One of the biggest pain points for providers & parents has to be trying to get kids to eat more fruits & veggies. I think kids can actually learn to be finicky eaters.
Serving the same foods week in and week out can be boring. I mean, I like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich as much as the next person but I wouldn’t want it every day. Probably not even every week. So how can you get kids to eat more fruits & veggies?
Get kids to eat more fruits & veggies
I’m not on a food program anymore, but I still use the menus in my KidKeeper (old version) program that I have used for years. There are 10 different menus and all meet USDA requirements.
One of the reasons I love the program is that the menus are pre-planned and there is even a feature to print out a shopping list.
But even with a pre-planned menu, I still need to find ways to be creative with the foods. How? Keep reading …
One of my ninja tricks is to use the same cookbook I got when I started the childcare “Deceptively Delicious”, cookbook (now several years old).
For me, this is a MUST HAVE!
All of the recipes incorporate fruit and or veggie purees into the foods. The foods taste great and the kids are getting more fruits and veggies at the same time, without even knowing it.
I have even been known to sneak some of the same techniques into my own family meals. I credit this book with inspiring me to create meals that children (and adults) will actually eat.
If I’m really on my game, I will create pre-filled Ziplocs with the recipes I’ll use throughout the week (another tip in the book). When I’m ready, all I have to do is pull out the bag and add in the wet ingredients.
I have had the best success with using that cookbook, but over the past few years, I have noticed more and more pre-made products on the market that do the same infusion thing.
I have found Popsicles, juices, popcorn and a favorite around here Veggie Chips all infused with fruits and vegetables.
What else can you do to get the kiddos to eat more fruits & veggies?
- During the Summer months, I love to fix smoothies for the kids for breakfast or as an afternoon snack. You can do a simple search and come up with hundreds of smoothie recipes. This is one of my go-to easy smoothie recipes. (Click the picture below for the full recipe)
- Try a veggie-based or all wheat version of pasta. The kids probably won’t even notice the difference.
- Don’t be afraid to try something new or fix something a different way. They might refuse it or they might rave about it!
Hey, want my EASY 3-Minute Smoothie Recipe?
Get out the Dip
I know that that many of the above ideas don’t really get them to eating the raw fruits and veggies, but it is a start.
I also serve some raw items, like carrots, broccoli, and fresh fruits. Sometimes giving the children something to dip into like ranch dressing, yogurt, Nutella, etc. makes them more likely to at least try it.
One more thing; I have found that over time you will begin to develop what I call “food clout” with the kids if you serve them tasty eats.
I know easier said than done right?!
But seriously, all the organic stuff doesn’t matter if they won’t even try it.
So I use flavorful things like coconut milk to make my rice and pancakes, (leftover) pineapple juice to make pancakes and flavored coffee creamers in muffins and cookies.
Often I have found that if it smells good, they will eat it (sort of like if you build it, they will come, lol).
How do you do to get the kids to eat more healthy? Do you serve organic foods? Leave me a comment below and share your best tips for how you get kids to eat more fruits & veggies.