How Can I Get My Child to Eat Vegetables?

My daughter refuses to eat any veggies. How can I make sure she gets enough nutrients each day?
Priscilla

Start by setting a good example — let her see you eating a nutritious diet that includes plenty of fruits and vegetables. Then, use your imagination. Chop up or shred veggies (try carrots or zucchini) and put them in foods like muffins, pancakes, or pasta sauce. Dress up veggies with something she enjoys — sprinkle cheese on broccoli, for example, or spread peanut butter on celery or serve veggie sticks with yogurt dip.

Sometimes, a fun arrangement can get kids eating. Make up a plate of mini foods (baby carrots, baby corn, cherry tomatoes, etc.) or make a face out of vegetables, complete with peas for eyes, a carrot for the nose, and sprouts for hair. Just make sure that veggies are cut into small pieces so they don't pose a choking risk.

Ask your daughter what vegetables she would be willing to try and go shopping together to select them. Encourage her to try the vegetables you serve, but don't force her to eat them.

If you have concerns about your child's nutrition, talk to her doctor or talk to a registered dietician, who can help you deal with your finicky eater.

Related Resources

  • Allrecipes.com
    This site offers more than 40,000 free recipes, plus lots of cooking tips and information.
  • Food Network
    TV's Food Network goes online with searchable menus and recipes, an encyclopedia of cooking terms, and ideas from celebrity chefs.
  • Vegetarian Resource Group
    This site offers recipes, nutrition information, and lots more for vegetarians and anyone looking to eat less meat.
  • ChooseMyPlate.gov
    ChooseMyPlate.gov provides practical information on how to follow the U.S. government's Dietary Guidelines for Americans. It includes resources and tools to help families lead healthier lives.