How Many Vegetables Do Your Kids Eat per Day?

Updated on February 04, 2016
S.R. asks from Scottsdale, AZ
19 answers

How many veggies do your kids eat per day, and which ones? How do you prepare them? I just need ideas for a picky eater. Right now, she loves sweet potatoes, bean burritos and hummus.

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answers from Baton Rouge on

Picky eaters are made, not born.
From the time she started reaching for my plate, I fed my kid what I ate, spices, seasonings, and all. mashed up so as not to choke her.
She was eating mustard greens before she had all her teeth.

To get a kid out of an eating rut, keep giving her the things you know she likes, and introduce one new food every week. She can't say she doesn't like it until she has actually eaten a bite of it.
Don't force her to eat things she doesn't like after trying them,. but don't let her rule one out without tasting it.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

Kiddo has a few things he loves: frozen peas, carrots, celery.... he rarely likes what we are having in that regard (usually more sophisticated dishes), so these are easy to throw on a plate. After school I might make us a nice steaming bowl of edamame. When I make up some taboulleh, he'll eat that. I guess I don't worry about it. He's healthy, he eats a variety of other foods, and so if we have the usual standbys, not a big deal.

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answers from Washington DC on

we have carrots, celery and broccoli in the veggie drawer in the fridge.

Celery is with peanut butter or cheese.
carrots - ranch dressing
broccoli? Cheese, ranch dressing....

My kids love asparagus, artichokes, cauliflower, and much more...I NEVER allowed my children to be picky eaters. Sorry. I don't have time to be a short order chef. I learned with my daughter that if I allowed her to choose meals? We would have had nothing but chicken nuggets and mac and cheese. I nipped that in the bud. she HAD to try a bite of everything I made. Period. End of story.

So in my opinion? You did this to yourself. You need to stop the insanity and tell her she needs to expand her pallet and try new things. She will NOT starve. She WILL get in line and with the program! :) You are NOT helping your daughter by catering to her.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

I serve cooked veggies or a salad with our evening meal each day. For lunch they take fruit.

I also sometimes serve veggies raw if they are hungry before supper. So baby carrots, or I will cut up celery.

We're not the most adventurous family. I don't like cooking and neither does my husband. So I have to make a conscious effort that my kids get exposed to new foods. I lost my taste several years ago so it's hard for me to be bothered some days - I just make sure I offer them. Mine didn't like some, but in a year's time did. So don't give up hope :)

I do make a cauliflower soup they will eat (with homemade croutons on top). So I should experiment more with soups.

Also - when they were very little, I sometimes food processed vegs into casseroles or sauces. Like onions etc. because if they saw them they were fussy.

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answers from New York on

My daughters eat veggies at least once a day, usually at dinner and sometime for breakfast or snack. Mainly they are broccoli, peas, spinach, brussels sprouts, chicory or cabbage. Usually we boil them or roast them, sometime adding cheese or mixing them. We are a family of five and each person has different tastes, so we all eat what's on the table. Someone doesn't like some vegetable that others like, we eat it anyway, including me. I have taught my daughters to eat anything since they were little, trying not to make it an issue but a simple matter of course. If you dislike some food and you eat it many times at the end you become used to it and can tolerate it. It could be useful starting with a small portion and increasing it time after time.
The vegetables and fruits are essential foods for a healthy diet, especially for people who are growing up.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I have one child who loves veggies and eats them all. My other child does not like a lot of veggies. He will only eat corn (one the cob), carrots (raw), cauliflower (steamed or roasted), broccoli (steamed or raw), mushrooms (fried or raw) and asparagus (steamed or roasted).

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Springfield on

green beans cooked and served with butter on them, carrots served 3 ways, cold out of the can with salt and pepper, cooked dipped in ketchup and raw served with ranch. broccoli cooked with cheese melted on top or raw and dipped in ranch. peas and celery in a stirfry. cauliflour mashed like potatoes. when in season we do fresh zucchini and i bake it, bread and deep fry it or add it to an awesome muffin recipe that the kids love.



answers from Wausau on

I have one that will eat most veggies in large quantities prepared any way, and one who basically likes only raw carrots.


answers from Boston on

If she has texture issues (sensory problems), that's one thing. If she's just obstinate, that's another.

How old is she?

I'm a big believer in 4 things:
1. good manners (if you don't like something, you don't get to say it's disgusting, or cry, or throw it)
2. Many foods are an acquired taste, so trying them over time or in a different form makes all the difference
3. Hide them in other foods - I became a master at this because I wanted meal times to be pleasant and harmonious. You'd be amazed at what you can sneak into a bean burrito, a pasta sauce, a pancake, a falafel made from a mix, a lasagna.
4. Let her see you having fun with things and enjoying them. If she's not hungry, the food gets put away. She will not starve. She won't. (Repeat that 3 times.) But you don't make a separate meal and kowtow to pickiness. You put a bit of an assortment on the table (within reason) and let her try.

