5 Simple Ways to Get Your Kids to Eat Vegetables

Wouldn’t it be awesome if your kids requested veggies as much as they did pizza and pop tarts? When my kids were little I was tired of meal time battles (and chicken nuggets) so I made it my mission to get my kids to eat healthier.

Wouldn't it be awesome if your kids requested veggies as much as they did pizza and pop tarts? When my kids were little I was tired of meal time battles (and chicken nuggets) so I made it my mission to get my kids to eat healthier.

But I didn’t want my kids to make better food choices because I forced them to, I wanted them to actually like the fruits and vegetables I served at mealtime so that when they were older (and not eating every meal with me) they would continue to make smart, healthy choices.

Here’s how I expanded my children’s palate and encouraged them to eat more vegetables.

Limit sweets and processed foods when they are young.

Most children (and I know there are exceptions) will prefer a cookie over cauliflower. You can still give your children choices, but give them two healthy choices instead. I am always amazed at the two year olds who will eat anything from salad to okra, but it is usually because they have been introduced to a large variety of vegetables and fruits as babies.

Involve your children in the kitchen.

My children are always more likely to eat something they made no matter what it is. Kids like to take ownership of things and the kitchen is a great place to start. If they are old enough, they can be involved in the menu planning process, from choosing what’s for dinner, to preparing it. Younger children can help by washing fruits and vegetables, cutting softer vegetables with a butter knife, and arranging them on a plate.

Don’t be afraid of ranch dressing and cheese.

For a long time I didn’t like my kids to dip their veggies in ranch or melt cheese on their potatoes, but then I realized that if it was helping them to eat more vegetables what was the harm? You can make your own (healthier) version of ranch dressing and kids need the protein in cheese so this can be a great way to help get kids to try new vegetables.

Pay your kids to eat vegetables.

I realize this is a bit unconventional, but I tried it a few years ago when all my kids went through an exceptionally picky stage. It worked. I made a chart, had a list of vegetables I wanted them to eat, and paid them a quarter each time they ate a small helping. Little kids (especially those who think a quarter is a lot of money) are very excited to earn money by eating. What happened when I tried this was that many of my children realized that they actually liked certain vegetables that they had been unwilling to try in the past.

Sneak them into their food.

This is my least favorite option, but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. Smoothies are my favorite way to add extra vegetables to my kids’ diet, but you can also incorporate cooked and pureed vegetables to soups, sauces, and even pizza crust!

If you still need help, check out my ebook The Happy Housewife’s Guide to Dealing with Picky Eaters, it’s only $1.49 on Amazon.

Next week 5 Simple Ways to be On Time with Kids.

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How to Tell if You Have a Rotten Egg

When we returned from vacation the eggs in the fridge had passed their “sell by” date. I was pretty sure they were still good, but wanted to make sure before I fed them to the kids.

rotten egg 1

This easy test will determine if your egg is good enough to eat, or it is time to toss.

Submerge your egg in water. If the egg is fresh it will sink to the bottom. If it floats to the top throw it out. If it sits somewhere in the middle eat it today!

The reason a fresh egg sinks is because it has a very small air pocket inside the shell. As time goes on the fluid inside the shell evaporates and more gases fill the shell causing it to float.

This post may contain a link to an affiliate. See my disclosure policy for more information.

Favorite Grilling Recipes + Win $2500 in Favado’s Summer BBQ Savings Sweepstakes

There’s not a lot we like more in the summer than swimming and firing up the grill! I’ve got a whole list of our favorite grilling recipes including:

and more in my recipe index!

favado_bbq

But grilling isn’t always cheap especially for a big crowd like my family! And, that’s where I really do use the free Favado app to help me find the best deals in my area to save on groceries. Personalized just for you, the Favado money-saving app will help you find and save on BBQ supplies this season with tips, tricks, and hottest deals…free mustard, anyone?!

Plus, enter the Summer BBQ Savings Sweepstakes to win a $2500 grand prize or a weekly prize like a portable grill, grilling tools, a charcoal or gas grill, and lots more!

Sign up for the free Favado app and enter the summer sweepstakes here!

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Sneaking Veggies into your Kids’ Food

Long time readers know that I’ve been on a quest to get my kids to eat more fruits and veggies since they were old enough to hold a spoon.

I have a few kids who love them and request them and I have a few kids who would rather pick weeds in a rock garden on a hot summer day than eat a vegetable.

Thankfully, I’ve figured out ways to get those healthy veggies into their foods without them noticing.

Smoothies

My favorite way to get more veggies into their diet is smoothies. I’ve decided that bananas mask the taste of just about everything else so I’m able to throw in spinach, carrots, and even beets into a smoothie and they love it.

The smoothies taste great and my kids are getting a ton of healthy fruits and vegetables and they think they are drinking a milkshake.

Casseroles

Another great way to get fruits and veggies in your kids food is via casseroles. Casseroles are cheap, easy to make, and can be made in advance. Making meals in advance is a big time saver for busy moms and even a better deal when you can make them healthy.

You can add shredded carrots, zucchini, or peas (not shredded) to almost any casserole without changing the taste.

Pasta

My kids could eat pasta every day of the week, the love it! Not only can you add puree’d veggies to the sauce you can also toss in almost any type of chopped or shredded  vegetable to the pasta. Our favorite toss ins are spinach, peppers, shredded carrots, and zucchini.

You can also layer in vegetables in lasagna or mix with the ricotta cheese in stuffed pasta dishes.

vegetable lasagna

Soup

I have a Blend-tec which does an amazing job of puree’ing just about anything. I frequently steam vegetables, and then puree them and add them to soups.

You can add just about any puree’d vegetable to potato soup, but our favorites are cauliflower and carrots.

You can also dice up vegetables and add them to soups, most vegetables take on the flavor of the broth and the kids don’t even notice them.

Pizza

We eat a lot of pizza. We eat it at least once a week, sometimes more often. I’ve found that if you shred vegetables you can add them to the topping of pizza without anyone making a fuss.

Another way to sneak in some veggies is to have a make your own pizza night. Offer several topping options (including some chopped or shredded veggies) and let your kids decorate their pizzas.

I’ve also added shredded veggies to our pizza crust. Just mix in spinach, shredded carrots or zucchini to the dough. The spinach turns the dough a light green color which is really fun!

Muffins

Muffins are another great make ahead food and can be filled with just about anything. One of my kids’ most requested muffin is zuchinni muffins. These are great to make during the summer when zucchini is cheap, freeze the extra for later.

I’ve always tried to figure out creative and fun ways to get my kids to eat more vegetables and sometimes adding them to their meals without making a big deal about it (aka sneaking) works best for us.

muffins

For more ideas and recipe inspiration for sneaking veggies into your kids food check out my pinterest board.

Follow The Happy Housewife’s board Sneaking Veggies into Kids Food on Pinterest.

This article was sponsored by Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 on Blu-ray Combo Pack and Digital. Get It Early On Digital Today! On Blu-ray Combo Pack Jan 28. All opinions on vegetables are my own.

 

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