How to Get Kids to Eat Vegetables

Jordan Watson, the "How To Dad," shows us his foolproof method for getting kids to eat vegetables. Have the kids grow them in the garden! Above you see the idyllic gardening scene just before the baby falls in the hole they dug. Yep, gardening is a lot of fun. Eating vegetables? Not so much.

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Parents want their children to eat healthy foods, but learn early that forcing a child to eat right is a losing battle. Strict rules and arguments are liable to do more harm than good. So you offer a variety of nutritious foods and hope for the best …and they hold out all day for chicken nuggets. So how do you get children to like vegetables? I tried gushing over how much I loved to eat vegetables. I tried hiding them in other foods. I tried having the kids grow their own garden. You know what worked for me?

One night at dinner, when we had three tween girls and an always-hungry older teenage boy who ate everything in sight, one of the girls made a remark about our son's eating habits. I mentioned that a person's tastes changed when they matured. Real adults have different tastes, and when and if you girls ever mature, you need to try the foods you don't like all over again to see if they are good. If you like them, that's a sign of becoming an adult. I said that, but I didn't give orders. I knew it was useless by then. But they wanted to be adults so badly that they actually tried the "test." It turned out each kid found different vegetables they now liked, so I served an entire salad bar at dinner every evening. Whatever works. 

Science tells us that children are more sensitive to bitter tastes than adults, and they are also programmed to prefer high-energy foods. But repeated exposure to different foods helps a child become more comfortable with vegetables. Here are some tips to make vegetables more palatable to children. You might like those recipes, too!