How Do I Get My Child To Eat Vegetables?

How Do I Get My Child To Eat Vegetables?

This is probably one of the most common questions that I get asked about children and fussy eating.

Persuading a picky eater to eat vegetables can feel like a never ending battle for parents and you might start to think that getting your child to eat veggies is even less likely than them happily have a screen time break!

So I thought I'd share some strategies that could help you in getting your kids to try vegetables.

Tips For Getting Kids To Eat Veggies


Exposing children to new foods BEFORE you actually expect them to eat it is really important. And when I say exposing them to it, I don't just mean putting it on their plate.

Exposure to vegetables should start before it actually lands in font of them at dinner time.

Let them see YOU eating it. 

Let them look at it in the supermarket and have discussions with them about all the different types and colours of vegetables they can see there.

Let them touch it, smell it and really handle it. Get them to help prepare it without any expectation around actually eating it!

As adults we generally know how a food will feel, smell or taste before it ends up on our plate but kids need to learn this.

Make It Visually Appealing & Fun

Before we even taste a new food, we make a judgement on it based on how it looks.

Encouraging children to eat vegetables can be made that bit easier by making them look fun.

Get creative with how you present veggies to kids by cutting them into different shapes, serving them on a skewer instead of just in a pile on a plate.

Serve them on bright colourful tableware to make the whole meal experience that much more exciting and less intimidating.

Slowly Does It!

If your child doesn't eat veggies, then you need to take it slow at the beginning.

You don't want to overwhelm them with lots of new foods all at once as this can potentially cause a lot of anxiety around mealtimes going forwards.

Just try one at a time and in small amounts too.  Serve it at the same time as other foods that you know they love. 

They might still refuse to try it, and this comes back again to the exposure point above. 

You really need to be patient at this point (and don't get me wrong, I've struggled with this part many times!), but if you keep exposing them to it without putting pressure on them, you will eventually be in a position to get them to try just a tiny amount of it.

Pick The Right Time!

We all know that doing something that you feel anxious about or don't want to do is all that much harder when you are tired.

So if you want encourage your child to try veggies, then doing it when they are tired probably isn't going to be the best time. For either of you!

If you have a toddler, you can always try new foods of a lunchtime when they are less tired. 

With school aged children, you might be best to try of a weekend rather than after a tiring day at school and after school clubs.

Sneaky Veggies

If you are struggling with patience and really just want to make sure that your child is getting an adequate portion of veggies into their diet, then a more stealth approach can be useful in the short term!

I have heaps of Hidden Veggie Recipes  over on the My Fussy Eater page that are all aimed at fussy eaters. 

You can sneak veggies into pasta sauces, curries, soups, smoothies and even sausage rolls and pizza.

Feeding fussy eaters can be hard work and getting kids to eat veggies even harder so just remember that it's nothing you've done wrong, and you're doing a great job!

If you have any successes that you want to share or comments you'd like to make, feel free to leave them below.

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