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There’s nothing more frustrating about being a parent than when your kid makes a sour face and snubs vegetables, declaring, “yuck!,” “I’m not eating that,” or my personal favorite, “gross!”
The way to get your kids to love vegetables now and throughout their lives is to offer vegetables every day, in nearly every meal. Yet if your kids refuse to eat them altogether, it might be that the vegetables you’re serving up are boring, bland, and tasteless.
Vegetables shouldn’t be a necessary evil: kids can learn to love vegetables and eat them regularly if you know how to serve them. Here are 6 ways to make vegetables for kids that are healthy, delicious, and bursting with flavor.
I roast most of my vegetables because they turn out sweet, savory, and delicious—even Brussels sprouts. Roasting vegetables couldn’t be easier or quicker and you can make large batches that will last for days. You can roast almost any kind of vegetable but use an olive oil mister to prevent dousing them with unnecessary calories and fat.
2. Buttered up
In recent years, studies show butter isn’t the villain it’s been made out to be and isn’t associated with an increase risk for heart disease, type-2 diabetes, and mortality.
A pat of butter makes vegetables for kids delicious, plus the fat in butter helps the body absorb and utilize fat soluble vitamins. Although I see nothing wrong with a small amount of butter, I recommend grass-fed butter (I like Kerrygold) because it also contains gut-friendly probiotics.
3. Chips or fries
Most kids love crunchy foods and certain vegetables can be transformed into healthy and delicious faux chips and fries.
Kale chips are an obvious one but you can also roast sliced beets, jicama, zucchini, radishes, butternut squash, green beans, turnips, cabbage, and eggplant. Simply mist them with olive oil or coconut oil and pop them in the oven on high heat until they’re crispy.
Sautéing vegetables supercharges their flavor and can be done in a matter of minutes.
You can sauté any kind of vegetable but kale, spinach, broccoli, Swiss chard, onions, leeks, and mushrooms all lend well to this cooking method. Add a small amount of your favorite oil, grass-fed butter or chicken or vegetable stock, and you’ll have healthy and delicious vegetables in minutes flat.
Cooking vegetables on the grill gives them a delicious, slightly smoky flavor and it’s quick and easy to do. Brush slices of eggplant, zucchini, or Portobello mushrooms with a small amount of oil and grill them alone or on a kabob.
6. With a Dip
Raw vegetables are high in nutrients but the taste can be a turn-off for kids. To help add flavor, pair raw vegetables with a dip.
Try bean dip, guacamole, bruschetta, hummus, or a simple mix of olive oil and vinegar. I recommend you make your own dip so you can control the ingredients. If you do purchase a ready-made dip however, read labels because many are high in calories, saturated fat, sugar, sodium, and artificial ingredients.
7. Mixed With Herbs and Spices
Experiment with a variety of herbs and spices to give vegetables for kids a whole lot of taste without any salt. Tasty combinations include carrots with paprika, asparagus and basil, cabbage and ginger. and garlic with just about any vegetable.