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Helping Children to Enjoy Vegetables

Updated on October 28, 2018

Healthy Vegetables

Children Eating Vegetables

Underrated vegetables will have a new popularity with children, by you being creative and trying new ways to present them.

Be adventuress, experiment with herbs and spices when cooking vegetables.

Learn cutting and chopping techniques designed to speed cooking time and release flavor.

Learn techniques for boiling and steaming, if it is not appealing by smell no child will attempt to eat over cooked and stewed to death vegetables.

Try different methods, like stir-frying or butter-steaming.

Salads are an excellent way for children to get their daily quota of vegetables, as when you find there is one they don't like just don't add it.

In this article I have added a few ideas to encourage children to eat vegetables, as you find vegetables they don't like give up on that one, expand your discovery of new combinations and introduce them to wide variety of tempting and unusual vegetables, you will be surprised by the acceptance of children enjoying them.

Stir - Fry Vegetable Salad. Photo Credit - Elsie Hagley
Stir - Fry Vegetable Salad. Photo Credit - Elsie Hagley

What you eat is going to be a big influence on what your children like to eat.

If you rarely serve vegetables with meals, don't be surprised if your kids develop the same tastes.

Try to discover what it is about a vegetable your child dislikes is important.

Is it the taste,texture or the color?

"You might be able to combine it with something that improves the taste,"like Stir-fry vegetables, by adding different flavors to them, until you find something they will eat.

A nationwide survey showed that 65% of all children in the United States dislike eating vegetables.


Cooking Vegetables like this, teenagers that are not great vegetable eaters, will like this dish,with all the flavors combine together it makes a nice satisfying one-dish lunch.

Oriental-style salad Crisp stir-fried vegetables and small shrimp are chilled in a soy-flavored marinade,then topped with crunchy cashews.

1/2 pound broccoli

1/2 pound edible-pod peas

2 tablespoons salad oil

2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed

1/4 teaspoon minced fresh ginger

1/2 pound mushrooms, thinly sliced

1/3 cup regular-strength chicken broth

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1/2 teaspoon sugar

1 tablespoon oyster sauce (optional)

1 can (4 1/2oz.)small shrimp, drained

1 jar (2 oz.) sliced pimentos drained

1/2 cup mayonnaise (optional)

Crisp lettuce leaves

1/4 cup salted cashews or slivered almonds

Cut flowerets off broccoli stalks, then cut flowerets into 1/4 inch thick slices.

Trim and discard base of stalks, peel stalks and cut crosswise into 1/8 inch thick slices.

Remove and discard strings from peas. Set broccoli and peas aside.

Heat oil in a wok or wide frying pan over high heat, add garlic and ginger and cook, stirring for 1 minute.

Add broccoli, peas and mushrooms, cook, stirring until vegetables are just tender-crisp to bite (3 to 4 minutes).

Pour into a bowl.

In a measuring cup, stir together broth, soy, sugar, and if desired, oyster sauce.

Pour over vegetables, then stir in shrimp and pimentos.

Cool, cover and refrigerate for a least 4 hours.

Drain vegetables, discarding liquid. If desired, stir in mayonnaise.

Spoon over lettuce leaves and sprinkle with cashews.

Makes 4 servings.

Greek Salad

Greek salad

1 lettuce

1 green pepper, sliced

3 tomatoes, quartered

1/2 cup sliced celery

1/2 diced cucumber

1/2 cup pitted black olives

100 g feta cheese, cubed


1/4 cup olive oil

1 clove garlic, crushed

2 tablespoon DYC spiced vinegar

1/4 teaspoon sugar

Tear lettuce into bite-sized pieces and place in a salad bowl.

Add pepper, onion, tomatoes, celery and cucumber.

Pour dressing over and toss to coat.

Decorate with olives and feta cheese.

Serves 4-6


Put all ingredients in a screw top jar.

Shake vigorously to combine just before using.

