5 Tips To Get Your Kids on the Veggie Bandwagon (Tricks Included!)

July 2, 2018

Kids Picking Vegetables On Organic Farm

It can be hard to get kids to eat their veggies. As long as green plants have been part of our diet, there has existed a battle to get kids to enjoy them. You can win this! Try these five easy tips to get your kids munching on the good stuff.

1. Veggie Chips

These tasty treats are popping up in grocery stores everywhere, but did you know you can make them at home? You don’t have to fry them, either. Kale and collard greens are perfect for making baked “chips.” Slather on your favorite seasonings and citrus juice, or a creamy dressing, and then dry the leaves in an oven on the lowest setting. If you happen to have a food dehydrator, this is the place to use it. Once they’re crispy, they’re done!

Root vegetables of any kind can be sliced thin and baked, too (with a light coating of oil). Try beets and carrots … or even winter squash!

2. Pureed Veggies

No, we don’t mean baby food. Pureeing freshly cooked or raw veggies lets you sneak them into dishes and sauces. It also boosts nutrition and flavor, too.

  • Try zucchini, cauliflower or sweet potatoes in mac and cheese.
  • Mix green vegetables like broccoli or kale into tomato sauce.
  • Add veggie purees to any casserole or lasagna where they’ll meld and blend right in.
  • Spruce up mashed potatoes with pureed turnip, carrot or spinach.

3. Glazed Veggies

Kids love sweet things. Glazing veggies is one of the easiest, sure-fire ways to get kids interested in adding them to the plate. The classic preparation calls for carrots or pearl onions, but most root vegetables take well to this cooking method. Glazing requires few ingredients and preparation.

  • Traditionally, carrots are simmered on the stovetop in an inch of water with a pat of butter and a spoonful of sugar. When the water steams off completely, the butter and sugar caramelize into a glaze and the carrots should be cooked through. Salt and serve!
  • Try beets, turnips, parsnips and celery root. Use your imagination and your palate.
  • You can glaze in the oven or on the stovetop. Find recipes that fit with your schedule.
  • Use any sweetener you like, including cane sugar or maple syrup, and you can substitute different fats as well.
  • Sprinkle on fresh herbs or a dash of cinnamon for more flavor.

multicolored-veggies-on-a-cutting-board

4. Multicolored Veggies

Multicolored veggies offer something unexpected. Purple carrots, multicolored tomatoes and bright yellow cauliflower are nothing if not interesting, and kids love them. It’s easier than ever to find uniquely colored varieties spanning an incredible amount of colors.

Naturally, an array of bright colors creates a (good) excuse to play with food. Get a bunch of color variations and have a taste test showdown! Let the kids pick their own. Craft an experiment with the kids to find out if each flavor tastes different. Does the color stay after cooking? Look for these veggies:

  • Carrots can be found in purple, red, orange, yellow and white. Even “tie-dyed” blush ones exist!
  • Bell peppers are an easy one, especially now that white and purple varieties can be found.
  • Tomatoes might be the most diversely colored veggies, and one of the most fun to slice open and eat with the kids.
  • Radishes and cauliflower also offer a rainbow of colors. So do eggplants, beets, green beans and potatoes.

5. Get Down on the Farm

Kids are naturally curious about where things come from. Bring them down to the local farm so they can see how vegetables grow, and what they look like before they’re harvested. Getting hands-on is a great way to help children learn and to feel empowered. New experiences pique interest, and a visit to the farm might be just what the veggie doctor ordered.

  • Pick your own and do some harvesting with them.
  • Let the kids help select and bring vegetables home.
  • Cook your finds together creating a family experience from start to finish.

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Written by Nathan Greenwood

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  • When corn is in season, we’ll do whatever we can to enjoy it in as many meals as possible, which is why we love this Crustless, Cheesy Corn Quiche Recipe. Enjoy more #paveggies ideas and #homegrownhappiness at paveggies.org. 
4 Ears of Corn – large, fresh, husked and cut off (or 3 c. frozen com, thawed)
1/3 c. Onion – chopped
1 T Butter
3 Eggs
2 c. Light Cream
1 c. Flour
1-1/2 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Pepper
1 tsp. Garlic – fresh, minced
2 T. Parsley – dried (or 1/4 c. fresh)
1/4 c. Parmesan Cheese- grated
2 c. Sharp Cheddar Cheese – shredded
2 oz. jar Pimentos – chopped, drained
2 tsp. Parsley – dried – for top
1 tsp. Paprika – for top
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray 10 in. quiche dish with cooking spray. Saute onions in butter and set aside. In large mixing bowl, beat eggs, cream, and flour until completely mixed. Add onion, garlic, salt, pepper, parsley, parmesan cheese, and 1-1/2 c. cheddar cheese. Mix well. Blend in corn and pimentos. Pour into prepared quiche dish and sprinkle the top with the rest of the cheddar cheese, parsley, and paprika. Bake at 375 degrees F for about 35 to 40 minutes. Remove from oven and let rest for 10 minutes. Cut and serve. Optional – Garnish with fresh parsley and fresh orange slice.

