Trouble eating vegetables is a common thing among most people, and I’m not referring to just kids. While it’s easy to hide them, it’s also good to get to know them. We all already know how healthy vegetables are. They have nutrients our body needs, especially to keep healthy.
How do we learn to love vegetables? Get creative and find different ways to eat them.
My kids wouldn’t eat the vegetables I made for dinner unless it was sweet potatoes or potatoes. Imagine that. So I started trying other ways of preparing vegetables.
For example, my daughter (age 4) will eat any raw vegetable, but not so much roasted or steamed. Carrots, cucumbers, broccoli, cabbage. Anything raw and crunchy. Absolutely no sauce with this one.
My son (age 2) will not eat most raw vegetables (which he’s still young) but raw carrots and cucumbers if he’s really hungry. He loves dehydrated anything. Squash, cucumber, tomatoes. Anything that turns a little crispy. Also, mashed up vegetables and mixed with butter is a win too.
Check out previous post on how to hide vegetables if things still aren’t looking so great.
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How To Love Vegetables
Serve Them a Different Way
If you’re cooking a vegetable, don’t just leave it plain and expect to like it if you’re not used to it. Salt and pepper and butter and olive oil are great compliments. Don’t overcook and don’t undercook. So many things to keep in mind, sure, but use Google as your friend to find a good recipe for the vegetable on hand.
Try to avoid frozen vegetables unless you’re mashing them or putting them in soup (though good to have on hand and still definitely useful). Frozen vegetables don’t always tend to turn out quite as well unless you learn ways to prepare them right. (at least for me, let me know if you’ve got differing opinion)
Offer vegetables before a meal or when you or kids are more hungry. This may result in more eating.
Making a separate type of vegetable at each meal is not what I’m intending to say. Explore different options is all, and make it work for everyone.
Here are some ideas of ways to prepare vegetables for picky eaters:
Dried veggies can take away the smushiness that one may disagree with. Turn them into crunchy chips and all is well. You don’t need a dehydrator as ovens do work.
- Zucchini and yellow squash
- Tomatoes (I know it’s a fruit)
- Sweet potatoes
- Any fruit too!
Steamed and Sauteed
This softens the vegetables in case the crunchy raw version is too much to handle. Add butter and salt for better taste (or any seasoning).
- Soup counts too!
Almost anything can be roasted.
- Sweet potatoes
Some prefer the crunch and fresh taste of raw vegetables. Dip raw veggies in a dip that’s enjoyed like ranch or dill or hummus.
- Bell peppers
- Lettuce with dressing
- Sugar snap peas
I’m not talking mashed white potatoes because everyone likes potatoes. Try to mash something else to see what happens. Typically steam and then mash.
- Sweet potatoes (No added sugar)
- Mix literally anything after it’s been steamed
Anything longer that can be spiralized works for noodles. Check out my post on healthy pasta alternatives.
- Sweet Potatoes
- Cucumbers (cold)
Anything to dip a vegetable in. Sometimes we have melted butter with roasted veggies because why not? Butter isn’t all that bad. The list goes on but here are some ideas. Try your best to get good versions of dips but also do your best and if that’s how the vegetable gets eaten, it’s probably okay.
- Dill dip
- Bean dip
- Melted butter
- Any salad dressing
Add sauce to vegetables to make everything taste better. Typically, this can result over time in using less sauce overall. Have you heard of cauliflower mac and cheese? Stir fry? These sauces are delicious and using vegetables with them is a win win. Including some in favorite dishes is helpful as well.
Avoid the claim “Oh, they don’t eat vegetables.” Or, “I don’t do vegetables.”
Remember this may take some time and effort, but it is worth trying different options instead of giving up. Especially for kids, they may change their minds later on. For adults, that’s your own roadblock. Adults are much more stubborn!
We have some favorite vegetables in our house that I buy every week
- Raw carrots, cucumbers, red bell pepper
- Already roasted ready to eat beets
- Roasted sweet potatoes
- Sweet potato hash browns
- Spinach in smoothies
- Steamed broccoli
- Canned pumpkin (sounds weird but the kids love it)
- Butternut squash noodles
- At least one salad a week for dinner (deconstructed with kids’ favorites)
- Vegetable soups
Fresh Ideas: Try eating vegetables in different ways until you find something that works.