It's been an age-old war between parents and kids overeating fruits and veggies. Parents lose most times and give in to the whiny pleas, puppy dog faces, and doe-eyed antics of kids. In most cases, these compromises are not in the best interest of our kids. Cos let's face it, our growing kids do need those veggies and fruits to grow up smart, strong, and healthy.
Most kids favor fruits that are brightly colored and have a sweet taste. The ball of work lies in convincing them to eat those not so appealing fruits and vegetables. From carrot giving X-ray vision to broccoli giving super strength; we can all agree that parents have over the years employed creative and fun ways to get kids to embrace healthy eating. Here are a few more fun techniques to arm yourself with when you meet your kids at the table.
7 Fun Ways to Prepare Fruits and Veggie Meals For Your Kids
Frozen Fruit Popsicles¹
With this recipe, you can blend your fruit chunks into smoothies first, but they’re quite visually appealing and colorful when the fruit is left whole. Slice an array of favorite fruits in all colors (i.e., watermelon, mango, kiwi, banana, cantaloupe, peaches, strawberries, and blueberries). Place chunks in a popsicle mold and fill to the brim with naturally sweetened iced green tea (with honey). Cover with sticks and let freeze for 4 to 6 hours. The fruit is naturally sweet enough so there’s no need for a sugary juice or fruit punch.
Try Frozen Fruits²
Freeze your fruits for a whole new level of delicious fun. Frozen grapes are a favorite childhood treat. It doesn’t get much simpler than filling a cup with grapes and placing it in the freezer. Blueberries dipped in yogurt are another treat that’s delicious when frozen.
Homemade smoothies, popsicles, and fruity frozen yogurt bark are more frozen treat ideas that kids love! Keep a stash of frozen fruit in the freezer so you’ll always have ingredients for smoothies. Simply toss the frozen fruit into a blender with a few other ingredients of your choice like juice, yogurt, milk, honey, and even a handful of spinach leaves or carrots. Yes, smoothies are a great way to add extra vegetables into your child’s diet too.
This recipe takes a dinner favorite and turns it into a healthier meal by loading up on colorful veggies. Use a homemade cauliflower crust or store-bought whole-wheat pizza dough or crust and arrange a multi-array of vegetables in circles according to the order of the colors in a rainbow. So start on the inside with diced cherry tomatoes (or eggplant), then chopped orange bell pepper, follow with a ring of corn, arrange green bell pepper pieces next, and finish with broccoli and red onion on the outer edge. Even better, get the kids to help make a rainbow-inspired meal for dinner.
Smashed Cucumber Salad with Lemon & Cumin³
Serve as a healthy side dish at a summer cookout alongside burgers and hot dogs.
2 English cucumbers, cut into thirds
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground pepper
- Place cucumbers on a cutting board and cover with a paper towel or clean kitchen towel. Smash with a meat mallet or heavy pot until they start to break apart. Tear into bite-size pieces and place in a colander; sprinkle with salt and stir. Let stand 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, whisk lemon juice, oil, cumin(add a link to our black cumin extract here), and pepper in a medium bowl.
Shake the cucumbers in the colander to drain any liquid. Turn the cucumbers out onto a clean kitchen towel and pat dry. Add the cucumbers to the dressing and toss to coat.
Maple Roasted Carrots³
Roasting brings out the inherent sweetness in carrots--but add a little maple syrup and butter and you have a caramelized vegetable your kids will want to eat seconds of.
1 ½ pounds carrots, sliced 1/4 inch thick on the diagonal
2 tablespoons melted butter
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground pepper
2 teaspoons snipped fresh chives
- preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Stir carrots, butter, maple syrup, salt, and pepper together in a large bowl. Spread evenly on a large rimmed baking sheet and roast, stirring once, until tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Sprinkle with chives, if desired.
Try Food Art⁴
Use cookie cutters to make fun shapes with fruits and vegetables. Your child will work up an appetite creating food faces, these encourage kids to get hands-on with those veggies.
Place foods onto skewers to make colorful kabobs. Mix up a delicious dipping sauce for those veggies. There are countless ways to “dress up” those fruits and vegetables up in a way that’ll entice kids to try them.
Baked Root Veggie Chips¹
While most kids would turn their noses up at the mention of mashed turnips or roasted beets for lunch. Root veggies can be made quite palatable when they’re disguised as chips. Slice thin an assortment of nutritious root veggies (i.e., sweet potato, turnip, red and gold beets, purple and russet potatoes, and parsnips). Toss in a bowl with a bit of olive oil and sea salt. Arrange slices on an oiled cookie sheet and bake for 30-minutes at 400 degrees until crispy. These delicious baked chips make the perfect lunch side or snack.
- www.m.forkly.com/food. 7 Easy Recipes that Make Fruit and Veggies Fun for Kids. Accessed on July 25, 2021.
- www.5minutesformom.com. 10 Fun Ways to Get Your Kids to Eat More Fruits and Vegetables. Accessed on July 25, 2021.
- www.eatingwell.com/recipe. Smashed Cucumber Salad with Lemon & Cumin. Accessed on July/August 2017.
- www.brit.co. Tricks for Getting Your Kids to Eat Veggies. Accessed on January 6, 2015.