Five tips for familiarizing children with vegetables

Behavioral studies show that gradually familiarizing children with vegetables they say they “hate” (through regular exposure) leads to their liking them! Consider offering them vegetables when they are hungry, at the beginning of the meal. They will have less against them! If they are still reluctant, make the experience pleasant and appealing:

  • Offer them canned green beans or a few tender canned carrots, served cold as finger food.
  • On a puree, use peas to make eyes, green beans for eyebrows and the mouth, and button mushrooms for ears. The puree will be so much more fun!
  • Add small tomato pieces, green beans, or zucchini to pasta as a welcome change from ketchup (which distorts the original flavor of vegetables with its sweetness).
  • Prepare colorful purees: mix carrots, broccoli, or zucchini with an equal quantity of potatoes.
  • Make a pizza with vegetable toppings: button mushrooms, tomatoes, eggplant, artichoke hearts, etc.

Finally, some general advice: be convincing! Regularly show children unadulterated seasonal produce and try it in front of them. They will want to follow your example!

The Louis Bonduelle Foundation offers tips likely to get children to open their mouths for a plateful of vegetables in its report “How to Get Children to Like Vegetables”.