Cabbage Rolls with Mashed Potatoes

Cabbage Rolls and Mashed Potatoes.

  • 4 cabbage leaves
  • 1 smal onion
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 400 grams minced beef
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 x 425g can savoury tomatoes


  1. Freezing a whole head of cabbage is the best way to get the pliable leaves you need for making cabbage rolls and it much easier than the usual laborious technique of blanching individual leaves.
  2. Do this several days ahead of time, wrap unwashed cabbage in foil and freeze.
  3. To thaw, unwrap and place in a bowl of lukewarm water for about a hour.
  4. To separate leaves, hold cabbage under warm running water and gently peel off one leaf at a time.
  5. Remove the leaves you require and the remaining cabbage you can use for soups or stews, if desired.
  6. For easier rolling trim of thick stem end of each leaf.
  7. If you do not have a frozen cabbage and would like to do this the other way place the cabbage leaves in a large sauce with a little water. Bring to the boil and cook for 2 or 3 minutes or until the leaves are soft enough to roll.
  8. Drain and allow to cool slightly.
  9. Peel and finely chop the onion.
  10. Melt the butter in a frying pan and add the onion. Cook for 2 minutes
  11. Add the mince and cook until all pinkness is lost.
  12. Stir in the garlic powder, salt and pepper.
  13. Remove from the heat and spoon serving amounts on to each cabbage leaf. Roll up, tucking in the sides.
  14. Place seam side down in a large frying pan.
  15. Add the savory tomatoes,
  16. Bring mixture to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes.
  17. Serve cabbage rolls with the savory tomatoes spooned over.
  18. Mashed Potatoes
  19. 4 to 5 medium to large size Potatoes
  20. 2/3 cup of butter or margarine
  21. 2/3 to 3/4 cup milk
  22. Salt and pepper
  23. Peel all the potatoes first, rinse under running luke warm water then cut into small pieces quickly to prevent browning and add to boiling water,bring back to boil then simmer until potatoes are tender.
  24. About 10 to 15 mins. Drain well.
  25. Mash hot potatoes with potato masher or beat with electric mixer until no lumps remain.
  26. Add butter, beat until well blended. Stir in the milk a little at a time, until potatoes reach desired consistency.
  27. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  28. I always do Mashed Potatoes with most dishes for children as I find they love it and will eat some vegetables with it.
4 stars from 1 rating of Cabbage rolls

Vegetable Garden

Teach children to grow vegetables. - It will stay with them for life.

Helping children to grow their own vegetables garden can encourage them to eat vegetable as they will get satisfaction from picking and helping you to prepare them for eating, it is very rewarding for young and old alike to reap the benefits of a successful garden.

Small home orchards are excellence way also as fruit is a great source of vitamins and are essential for children good health and well-being.

  • Tip When Planting Carrot Seeds.

Mix a packet of carrot and radishes seeds together when sowing as radishes are one of the fastest growing of all crops and children can pull and eat them to thin out the carrots.

Good rich soil is essential for a crisp mild flavored radish, so they will not be to hot for children to eat.

It is also very easy to grow pumpkins - They will love watching them grow and it will encourage them to try to eat something they have grown their selves.

I grow pumpkins along the side of the Urenui River in New Zealand but this year they got caught by floods but we still managed to get some that never got wash down the river.

Salad Platter

Chicken and avocado salad.

Teenagers love this easy salad

2 avocados, peeled and sliced

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 cups diced cooked chicken

or smoked chicken

1/4 cup sliced celery

1/4 cup raisins

2 oranges, peeled and sliced

1/4 cup mayonnaise

lettuce leaves

Toss avocados in lemon juice.

Combine avocado, chicken, celery, raisins, oranges and mayonnaise.

Toss to combine.

Place on a bed of lettuce leaves.

Chill before serving

Serves 4

Couscous with Vegetables - cooking with alia

Which of these vegetables does your child dislike?

See results

© 2011 Elsie Hagley

Do your children enjoy eating vegetables?

