Finish your veggies! If only parents had a loonie for every time
they said it to their kids. Let’s face it: children can be fickle.
They go through stages where they’ll only eat green foods, avoid
foods that are the wrong texture or have a strong smell. But with a
little creativity, getting your kids to finish their greens can be
as effortless as eating cake, sort of.

1. Start early

Begin offering your toddler lots of different types of foods
right from the start.

2. Have them readily available

Cut up veggies and store them in individualized bags in the
fridge for a quick and handy snack.

3. Set a good example

Kids learn by watching so be sure to snack on vegetables
yourself. Order vegetables dishes in restaurants and finish your
veggies as a way to get your children emulating healthy habits.

4. Don’t give up

A child may need to be exposed to a certain food 10 to 15 times
before he will actually eat it. Continue to offer a variety of
vegetables even if your child initially refuses them.

5. Make it fun

Have a challenge where you try to consume at least five servings
of vegetables a day. Get the whole family involved by charting
everyone’s progress with treats for the winner.

6. Get your kids involved

Allow them to pick a new vegetable they’d like to try while
shopping. Ask them to help create menus, shop and/or prepare meals.
Kids are generally more likely to eat when they have made some
decisions about the meals. Try cooking from children’s cookbooks
with kid-friendly recipes.

7. Play with your food

Make faces using various vegetables or serve them up in a unique
way. Try using a small cookie cutter to make shapes out of raw
vegetables to make eating them more fun. Here’s a great recipe get
you started: Ricardo’s Madame Eggplant.

8. Grow your own vegetables

A recent study from St. Louis University shows that kids are
twice as likely to eat at least five servings a day of their
home-grown food compared to those who didn’t grow their own
food.

9. Be sneaky

Try sneaking pureed steamed vegetables in their favourite foods.
Use pureed, cooked vegetables such as potatoes to thicken stews,
soups and gravies. Try finely chopping carrots, celery and other
vegetables to add to spaghetti sauce, burgers, and pizzas. Try
these recipes for sneaking in more veggies in your children’s
diet.

Recipes you can sneak in veggies:

Potato Vegetable Samosas

Full
of Beans Chili

Lasagna Roll-Ups

Slime
Ball Soup

Beefy
Pizza Pasta

Pizza
and Edamame Beans

Meatloaf with Stuffing

Yummy on their own veggie dishes:

Honey-Roasted Carrots

Spinach Phyllo Bundles

Pesto
Sauce with Cherry Tomatoes, Yellow and Green Beans

Sweet
potatoes fries

Sugar
and Spice Sweet Potato Fries with Applesauce and Tomato
Ketchup