Getting kids to eat their veggies: tales from the trenches

Have you raised a child from infancy through adolescence and never had them go through a “picky” phase? Do your offspring eat everything you cook for them and always ask for seconds of turnips or kale? If so, congratulations! Go explore the recipes because you won’t find this section very interesting.

For the rest of us, this is where we share ideas about how to encourage our kids to eat and enjoy a vegetable-rich diet. These stories about our own struggles and successes represent a variety of cooking and parenting philosophies. We don’t claim to have a single prescription that will work for every family, but if you read through the entries below, you’re apt to find an idea or two that could work for you.

Just try it, OK?

Establishing a requirement that children take “no thank you” bites of foods they don't want can help ease dinner-table tension.

Learning by shopping

Food shopping with a crying infant, a rambunctious toddler, or an impatient tween may not sound like your idea of fun, but it can be a great educational opportunity.

Play with your food

Sometimes a little fun and games is all that’s needed to make children want to eat their veggies.

Redefining “kid-friendly”

Step away from the frozen chicken nuggets! Here are some tips for making nutritious, home-cooked meals more appealing to little ones.

The garden connection

A vegetable garden is a great way to get children interested in the food on their plates. Here are some tips for successful gardening with kids.

Understanding your picky eater

An expert in applied behavior analysis explains how this technique can be used to understand and modify a child's eating habits.