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    Post Comment
    • Elsie Hagley profile imageAUTHOR

      Elsie Hagley 

      7 years ago from New Zealand

      @Adventuretravels: Thanks for checking my suggestions out. Long and short of children eating vegetables is they still will eat only what they want to, so we as adults will just have to learn to live with it.

    • Adventuretravels profile image


      7 years ago from UK

      I love these recipes and I really am looking forward to cooking them. I agree that the visual side of food is very important, that's what perplexes me about children - you'd think they'd love all those colours and textures! Thanks for sharing.

    • profile image

      AnnaAdam LM 

      9 years ago

      My niece is living with us. She only love to eat potato and peas. Not even any other fruit. we tried a lot but she didn't agree. But you have added some really good and unique recipes. I will try them. Very good and informative lens.

    • EMangl profile image


      9 years ago

      have not been a fan really of vegetables but when my daughter begun to eat and did not like it much, i begun to play with the food, arranged it as funny faces and told her silly stories where this and that comes from - and now we both like it :-)

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      I'm a vegetable lover and I enjoyed reading your lens. Presentation can really make or break a child's appetite. Great tips and recipes.

    • KimGiancaterino profile image


      9 years ago

      We are fortunate that my stepson loves vegetables. His father is a great cook, which helps.

    • bechand profile image

      K Bechand 

      9 years ago from NY

      my daughter (5) loves them - my son (8) hates them ... so it is kinda hard - thanks for the tips - I will try some

    • evelynsaenz1 profile image

      Evelyn Saenz 

      10 years ago from Royalton

      Delightful lens of suggestions for helping children learn to enjoy vegetables. Pretty vegetables arranged in delightful ways often convince children to try them. Adding just the right touch of spices will often cinch it. Thank you for sharing your suggestions.

    • Elsie Hagley profile imageAUTHOR

      Elsie Hagley 

      10 years ago from New Zealand

      I would like to thank all the great lens-masters below for visiting and commenting on my lens about "vegetables for children", from now on I will try and keep up with you all as you comment, by returning a visit to your lens. Thanks.

    • AuthorNormaBudden profile image


      10 years ago

      If there is anyone on the planet who uses more spice than I do when cooking, I'd be amazed. It certainly does enhance the taste and, most times, I can get away without using salt because the foods just burst with flavor. I'm definitely coming back to try out some of these recipes.

    • darciefrench lm profile image

      darciefrench lm 

      10 years ago

      Great tips for helping children eat more vegetables - I put cheese on them and that helps too. Many thanks for this veggie page -:)

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Not only will kids be eating their vegetables, they will be requesting them with your recipes! I can see kids choosing your Stir Fry Vegetable Salad over hotdogs and pizza.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Great tips and the recipes look very delicious, it is a challenge to make kids love veggies and now It will be easier.

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 

      10 years ago from Canada

      I love your why veg page - your recipes look delicious.

    • thesuccess2 profile image


      10 years ago

      When I was a kid veggies were dull always cabbage or carrot. Today the choice of vegetables is amazing but we still have to improve their image, which is why your lens is valuable.

    • profile image

      mattseefood lm 

      10 years ago

      OK this is really useful! Especially for my younger sister who hates veggies :) Thumbs up!

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      great lens! vegetables are so important! sometimes kids just have to try the same food a few times before they like it.

    • jolou profile image


      10 years ago

      Well done. It's sure important kids eat veggies and sometimes we need to use our imagination a bit to make them more appealing.

    • annieangel1 profile image


      10 years ago from Yorkshire, England

      great recipes

    • Elsie Hagley profile imageAUTHOR

      Elsie Hagley 

      10 years ago from New Zealand

      @hlkljgk: Thanks for commenting, it is nice to know someone read my first lens, a bit of a challenge to get used to doing. Have a nice day hlkljgk

    • hlkljgk profile image


      10 years ago from Western Mass

      also, start 'em young! my dd loves greek salad. i look forward to more here. :)


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