As the parent of a picky 3 year old, I know how hard it is to get veggies from their plate to the belly. Getting my daughter to touch veggies is HARD, and giving in to what I know she will eat would be way easier. Luckily, I’m more stubborn than she is, and these are some strategies I use to make sure she eats her greens, reds, oranges, and yellows!

  1. Puree, puree, puree! We mix a vegetable puree into almost everything. Purees work for her, because unlike shredded veggies, there’s nothing she can physically pick out. Muffins get a carrot or zucchini boost,  pumpkin and sweet potato get mixed into pancakes and waffles, and mac and cheese gets a green glow from pureed broccoli. If your child will not eat a green food, stick with a puree of that’s the color of the food its being mixed into, like cauliflower in pancakes or butternut squash into macaroni and cheese. Don’t be afraid to try it—most of the time they can’t taste it, especially if it’s covered in syrup or cheese. At this stage of picky eating, I go with the belief that hidden vegetables are better then none at all.
  2. Make ’em a smoothies or popsicles! Green smoothies are a way of life around here, and bonus is that the leftovers easily turn into popsicles if frozen! Mix any combo of fruit and veggies, add a little juice, water and/or full fat yogurt and you’ve got your picky eater eating a days worth of nutrient dense food! Offering different cups, spoons, straws and popsicles molds also helps too. Baby spinach is the easiest add in since it has the most neutral taste of any green, but also try kale or swiss chard, starting with a few leaves and working up to more as they grow accustomed to the taste. We even do a banana, chocolate powder and spinach smoothie at our house that serves as dessert!
  3. Take them to the farm! My picky eater is known for devouring foods at our local farm and then rejecting the same foods once we bring them home. Let your child munch and crunch whatever they want at the farm (or on the way home) and let them explore the vegetables on their own terms. You’d be surprised at what they enjoy, and how much they eat at the farm. Exposure is half the battle!