10 Ideas to Get Kids to Love Veggies
We partnered with our friends at Scary Mommy, a blog with “parenting advice for imperfect parents” (our kind of people!), to find out tips & tricks for getting your babies, toddlers, and kids to love fresh veggies. Here at Beech-Nut®, we’re obsessed with real fruits & veggies, but we know it can sometimes be tricky to get your little one to love the taste of natural foods that don’t have all of the sugar or salt of more processed stuff. Luckily, we learned that moms & dads out there are very clever when it comes to encouraging healthy eating creatively, and here are our top 10 favorite ideas for veggie love.
- Start your baby on veggies before starting fruits. That’s why we love carrots, green beans, and peas as first solid foods! You’ll start your baby on more bland flavors before letting them develop a taste for sweeter fruits like apples, bananas, and prunes.
- Don’t stress about it! From one fan: “I put food in front of her (whatever we are eating). She either eats it or not. I don’t stress about it and neither does she. She will eat when she’s hungry.” It’s a low-key mentality that could work well because you’re creating a supportive atmosphere versus a stressful or pushy one.
- Use your imagination and a healthy dose of trickery. From our fan, Brooke: “My daughter hated bell peppers so one day when I was eating some, I called her to the kitchen and told her I got these ‘special new peppers’ that just came out and they where super sweet and delicious and nothing like the normal ones. She couldn’t get over how delicious they where. Now she just asks if they are the ‘good peppers.'”
- Make fruit & veggie popsicles. Just mix up some pureed banana with carrots and peaches, broccoli with blueberries and raspberries, or mango with sweet peas and freeze in popsicle trays. Works great for teething, too!
- Educate kids about where their food comes from. If you have space for a garden, try growing resilient veggies like tomatoes, cucumbers, and squash. The pride of growing your own veggies will make them even more alluring.
- Showcase veggies’ versatility. If your kids love pasta, try mixing our Naturals spinach, zucchini & peas puree into your sauce to add more veggies, or adding carrots into mac & cheese. Or if you’re serving pizza, order a supreme style with broccoli and peppers to make it a normal part of the meal. If you’re buying pouches for on-the-go snacks, look for ones that include a veggie, like our Organic Corn, Kale & Quinoa pouch.
- Be persistent. If your baby spits out a new food at first, don’t give up! It can take up to a dozen times for a little one to accept a new food, and taste preferences can change over time.
- Explore new textures and shapes. The texture and taste of your food varies depending on how you cook and serve it. For example, we love the creamy consistency of mashed avocado, but you can also but it into small pieces and coat with a little baby cereal to make it easier for your little one to pick up. Or, try roasted butternut squash and sprinkling with cinnamon, which will be a heartier bite than mashed puree.
- Add some magic. From our fan, Amanda: “I let my kids put a little ‘sprinkle cheese’ on their veggies (aka Parmesan cheese). They gobble it up!”
- Set a good example. What do you do to get yourself to like veggies? 😉