Serves 8

Recipe by: Connie Shuff, York

First Place

2005 Pennsylvania “Simply Delicious, Simply Nutritious” Vegetable Recipe Contest
  • It’s official. Local #broccoli has been spotted at roadside stands and markets in #Pennsylvania. We’re having fun pulling unique recipes from our “contest vault” and thought this broccoli bread especially fit the bill. Have you ever tried baking broccoli into bread? Head to paveggies.org for more #paveggies inspiration, facts, and fun!

10 oz. Broccoli, fresh or frozen
4 oz Butter
1 Onion, small, chopped fine
1 c Cottage Cheese, small curd
3 Eggs
1 box Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix
Yields 1 Loaf

Cut butter into small pieces. Break broccoli in the small pieces. Mix all ingredients and put in a 9” x 5” greased and floured pan. Bake at 400ºF for 30 minutes or until done.

Recipe by: Dorothy Martin, Conestoga

Finalist – Desserts/Breads

2004 Pennsylvania “Simply Delicious, Simply Nutritious” Vegetable Recipe Contest
  • Holy veggies! It’s already broccoli time?! PA Produce Month is just around the corner. August is the perfect time to celebrate and it’s easy to join in on the fun. We’ll be coming at you with ways to get in on the PA Produce Month action. Stay tuned for more #homegrown happiness ...and eat your local PA veggies for gosh sakes! 🌽 🍅 🥦 #repost @rt174roadside
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We are loving the #paveggies that are starting to come into season! They're delicious and make the best close-up shots! ⠀
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#rt174roadsidemarket #rt174roadside #mechanicsburgpa #papreferred #paveggies #paproduce #farmersmarket #buylocal #shoplocal #supportsmall #shopsmall #veggies #veggieseason
  • Remember to pick up dill from your local farmer if you plan to preserve this year’s bounty with pickling methods! #paveggies #pennsylvania #vegetables #veggies #homegrownhappiness #buyfreshbuylocal #bfbl #augustispaproducemonth #produce #preserve #pickle #dill #local #localfood #farmtotable #supportlocal #knowyourfarmer
  • This gingered zucchini recipe comes from our 2006 contest but a good recipe never goes out of style. Consider garnishing with a little fresh ginger too for an extra kick. Enjoy!

2 c. Zucchini – peeled and sliced
1 c. Onion – sliced
1 c. Tomatoes – chopped
2 T. Canola Oil
1/2 tsp. Ginger Powder
Salt – to taste

In a skillet, heat oil on medium heat. Add onions. Stir and cook until lightly brown. Add tomatoes. Stir and cook about 7 minutes. Add ginger powder and salt. Add zucchini. Stir and cook on medium to low heat until tender, about 12 to 15 minutes. Serve over rice or spread over toast.#paveggies #produce #homegrownhappiness #pennsylvania #veggies #vegetables #augustispaproducemonth #buyfreshbuylocal #bfbl #seasonal #eatwiththeseasons #farmtotable #zucchini #ginger #recipe
  • Kale is great but let’s not forget the original super green - spinach! It is a great source of protein, iron, and antioxidants. Spinach is quite easy to incorporate into recipes to give that meal an extra healthy boost. Bonus: it’s super easy to preserve too! Load up now from your local farmer and store some for winter when your body is craving extra nutrition. #paveggies #produce #homegrownhappiness #pennsylvania #veggies #vegetables #augustispaproducemonth #buyfreshbuylocal #bfbl #seasonal #eatwiththeseasons #farmtotable #spinach #healthy #antioxidants #iron #protein #preserve #freeze #superfood #sorrynotsorrykale
  • Too busy for veggies? A little meal prep goes a long way. Buy a little extra from your local farmer next time and make yourself some mason jar salads for the weekdays. The additional veggie intake will have you feeling great! #paveggies #produce #homegrownhappiness #pennsylvania #veggies #vegetables #salad #romaine #lettuce #tomato #onion #cucumber #healthy #mealprep #augustispaproducemonth #seasonal #eatwiththeseasons #farmtotable
  • Many recipes will call for just the white portion of a spring onion but we suggest finely chopping the green part to make a delightful garnish too. Our favorite prep tip for the spring onion? Roast the entire vegetable in the oven with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper. #paveggies #springonion #pennsylvania #vegetables #homegrownhappiness #produce #simplydelicious #onions #eatwiththeseasons #spring #veggies #augustispaproducemonth
  • We’ve already got beans on the mind. Which dish would you pick: bean salad with a homemade vinaigrette or sautéed beans with an aioli sauce? #paveggies #beans #homegrownhappiness #pennsylvania #vegetables

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