How Can I Get My Kids To Eat Vegetables?

My son is five years old and doesn’t like vegetables. What kind of vegetable dish can I come up with that he will eat?

I’m looking forward to the day I receive a letter from a Mom complaining that her son or daughter won’t stop eating veggies and refuses to eat sweets. I hope that letter arrives before I retire to the big veggie patch in the sky.

Sometimes, kids like raw veggies better than cooked (especially if they’re in on the planning). Try this: Plan a mother/son produce shopping date and let your son exercise some independence by allowing him to pick two or three vegetables to make “veggie sticks.” Then let him pick out a few bottles of salad dressing for dunking.

Once you’re home, make up a veggie tray together and make a game out of rating the best veggies and dip — you may even come up with a few new combos yourself. (If your child likes his vegetables with a kick, you might also want to try salsa.)

Another way to get Junior to eat more veggies is to, well, go undercover: Grate carrots, zucchini, or broccoli into soups, tomato sauce, meatballs, meatloaf, or muffins. I’ve yet to meet a kid who didn’t like pasta, so try combining pasta shells, elbows or bowties with peas, carrots, or mixed vegetables, and cheese.

Vegetable soups, especially ones loaded with noodles, are another way to go. They make a great afternoon warmer on cold winter days. Pureed cooked carrots, winter squash, and cauliflower not only make great soup thickeners, but they can also double as sauces over pasta, baked potatoes, and chicken.

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