Almost every parent knows it all too well—the often Herculean effort each Mom and Dad make to get their kids to eat enough vegetables. Still struggling with getting them to eat the healthy food you put on their plates every night? Try one of these tricks to get them eating more greens.

Serve Veggies First

While everyone is ravenous waiting for dinner, put out some veggies. Dice up some carrots, celery sticks, and bell peppers and leave them by the fridge, on the kitchen table and even in the living room. The kids will get hungry and reach for whatever is nearby.

Dip It

Anything is more fun if you can dip it.  Salad dressing, guacamole, hummus—“active” food means you have

Get Them Involved

They'll be more inclined to try new foods, if they are involved in the prep work.Take them to the supermarket and let them choose a new  vegetable to try this week. Letting them wash, chop (under supervision) and sautee—means you have a better chance that they’ll eat, too.  

Hide It

If the kids can’t see it, they can’t reject it. Yes, you want them to like vegetables for their own sake—but you have to pick your battles, too. Sneak some cauliflower into macaroni and cheese. The kids will enjoy their favorite meals without realizing they’re getting their nutrients.

Be Persistent

Research from the University of Leeds shows that it takes 5 to 10 exposures for a kid to give a food a thumbs up. Continue to introduce vegetables to your kid’s daily diet and eventually they will start to get used to the food. 

Veggie Chicken Nuggets

Your kid has never met a nugget they didn’t like.  Try making them with vegetables. Worth the experiment. Start with a simple recipe and mix it up further down the road.

Set an Example

Monkey-see, monkey-do. Kids replicate the way you talk, the way you dress, how you make decisions and they watch and mimic your every move.  Food is no different. Model good behavior by eating vegetables regularly. Smile with each bite of brussel sprouts. Kids will see this and get excited too.

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