- Helping your child develop healthy eating habits set up a foundation for the rest of their life.
- Modeling healthy eating, switching up the menu, and involving your kids in meal preparation can help encourage your kids to eat more veggies.
It’s a tale as old as time. Getting kids to eat vegetables is like climbing up a downhill escalator. It feels like you’re never making any progress, especially when you have a picky eater that you’re trying to feed.
Even though it’s a challenge, it’s important to help your child develop healthy eating habits because this sets up a foundation for life.
But how do you get your kids to eat more of these important foods? That’s where we come in. Continue reading to learn how you can turn your kids from veggie haters to veggie lovers.
5 tips for feeding your picky eaters
Model healthy eating
Your picky eaters probably won’t willingly eat broccoli until they see you eating it regularly. In fact, children that are more likely to try disliked vegetables and eat more fruits and vegetables are raised by parents who model healthy eating habits.1
Kids mimic what they see, so it’s best to lead by example and eat more veggies throughout the day. You might even find they are curious about what you’re always eating without having to say a word!
Set reasonable expectations
Getting your kids to eat and enjoy healthier foods is not going to be an overnight victory. It’s going to take some time and patience for your kids to warm up to the idea of eating more vegetables. And putting too much pressure on the first couple of meals will only backfire and make them even more opposed to eating vegetables. Research shows that it can take up to 12 exposures to get a child to like food.2
Start slowly by eating vegetables in front of them, adding a little bit to their plate and eventually adding more.
Add variety to the menu
Variety is the spice of life—especially for picky eaters. Help your kids try new foods by rotating through different foods and meals. It can be as simple as switching up the presentation. For example, one night, you can make veggie burritos, and then you can make veggie burrito bowls. This will make meals interesting and give your kid more opportunities to try vegetables in new, flavorful ways.
Involve them in meal prep
Making cooking a fun family activity! Kids are very perceptive of their level of involvement in things. From an early age, they like to have a sense of agency over their surroundings, and cooking is a great way to build this trust and collaboration.
Take them grocery shopping with you and ask them which vegetables they would like to include in upcoming meals. Then get into the kitchen together and give them an easy role when you’re preparing meals. Research shows that kids who are involved in meal prep have more positive attitudes towards food and are more likely to eat the food they prepare.3 4
Let them eat treats in moderation
Just because you’re trying to motivate your picky eaters to build healthier eating habits, doesn’t mean that you have to completely get rid of their favorite eats and treats! The more unavailable and inaccessible something is, the more they will want it. And using foods as a reward or punishment also makes food more desirable to kids.5 Instead of placing rigid restrictions around sugary foods, designate a snack drawer (in the fridge and in a cupboard) that contains mostly healthy foods, with the occasional treat.
Need some healthy food inspiration when it comes to your kids? Take a look at some of our recipe ideas below!
Healthy recipes for picky eaters
Healthy snacks for picky eaters
Good for school or at home, these healthy snacks are delicious and nutritious:
- Banana Zucchini Muffins with Blueberries
- Veggies with peanut butter or hummus
- Apple nachos topped with raisins, granola, nuts, berries, peanut butter, and honey
Lunch ideas for picky eaters
Send your kids to school with these delicious, nutritious, and fun lunches:
- DIY lunchables: deli meat, cheese, crackers, peppers, carrots, and ranch dip
- Veggie quinoa: scrambled egg, carrots, zucchini, broccoli, and sesame oil
- Broccoli tater tots: potatoes, broccoli, parmesan cheese, and garlic
Dinner for picky eaters
Healthy and great for the whole family, these meals are tasty and fun to make:
- Cauliflower chicken nuggets and carrot fries
- Vegetable burritos: black beans, bell peppers, carrots, avocados, onion, and cheese
- Vegetable chili: black beans, peppers, carrots, zucchini, onion, and spices of choice
While your kids should get their nutritional needs from their diet, you can also ensure they’re getting essential nutrients with the help of quality vitamins and supplements.
The best vitamins for kids
Multivitamins for kids
This multivitamin is crafted with a powerful blend of ingredients to support your child’s wellness needs.*
Each serving includes essential nutrients like vitamin D3, biotin, and zinc.* Not to mention, these delicious jelly beans are made with naturally-sourced raspberry-orange flavors to please any picky-eaters out there!
Each serving of Solgar® U-Cubes™ Children’s Multivitamin offers your child a range of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin A, C, D, E, B-vitamins, magnesium, zinc, and more. These tapioca-based gummies are made with naturally sourced colors and flavors and are non-GMO, gluten-free, and dairy-free.
Vitamin C for Kids
Each serving is made with a blend of immune-supporting ingredients like vitamin C, vitamin D3, and zinc.*
These jelly beans are good for your kids’ immune health and they taste great, thanks to their naturally-sourced orange flavor.
If your children like their vitamins in gummy form, this supplement is for you. Solgar® U-Cubes™ Vitamin C Gummies provide 500 mg of vitamin C per serving of four tapioca-based gummies. These gummies are made with naturally-sourced colors and flavors and are non-GMO, vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free!
Vitamin D for Kids
Solgar® U-Cubes™ Calcium Gummies are the tastiest way for your children to get their daily dose of calcium. Each serving also offers vitamin D3 to help in the absorption of calcium. Made with naturally sourced colors and flavors, these gummies are also non-GMO, gluten-free, and dairy-free!
The bottom line
If you don’t change your approach with picky eaters, then the results won’t change. If your kids aren’t eating their fruits and veggies, it’s time to look at new ways you can instill healthy eating habits for life!
For more health related tips, and for the latest on new Solgar® products, follow us on Instagram (@solgar) and TikTok (@solgarvitamins)!
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
The information provided on this site is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. The information on this website is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Never disregard medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on the Solgar® site.