Bringing Colour to Their Plates: Fresh Veggie Ideas for Your Kids and the Whole Family

Kid enjoying her veggies

When it comes to nourishing our children, vegetables take centre stage as the ultimate superheroes, delivering must-have vitamins, minerals and all important fibre. But getting kids to give these nutrient-packed foods a warm embrace can be a whole new adventure.

The crucial role of veggies

Vegetables are the nutritional backbone of a child's diet, providing a range of nutrients that are pivotal for growth, development and overall well-being.

Vegetables provide nature's all-in-one vitamins, from vitamin A, which supports vision and immune function, to vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant that boosts the immune system. Additionally, vegetables are rich in fibre, helping with smooth digestion, and minerals like potassium, which contribute to a healthy heart.

Beyond their nutritional value, vegetables also serve as taste explorers, moulding young palates to appreciate wholesome options throughout their live.

Whether you're a parent, healthcare professional or teacher, promoting veggies for kids is a shared responsibility that lays the foundation for their long-term well-being.

Typical challenges of getting kids to eat veggies

Picky eaters

The classic struggle of coaxing children to eat their greens often tops the list of parental dilemmas. Kids can be suspicious of new flavours, sparking battles at dinner.

Texture sensitivities

Vegetables come in a range of textures which can be off-putting to children with heightened texture sensitivities. Parents find themselves grappling with the slimy, crunchy or fibrous nature of certain veggies.

Peer pressure

Peer influence and marketing can shape a child's food preferences, often steering them toward less nutritious choices. Flashy packaging can be more attractive to children than fresh foods.

Time short

Modern lifestyles often lead to time constraints, leaving parents with limited hours to prepare nutritious meals. Convenience can trump fresh food when schedules are tight.

New food apprehension

Children can be fearful of different foods and trying something new isn't always met with enthusiasm.

So how do you deal with these situations?

Lead by example

Children are more likely to embrace vegetables if they see their parents enjoying them. Be a role model by including vegetables in your own meals.

Involve kids in cooking

When children help with the cooking process, they develop a sense of ownership and curiosity about the foods they prepare.

Get them growing

There’s nothing more likely to get children excited to try vegetables than when they have grown them from seed or seedling and nurtured them along themselves.

Persistence and patience

Introducing new vegetables may take multiple attempts. Children's taste preferences change, so repeated exposure to different veggies can win them over.

10 veggie ideas for kids

1. Rainbow skewers

Kids are drawn to colours, and there's no better way to showcase a variety of vegetables than through rainbow skewers. Thread skewers with cherry tomatoes, bell pepper slices, cucumber chunks and even some blanched broccoli florets. The visual appeal of these skewers makes veggies look more like a fun snack than a chore.

2. Veggie popsicles

Blend a combination of colourful vegetables like carrots, beets and spinach with a touch of fruit juice for sweetness to create a frozen treat. Pour the mixture into popsicle moulds and freeze. These popsicles are not only visually enticing but are also a fantastic way to include nutrient-rich vegetables.

3. Cauliflower "popcorn"

Cut cauliflower florets into bite-sized pieces, coat them with a little olive oil and roast until golden and slightly crispy. Serve them as "popcorn" in a popcorn box, and watch your kids dig in without hesitation. For extra flavour, consider adding a sprinkle of parmesan or nutritional yeast.

4. Zoodle delight

Invest in a spiralizer to create vibrant veggie noodles, or "zoodles," from zucchini, carrots and sweet potatoes. Top them with a delicious pasta or peanut sauce for a tasty and visually appealing dish that's as fun to eat as it is nutritious.

5. Veggie tacos

Stuff tacos with a blend of grated carrots, finely chopped spinach and mashed peas, mixed with delicate spices. Wrap the mixture in whole wheat tortillas to create vibrant and flavourful veggie tacos, perfect for both lunch and dinner.

6. Veggie art

Turn mealtime into a canvas of edible veggie art, inspiring your child's creativity. Use vibrant veggies like bell peppers, cherry tomatoes and baby carrots to create fun shapes and designs on their plates. Whether it's a smiley face or a landscape, this approach can make eating veggies a playful activity.

7. Veggie Dips

Pairing veggies with delicious dips can be a game-changer. Offer hummus, yogurt-based dips or guacamole alongside an assortment of colourful veggie sticks.

8. Veggie pizza

Get hands-on with homemade pizzas and bring your child into the action. Lay out a variety of vibrant vegetable toppings—bell peppers, mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, sweet corn—and let them work their topping magic, transforming pizza-making into a creative adventure that's both delicious and fun.

9. Veggie smoothies

Blend together a medley of veggies with your favourite fruits for a tasty and healthy treat. Spinach, kale, carrots and even a bit of cucumber can go into the mix. It's a fantastic way to eat greens while enjoying a refreshing drink.

10. Veggie shapes

Use cookie cutters to make shapes with veggies like carrots, bell peppers and zucchini. Kids will love the creative shapes on their plates, making eating vegetables fun.


Remember, the key lies in making vegetables a part of their daily routine in an enjoyable and engaging manner.

Growing a real liking for veggies takes time. When you sprinkle in a bit of imagination and let them explore at their own pace, you're not only giving their bodies a boost but also sowing the seeds for a lifelong love of healthy eating.

So, keep experimenting, stay patient and watch as your efforts blossom into a healthy and vibrant relationship between your children and their veggies. Have a look at Dr. Gary’s Ride to Life Book and “Rainbow Bike” too at his website.

Need help making healthy choices for you and your family?

At Childhood Obesity Prevention, we understand that there might be times when you and your children could use a helping hand to make lasting changes to your lifestyle.

If you're wondering about the choices your family is making and how they affect your health, we're here to lend a hand. We offer a variety of options to fit your family's needs, including personalised consultations and our book, Ride to Life, designed to support you on your path to healthier eating habits.