You also vary the recipes for what she DOES eat - mashed sweet potatoes one night, sweet potato oven fries another night. Then you make sweet potato oven fries but add in slices carrots or butternut squash (similar in color). After 3 more successful nights of that, you add in broccoli or cauliflower florets. And so on. If you make mashed, you add in squash. You put a hummus dip with veggies, not just pita bread. You make it with tahini until she likes it, then you put a tahini dressing on salad. Turn the bean burritos into more veggie-filled items with 2 types of beans, then 3 - then add green peppers or frozen corn or peas, then top with some cheese and enchilada sauce. And so on. But take the fight out of it.


answers from Santa Fe on

I have one kid who will eat any veggie. I have another who is very picky but he's slowly getting better! He used to only like raw carrots and broccoli (steamed). He's 11 now and he likes raw carrots, corn (on the cob, frozen or canned), broccoli, cauliflower (steamed or roasted), green beans (sauteed in butter and garlic or steamed), and asparagus (steamed lightly). He still does not like salad, spinach, zucchini, squash, tomatoes, etc. I'm working on him. When he was very young he would gag and cry. When he was 4 he would run away from the table and hide in his room when he saw new veggies (dramatic). As he got more mature he understood he had to try a bite and be polite about it. We decided just to keep meal times pleasant and he responded best to that. He now will take a bite or two of things he does not like and say no thanks. But in doing this he has discovered he is starting to like more things. Also it helps that his little sister is sitting next to him eating salad, all veggies, veggies pizza, etc. and I think he is trying now to be more normal. We talk about how taste buds change and you have to keep trying foods and trying to get used to them.


answers from Kalamazoo on

13yr old son likes green beans, peas (both fresh or frozen, not canned) steamed or blanched. He like raw carrots, raw broccoli and will eat salads of mixed baby greens and spinach. He also likes canned spinach and greens. 11yr old daughter will eat it all! haha. We love roasted brussels sprouts sprinkled with salt. Steamed cauliflower is another favorite and sometimes I'll partially smash it up like lumpy potatoes and add butter and a bit of salt, YUM! How often?? Well, they usually have fruit with breakfast and always with lunch, veggie seem to be more of a dinner thing here. When they were younger they ate more veggies, more often. Oh, and if she like sw potatoes, have you tried butternut squash? We like it steamed and smashed with butter and cinnamon, little brown sugar and also love it roasted!



answers from Oklahoma City on

She eats none.

Unless we have spaghetti. The sauce of course is tomatoes, then there are often chunks of tomato, onion, garlic, and more.



answers from Savannah on

Not only do they need to try it multiple times, but in multiple ways. My boys like carrots raw but broccoli roasted.



answers from Rochester on

My kids love raw baby carrots and celery. Let her try dipping those in the hummus. Or put peanut butter or cheese in the celery. My kids also love shelled edamame. (My daughter used to call them Dora beans because Dora was on the package.). In the summer my kids eat raw green beans right from the garden. They love peas. We go to a pizza buffet that has peas on its salad bar. My son will eat one piece of pizza and make three trips to the salad bar for peas. They love corn on the cob. Almost every night they eat steamed broccoli and cauliflower. My son loves steamed broccolini which has a slightly milder taste than broccoli. The eat pretty much any veggie that is in a stir fry. They will eat lettuce and tomato on a sandwich (sometimes). They also love cucumber. My son will sometimes eat raw snap peas. We always buy fresh or frozen veggies.

We have veggies for lunch and dinner 90% of the time. We always have fruit around. My son ate 4 clementines just tonight! Between fruits and veggies they have at least 3-5 servings every day.


answers from Orlando on

I usually give a fruit or veggie with each meal, but my daughter will eat them as snacks too. She really doesn't like the green leafy ones (so I use smoothies for those), but will eat most others if they are steamed.

I do keep canned carrots, peas, olives, sweet potatoes, beets and some others for snacking as well. I wont buy chips, cookies, cakes, etc. for snacks.



answers from Atlanta on

I think she actually has the basis of a good range right there, and hummus goes on lots of things! Offer her raw carrots, broccoli, peapods, zuccini, celery, mushrooms, other things she could dip in the hummus or in refried beans.



answers from Pittsburgh on

My 10 year old probably eats 3-5 servings a day of vegetables. Yesterday he had grilled cheese, mixed raw vegetables (carrots, cauliflower, snap peas) and clementines for lunch. For dinner he had Sezchuan lamb (snow peas, bell peppers) and stir fried pea shoots. Today he had a chick pea dish (w/ tomatoes and bell peppers), carrot sticks and a banana for lunch. We will have home made lo mein (~ 50% veggies by volume) with spinach w sesame oil on the side. We may start with halved avocados. I try not to look at vegetables as something to eat with a meal, but as the meal or at least a very large component of the meal.

Veggies to try - roasted Brussels sprouts, winter squash, sliced kohlrabi (it's crunchy and pretty neutral in flavor), raw broccoli, cauliflower, cole slaw (use a vinegar dressing) with mixed cabbage and carrots.



answers from Washington DC on

Kids need to see a food many times to decide if they like it or not. How old is your child? Our pediatrician said to also consider fruits and just make sure that DD got enough of that kind of food. We discovered that DD prefers veg to be raw, so we don't cook her broccoli, for example. We give her salads with arugula and spinach instead of iceburg (which we never buy). She eats fruit by the pound, so there's no worry there. I would just keep offering, and enlist her help in picking new things to try. We call fruit and veg "growing foods". In good weather, we garden and she will eat what she helps grow.



answers from Chicago on

I'm constantly offering all kids of fruits and veggies. Try having her help you pick them out at the grocery store. It will be exciting to try something different-looking that she picked out. Sometimes that's iffy though and my discourage her if she ends up with something she doesn't like. Maybe start with star fruit or kiwi. Two sweet tropical fruits that are fun to look at.

Also, I let my kids snack on veggies while I'm making dinner. They love nothing more than to "steal" whatever I'm cutting up. I'll let them "catch" me popping a veggie in my mouth while I'm cooking then they get the idea. I give them a playfully stern look but of course let them "steal" as much as they like. They think they are getting away with something. haha.

How about putting some things ready to eat in a bowl in the fridge at her level? Show her they are there and tell her she can help herself anytime she likes. Blueberries, strawberries, grapes and on and on. She'll love the independence of helping herself whenever she wants.

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