat foods even if they’re a bit spicy without complaining.

When #1 was about a year old, we had soup for dinner. But I put too much pepper into it that my husband was complaining it was spicy. I was waiting for #1 to cry or show dislike, but he didn’t. He was happily opening his mouth everytime the spoon gets closer to his mouth. 🙂

A boy seated in a table eating corn with other vegetables on his plate.
#1 enjoying his corn.

Another time, we were having chicken and broccoli for dinner. I can never forget my husband’s amazement when #1 reached for the broccoli first instead of chicken. He looked at me and said he never did it as a child!

If you are planning to get pregnant soon, make sure to eat more fruits and vegetables.

If you didn’t eat a lot of fruits and veggies while pregnant and you have difficulty getting your kid/kids to eat veggies, don’t worry Mamas, there are still other ways to get them to eat their veggies.

2. Model to them.

You can’t force your kids to eat veggies if you don’t eat them yourself.  You have to be their role model.

Even if you don’t tell them to eat their veggies, if they see you on a daily basis eating your veggies, they’ll eat their veggies, too, without you forcing them.

My husband is not a veggie eater. He eats veggies, but only those he likes. The veggies he doesn’t like, he says “yuck or I don’t like this” upfront.

But while I was still pregnant with #1, I was already briefing him: that he should never show that he doesn’t like the veggies in front of our kids.

He agreed while laughing and saying that he will say like “woww, how delicious while eating the veggies”. hahaha.

True to his words, even if I make dishes with veggies that he doesn’t like eating, without complaining he eats them happily on the table.

Then, leaving a good portion on his plate untouched with an excuse that he is not very hungry or that I put a lot into his plate. hahaha.

3. Tell positive stories of what vegetables can do.

My husband is a very good storyteller and he uses it well to let #1 eat veggies, especially on days when he is grumpy.

#1 is crazy about cars, trucks, and tractors. On days that he doesn’t want to eat vegetables, my husband starts telling him that he has to eat his vegetables so he grows fast and tall.

And when he is as tall as Pappi, he will be allowed to drive the car. Then #1 is already happily asking if he can drive his grandfather’s tractor, too.

And my husband says yes, and says that he can even drive the police car, the ambulance, the neighbor’s car, etc. And before we know it, #1 has already eaten everything on his plate.

Now that #1 is 3 years old, he likes to do everything that my husband does. He said he wants to be a beekeeper and programmer like Pappi.

So, when he refuses to eat his veggies, we are quick to say that he has to eat his food, so he grows fast so he can then work with the bees and with the computer.

It’s such an effective technique! Try it at home, if you haven’t yet.

4. Sneak the veggies into their favorite dishes.

This is also a very fun technique! It gives me satisfaction when I see my husband and kid eat the dish I prepare without them even knowing that it has the veggies that they’re not very fun of.

This doesn’t apply to #2 because at the moment, he eats everything I give him. Hopefully, he’ll continue eating that way even when he gets older.

Even if they realize that it has the veggies they don’t like, they will continue eating without complaining if the food is delicious.

My husband likes lasagna, but is not a fan of spinach. But one day, I made lasagna with spinach in the instant pot.

He asked if the greens were spinach, I said yes, but he kept on eating without complaining.:) It’s because the lasagna was very delicious, he even said that the recipe should be for keeps.

Then another time, I made a spaghetti that I loaded with mushrooms (#1 not a fan) and carrots (husband, not a huge fan of).

At the end of the meal, I said that I put carrots and mushrooms and my husband said, he didn’t realize. He thought it was just pure meat.

The trick: I shredded the carrots so they would blend in with the meat and cut the mushrooms into smaller pieces.

5. Treat them to a surprise dessert.

When #1 is not in the mood to eat his veggies, we tell him that there’s a surprise dessert after he eats all veggies.

He then gets excited and asks what the surprise is and we say that he can find out after eating all his veggies.

Then we open the refrigerator and take a look at the desserts available and he gets to choose which one he likes best.

That’s why I like making homemade desserts to make sure that #1 is going to have a healthier dessert.

Though we constantly have store-bought natillas, petit suisse, and gelatina because the husband keeps on buying them no matter how I tell him to stop buying them.

But if the homemade version of those desserts is in the fridge, #1 always prefers them to the store-bought versions. My homemade petit suisse and homemade natillas are hits in our home.

tips on how to get your kids eat more vegetables

6. Let them watch their favorite video.

Maybe there are several moms who will frown over this tip. But I’ll be a hypocrite if I’m not going to include this because this tip is legit! It works ALL THE TIME in our home!

I am in charge of feeding #2, while the husband is in charge of #1 (he usually eats on his own).

But when both kids are grumpy and not even in the mood to open their mouths and my husband is so tired from work and says that he doesn’t have the energy for negotiations, I already know what to do.

I take the tablet and put a cocomelon video and suddenly they’re in the mood to eat.

We refrain from using this tip as much as possible, but this is one of our last cards!

Though I know that too much screen time is not good for kids, I prefer that our kids eat their veggies and entire meal while having a bit of screen time than not eating at all.

7. Get angry.

This is a tip that we try to use less often as much as possible. This tip is very effective though. They eat their veggies, but with tears in their eyes and you end up heartbroken in the end. So, use this as a last resort Mamas and Papas.

And with the #6 tip being so effective, so thankfully we don’t have to use this anymore. Only on days that they still refuse to eat even when the video is playing (which is very seldom, though).

