Many kids naturally enjoy fruits and vegetables. After all, what’s not to love? Fresh produce has crunch, sweetness, texture—many of the qualities that make food so satisfying.
For some young eaters, though, produce is an acquired taste. Whether you are feeding a picky eater, or one that loves fruits and vegetables, these kid-tested lunch and dinner recipes are sure to please. Adults love them, too.
For help encouraging vegetable-wary children to sample new tastes, try these simple, stress-free expert strategies courtesy of Melissa Halas-Liang, the founder of SuperKids Nutrition
Get ’Em While They’re Hungry
“Feed children their veggies first, as an appetizer or snack, before anything else! When kids are hungry, they’re more willing to eat their vegetables. Try fresh string beans they can pick up with their fingers, tasty jicama sprinkled with chopped cilantro and splashed with orange juice, or crunchy, fun sugar snap peas.”
Serve a Colorful Lunch
“Red, yellow and orange heirloom carrots with hummus, baked blue corn chips, sliced avocado, and watermelon for dessert will supply your child with many key nutrients. Plus, this light lunch helps satisfy hunger without making kids or parents overstuffed and sluggish for the afternoon.”
Make Fruit Fun
“Cut fruit into different shapes using cookie cutters. This idea works best with melons, such as watermelon, cantaloupe, or honeydew. You can change the shapes based on the season or their favorite things, like cars or ballet.”
Sneak Greens Into a Smoothie
“Blend frozen fruit with a splash of water, yogurt, coconut water, soy milk or cow’s milk. Then blend in some baby spinach or kale. Serve the smoothie in a solid-colored sports bottle so your kids don’t see the green color.”
Get Your Children Chopping
“Kids are more likely to try new fruits and vegetables if they help prepare them. Young kids can use a plastic knife to cut up red peppers, cucumbers, and softer fruits like apricots.” For additional age-appropriate ways to get your children involved in the kitchen, check out these cooking tips from SuperKids Nutrition
Ready for some family favorites full of fruit and vegetables? Try these recipes:
Asian "Fried Rice" With Quinoa
Our version of a beloved classic is high in protein, too.
Sunflower Crunch Pockets
A fun-to-eat lunch stuffed into a pita.
Swimmin' With the Tuna Fishes
Little ones will adore this sea-creature-shaped sandwich.
These chic, teen-friendly veggie wraps look like a California roll.
Broccoli and Spinach Snack Pockets
An easy, nutritious snack or meal.
With quinoa, cauliflower, eggplant, and cheese, these are satisfying and scrumptious.