How to Sneak Those Veggies In with Picky Eaters!

Do you have picky eaters in the house? If you have more than one child, odds are good that at least one of them is picky. No matter how hard you tried in the beginning, they just weren’t subscribing to your healthy efforts (or your sleep schedule or pretty much anything else “they” say to do in “the books”).

In the last blog, we talked about ways to cut the sugar (and the corresponding ‘tude) from their diets. We also mentioned Khloe’s firstborn’s successful transition from the SAD (standard American diet) to a whole foods approach. Her transition started at three years young and it's still a struggle for her to fully love and embrace all healthy food options but she now eats a decent amount of veggies, fish and several dishes with hidden veggies (spaghetti and taco meat are probably her top two). Khloe’s husband and business partner, Anthony, is also a convert to a healthier lifestyle (which helps the kids subscribe, too, when they see both parents eating this way). He was extremely picky when they first met and only ate corn (which is actually a grain), carrots and green beans (legumes) to eating all vegetables! Their transition has truly been a family affair.

Anthony & Ellie: from picky eaters to super eaters!

Family dinner!

Check out health coach Khloe's tips for how to get even the most critical eaters to pack in some nutrition!

MICRO CHOPPING: Find recipes that allow for tiny chopped veggies to be a part of the sauce, thus proving undetectable by discerning taste buds. Our modified traditional lasagna is a perfect example; carrots, peppers, zucchini, onion and spinach are all present but take a back seat to the marinara sauce, herbs and Italian sausage and it’s on the menu next week! Order here.

MAKE FOOD FUN & ASK THEM TO HELP: We get the argument that you don’t need “kid-friendly” versions of regular food (i.e. dinosaur-shaped chicken nuggets) to get your kids to eat buuuuut making healthy, animal- or fun-shaped snacks with your kids accomplishes two things: 1) your kids are more likely to eat whatever food they helped prep and 2) those gross vegetables don’t look so gross anymore. There’s the classic “ants on a log” and an infinite amount of Pinterest-worthy works of art! We love these green smoothie muffins from The Natural Nurturer.

Image: The Natural Nurturer

SPIRALIZE: Turns out, how you slice it does matter! Kids might eat a carrot stick but not a carrot round, or vice versa. Spiralized veggies are almost a guaranteed win because they are so fun and pretty (we eat with our eyes first). Spiralizers are pretty inexpensive but if you don't have one, a veggie peeler, box grater and mandoline also work (check out how in this video). If you don't have time for any of the above, many frozen food brands carry already spiralized veggies now, too. For dessert, watermelon or apple “fries” are another fun option!

Prep to Table's Taco Zucchini Noodles (gluten free with a dairy free option)

LIE BY OMISSION: If you’re having spaghetti one night but want to experiment with a healthier noodle (made from beans, quinoa or rice, for example) or spaghetti squash, you don’t have to draw attention to it. They might notice, they might not but just see what happens. What they don’t know won’t hurt them and, in this case, will actually help!

Prep to Table's Spaghetti Squash Stir Fry (dairy and gluten free)

AIR FRY: Nearly any vegetable can go in the air fryer with some sea salt and a little olive or coconut oil and taste delectable. Cut potatoes, carrots or sweet potatoes into bite sized pieces (or fries); twenty minutes is usually enough to get them crispy and your kids will be coming back for more. Experiment with even the toughest vegetables like Brussels sprouts, kale, rutabagas and parsnips. You might be pleasantly surprised as to which ones your kids like! It’s definitely a numbers game with some children, which is why we encourage you to set no limits as to what you’ll introduce them to (e.g. just because you don't like it doesn't mean they won't!).

We’re not suggesting this transition will be easy or instantaneous for everyone but can we all agree that our kids are worth the effort? It might take a few tries with the same options to find the healthy choices that they’ll gravitate toward, so be diligent and patient. If you’re cutting out the ultra-processed foods and refined sugars and introducing them to new foods, their taste buds will come around over time. Promise!

To try our kid-approved "healthified" lasagna or other menu items, visit our online store and get your orders in by Sunday at midnight. No grocery shopping, food prep or cleanup - just a happy, healthy family and more time for family fun!

*Menu options vary from week to week; some items may be sold out before the ordering window closes.