8. Just let it go and try again the following day.

This is the best tip to do instead of #7. If the kids don’t eat their veggies one or two days in the entire week, it’s definitely ok to just let it go and try the following day.

It’s not the end of the world and skipping veggies for a day or two will definitely not harm them. As my husband says: we don’t have to be the first in class!

Final Thoughts

According to VeryWellFamily, the recommended daily servings of vegetables for kids aged 2-3 years is 1 to 1 1/2 cups.

Are your kids eating this amount? I think our kids are eating at least 1 cup of veggies most of the time. So, I have to use one of the tips more often to make them eat more veggies.

Are you one of the lucky parents who have kids who love eating their veggies without the drama? Or are you one of the unlucky ones?

What are the tricks you use at home to ensure that your kids are eating their veggies? Please feel free to share them in the comment section below.

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  1. Hi

    This is a very wonderful article for all the moms and dads out there. I have three kids that I very much want to grow eating healthy. I try as much as possible to incorporate vegetables on their daily meals but I must stay, it is indeed not easy. However I found out that your tip number 2 is very much effective. My kids enjoy having their meals with me and their dad and will very much eat anything that I eat. That has really helped me  to incorporate these on their meals. i wish to have started them in the womb but my hatred for vegetables then was too much. 

    Thank you for a wonderful topic you are discussing

    1. Hello Boi, 

      I think all moms have a common goal: to raise healthy kids and we try to do our best so they eat as healthy as possible. It is indeed important to eat together as a family, so kids can see what the parents are eating, and that way we are modeling to them the unobvious way. 

  2. Thanks for this incredible list and tips on how to get kids to eat more vegetables. Something every mom needs to know even before having a newborn. I always thought that everything that is good for kids is equally good for ourselves too. And these recipes you have shared are precious, such a great list! Thank you!!!

  3. There are the things we want to do and the things we actually can do. Sometimes you do your best and the kids may just not like the taste of a particular food. Choosing your battles wisely is helpful to encourage a healthy relationship with foods. Treating the tasting of new things as an adventure that they get to do (instead of a chore they have to do) can really help frame mealtime as something exciting instead of a dreaded battle.

    1. Hello Aly,

      I agree with what you said. We should not force them if they don’t like and just try another day. We have to choose our battles wisely and reserve the “anger” in situations that are way more serious than them refusing to eat veggies for a day or two.

  4. Hi Julai,

    That’s a great piece of content you shared there. I don’t know why other people find it had to put veggies as their prior. Maybe it’s just preference? But, I am intrigued as well to realize you can model this while the fetus is still in the womb. I encouraging your kids to be much simpler when you explain the benefits as well.

    I will definitely share this with my friends.


    1. Hello Sergej,

      Yes, maybe it’s personal preference because here in our home, veggies are always present in every meal and I grew up eating more veggies than meat. Meat was for special occasion and we have to mix it with a lot of veggies so the entire family can eat.

  5. Thanks for your 8 tips.  I had to laugh when I read the title as we have all faced issues with getting our kids to eat fruit and vegetables.  Well actually, we never had any problems with the fruit as both out girls like fruit, but it was always the dreaded vegetables.

    I think that your reminder to start them off in the womb is definitely correct.

    I also found that sneaking them in, mixed with other things was a great idea.  When babies get everything mashed up they have no idea what they like or dislike and just eat away.

    But I think it is important to remember that we don’t all like everything.  There will be certain vegetables that your children will like more than others.  So it is as important to know what these are so that you are not forcing them to eat vegetables that they don’t like, as this serves no purpose.

    Unfortuately I disagree with telling my children if they don’t eat them then they won’t get dessert.  I always thought this was cruel and when my mother in law would say it, I stopped her immediately.  I always thought it was similar to saying to a child to do something because a policeman was near or something like that.  I believe children should be taught to do things for what they are and not forced because of a threat of a particular unrelated outcome.

    1. Hello Geoff,

      thank you for dropping by.

      I try to encourage my kids to eat the veggies they don’t like for the meal sitting like 2x or 2x, but if they keep saying no then i just let it go and try again another time.

      and woww, thanks for this “no dessert” tip. My husband and I do it at times, though not all the time. The special dessert is different though, it is only to encourage them to eat even if the dessert is just normal but we try to tell them that there is a surprise dessert and it works in our home.:)

  6. It is important we consciously work at raising healthy babies. Not with juncks from grocery stores but with good and healthy vegetables. We consciously ensure we eat vegetables in my house. In fact, I keep a garden to ensure we get it fresh. I must be honest this is my first time learning to start feeding babies with vegetables consciously from the womb. My wife will love this and will give it a trial with our next baby 

    1. Hello Parameter,

      having a garden is even better because the veggies are totally organic. Let me know what your wife thinks about the idea.

  7. Very interesting.  I never heard about the eating fruits and vegetables idea when pregnant but it makes a lot of sense.  They say you are what you eat I guess this must apply to the baby growing inside of you as well.  If the day ever comes I will have to try and remember this tip.  I run my own healthy living website so I know the importance of nutrition.  I like the idea of telling stories I basically try to do this all the time with my website.   Anyway good luck with happyheartyhome

    Best regards


    1. Hello Alex,

      thank you for dropping by. That is exactly the reasoning behind the “eating fruits and veggies while baby is still in the womb” because what mom eats, baby also eats and hopefully baby is already exposed to different fruits and veggies while in the womb and will not have a hard time liking them once already out of the womb.

      Please drop me a link,so I can visit your site.

      All the best!

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