Healthy food choices can’t start early enough. If children participate in the preparation of meals, they are more likely to eat the foods. Other tips to get your little ones to enjoy vegetables include familiarity, satiety value, social context, modeling, and “hiding” vegetables. You can learn more about these tips here.
Try these fun vegetable recipes that children can help you make!
Make a salad or fresh vegetable relish tray. They may even sample some veggies during preparation! Tasks they might take on:
- Tearing lettuce
- Breaking off cauliflower florets
- Washing cherry tomatoes
- Cutting cucumbers into small pieces with a butter knife
- Cook cauliflower or broccoli florets lightly (vegetables should be firm). Cool to room temperature.
- Heat a favorite cheese spread or dip to melt it. Invite children to dip vegetables in the cheese.
Read the book Stone Soup by Marcia Brown, and then invite children to make their own vegetable soup. Take a trip to the grocery store, a garden, or a farmer’s market to select vegetables for soup. Allow the children to select the vegetables.
- Help preschoolers wash the vegetables and prepare them for the soup. The vegetables should be cut to about the same size so they will cook in the same amount of time.
- Heat about two quarts of chicken stock in a soup kettle. Remove the pan from the heat, and very carefully add the vegetables to the soup pot.
- Cook until the vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes. Season as desired.
Macaroni and Vegetable Salad
Combine the ingredients and gently mix with salad dressing of choice. (Most kids like Ranch dressing!)
- 4 cups cooked elbow macaroni
- ½ cup cubed Cheddar cheese
- ½ cup thawed frozen peas
- 1 chopped green onion
- ¼ cup finely diced red bell pepper
- shredded carrots
Sprinkle ½ teaspoon dried dill on top. Cover and chill before serving.
- Spread cream cheese on a flour tortilla (whole grain is best).
- Add finely chopped bell peppers, raw broccoli and/or cauliflower, shredded carrots, and any other favorite veggies on the cheese.
- Roll up the tortilla. Serve whole or slice into pinwheels.