Picky eaters, as they’re affectionately called, are a pain to feed. Whether it’s because they’re budding foodies with a sophisticated palette or just because they want something different, there are quite a few vegetables kids don’t like.
Since a child’s taste buds develop in stages, they are not always in tune with what is good food. As you know, it can be a pain to make them taste vegetables they hate. Don’t think you have to give up because your kids don’t like eating them; this article will prove you wrong. Before you hide that broccoli in the soup again, read about what veggies other parents are struggling with and some tips to get your kids to love those vegetables.
Kids tend to be wary of avocados because of their texture. While adults may enjoy the buttery texture of this fruit, many children don’t appreciate the mouth feel. To make avocado more appealing to your child, mash it with lemon or lime juice and season it with salt and pepper. You can also try them in smoothies! Add some avocado and yogurt, and voila! You’ve got a delicious treat that will help keep your kids healthy growing up.
Pumpkin tastes bland compared to other vegetables like carrots or sweet potatoes. You might think your child would like it because it comes from the same family as squash, but pumpkin has a very mild flavor, unlike squash which can be quite spicy. It’s high in fiber and vitamin A, but it can be hard for kids to get used to eating something different. To make pumpkin more appealing:
Add pureed pumpkin or squash to muffins, pancakes, bread, and cookies for a healthy boost of nutrition without changing the flavor too much. A vegetable soup is also an easy way to get kids to eat more vegetables. Start with pumpkin puree and add other veggies as they become more accustomed to eating them.
Cauliflower is a vegetable that kids hate to eat and, most of the time is left on their plates. Some kids might resist eating cauliflower because they think it looks like brains or worms (or worse). There are many ways to make this veggie taste better and appeal to kids. One way is to add cheese, butter, and spices to the cauliflower. Another way is to make it into rice or pilaf by cooking it in water until soft, then serving it with chicken or beef.
Cabbage is one of those vegetables that no one seems to love or hate — and while it may not be particularly exciting, it has tons of nutritional value! Cabbage contains lots of fiber and vitamins A and C — making it an excellent choice for getting your child’s daily dose of fruits and veggies in one meal! Try sautéing cabbage in olive oil with garlic until soft before adding lemon juice and salt or pepper for an easy side dish any night of the week.
Spinach is another vegetable that kids sometimes find very bitter in its raw form, especially if they’ve never tried it before. Luckily, there are lots of ways to prepare the spinach, one simple way is by lightly steaming it until just wilted, then tossing it with olive oil and lemon juice for an easy side dish or salad topping!
Bell peppers are another veggie that kids tend to dislike because they’re crunchy, bitter, and have a strong taste. To make them more appealing, try roasting or grilling red bell peppers with some olive oil and salt before adding them to your favorite pasta dish or casserole recipe. This will help cut down on some of the bitterness of the pepper while adding some delicious flavor!
Artichokes are a vegetable that many kids dislike. The leaves are covered with a waxy substance that can be tough to chew. The best way to help kids overcome their aversion to artichokes is to start them young and make them part of their regular diet. When cooked properly, artichokes are delicious and nutritious.
Kids hate Brussels sprouts because they taste like cabbage, which is not one of their favorite flavors. However, if you boil them until they’re soft and cut them into small pieces, they become easier to swallow. You can also try roasting them or serving them with melted butter or brown sugar sauce.
Green beans have a strong flavor that turns off many adults and children. To make green beans less bitter, blanch them for three minutes in boiling water before adding them to your recipe. This removes some bitterness from the vegetable without losing any nutrients or flavor.
The texture of a tomato is rubbery and hard, which makes it difficult to eat if it’s not cooked properly. This can especially be true for older children who have teeth that are coming in crooked or overlapping teeth (malocclusion).
Kids don’t like raw tomatoes (unless they’re cherry tomatoes), but they love tomato sauce and pizza. So, serve spaghetti with red sauce or make a homemade pizza with cheese and lots of toppings. If your child refuses to touch anything with tomato sauce, try making a batch of homemade ketchup and serving it over meatballs or hamburgers.
Kids will try new foods but may have picky preferences or dislike certain things. The practical takeaway is that it’s best to make veggies fun and interesting to kids rather than complicating things. Adding cheese is simple, but it can make all the difference.
Hopefully, the above list is enough to get you started and maybe even help you develop some creative recipes!