News & Media

29 January 2021

How to get your kids to eat their veggies

It seems to be a challenge every parent faces: how do I get my child to eat their vegetables?

We can tell you now, force feeding isn’t the answer. Neither is bribing, threatening, nor punishing your child for steering clear of the good stuff. The secret? A healthy relationship with food.

Our dietitians, Lizzie and Anna, have shared their 5 top tips to raising vegetable lovers below. Good luck!

Remember your feeding jobs

Mother and daughter chopping vegetables together

You provide, the child decides. So do your job by putting vegetables on the table every day and let your child do their job of deciding whether to eat them and how much to eat. The more we force a child to eat vegetables the less likely they’ll want to try them.

Get them involved

Start a veggie garden or get your child to help prepare the vegetables at meal times. You’d be surprised – when your child has helped to grow or cook a vegetable, they might be more likely to try a taste.

Don’t know where to start? Check out this great guide to cooking with kids.

Be a good role model

You can’t expect your child to eat vegetables if you don’t eat them yourself. New foods are scary to small children. Your child needs to see you eating those scary foods to learn they are safe. If they see their parents, brothers and sisters eating vegetables a lot, they’ll be more likely to give them a go themselves.

Make mealtimes enjoyable

Toddler feeding himself from a large bowl

When you sit down to eat dinner as a family, try to take the focus off what and how much vegetables your child eats. Use the time to catch up on each other’s day and the latest news instead. When mealtimes are enjoyable, children eat better.

Don’t give up

To grow to like vegetables, a child needs to have pleasant or neutral experiences with them – over and over again. Keep offering vegetables even if your child doesn’t eat them. Over time they will learn to like them, so the earlier you start, the better.