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5 Creative Ways to Get Kids to Eat (Almost) Anything

We know better than anyone that it can be a challenge to get kids to eat their veggies (or anything, really) — especially in toddlerhood. 

July 21, 2023

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We know better than anyone that it can be a challenge to get kids to eat their veggies (or anything, really) — especially in toddlerhood. 

Everyday, we have to find creative solutions to get our summer camp kiddos to try new ingredients, flavors and dishes that they’re not accustomed to eating at home.

It’s not always easy, but there’s lots of things we learned that, over time, can be highly effective.

Here’s how to convert your picky eater into a curious one.

1. Let kids help in the kitchen

Allowing them to take part in prepping dinner will make them feel empowered and more likely to try new things. Little hands can help measure ingredients, stir batter, wash vegetables, and pull leaves off stems—letting them help is also a great bonding experience.

2. Add flavor without adding sugar or salt

Instead of reaching for the sugar bowl or salt shaker, try adding spices like garlic powder, cumin, oregano, onion powder or turmeric instead. We found that kids actually LOVE diverse flavors. This not only adds flavor but boosts nutritional value as well.

3. Serve smaller portions at first and let kids ask for seconds

It's important not to overwhelm kids with too much food all at once—start small and let them ask for more if they're still hungry after finishing their plate of veggies or anything else you’re hoping they’ll eat. (With smaller portions, even one spoonful of a new food can be enough for the first time. Respecting a kid's limits is very important!)

4. Make it fun

Try cutting up vegetables into shapes like stars or animals and serve them on their plate in an exciting way. If you have the time, try making creative designs out of different colors of vegetables. Not only will this make dinner visually appealing, but it just might get your little ones excited about eating something unfamiliar.

5. Make it a game

If all else fails, you can always make eating vegetables into a game by setting timers or having competitions over who can finish first (or neatest). A little friendly competition never hurt anyone—plus it's a great way to keep kids engaged at the dinner table.

With a bit of creativity and imagination, you can turn meal time into something fun.

It takes repetition and a bit of creativity and imagination. But, it’s a start. With these five ideas in mind you can make meals both nutritious and fun for your little ones.

And, we totally understand if you just want to send them to us at cooking camp so we can work our magic on them, instead!