How to get Toddlers to Eat their Vegetables

Many parents would love to know: How to get Toddlers to Eat their Vegetables? I was lucky when I had my first daughter, Isabelle. She has always been great at trying most foods, at least once.

When she was a toddler, she loved her vegetables, fresh or cooked. She’s pickier now than when she was young, but at least she is willing to try a variety of vegetables, thanks to Today I Ate A Rainbow.

The twin toddlers on the other hand? They haven’t liked vegetables since the days of jarred purred. And I tried everything: fresh, cooked, steamed, baked, inside casseroles and more.

When it came to getting my toddlers to eat vegetables: I asked, begged, threatened and tried to bribe – but there was no way.

Once in a while, they would surprise me and eat a few bites of salad or eat some in a sandwich {preferably Subway, I may add}. But, it’s always been a frustrating struggle.

I relied heavily on pureeing vegetables and hiding it in foods {thanks to the book, Deceptively Delicious by Jessica Seinfeld. Are you familiar?}. Yet, that got monotonous and I just wanted to cook ‘normal’ meals again!

Then, a couple weeks ago – I got my toddlers to eat vegetables.
And, they ate them willingly {no force required}.

I had baked asparagus spears – no sauce, no ketchup, no sugar or anything tricky to try to entice the kids. Just baked asparagus with a little oil.

How it went down:

Unless a special occasion, I always dish meals in the kitchen, and place plates in front of everyone at the table.

On this night, after dishing up the meat and potatoes for everyone I then placed the plate of Asparagus on the kitchen table.

I didn’t even approach the twins nor did I attempt to just place it on their plates, as I had always tried in the past.

When the twins looked over to see what it was on the plate, I asked,
“Do you want one?”
“NO!” they screamed in unison.

So, I took one for myself, took a bite and smiled, “these are sooo good!”
I got nothing but crinkled noses and looks of disgust.
In fact, one may have actually said, ‘ghoss, Mom’.

“Katie, would you like to pick your own Asparagus?” I said as I held the plate closer to her reach and continued “You pick The.Best, The.Biggest asparagus you can find” {adding in a twinkle of excitement like it was our secret}.

Katie thought for a few seconds, then actually held her hand over the plate and decided which to choose. Then, her twin sister, Sophia said, “Me pick, me pick!!”.

They each ate one!
My husband and I stared at each other, afraid to move or speak.
Our eyes were wide in wonder.

“Mmmmm, I love these….Do you want to pick another good one, Katie?”
She did. So did Sophia. Not another word from Mom, they just took turns picking out and eating the best ones they could find.

A green bowl, with Green bean

And on it went – and they ATE the ENTIRE plate of asparagus themselves.

In fact, much of everything I put on their plates {for them} went neglected. They basically just had asparagus for supper that night.


You see, my toddlers love to have choice. They love to pick out their own clothes, pick their own seat and decide on a great portion of their entire day.

As parents, we must always realize that kids run the course of our day, not the other way around. Giving them the choice to pick their own vegetables was the trick.

It made it fun for them, and allowed the freedom to decide for themselves. Point one for Mom!

So, if you have tried everything to get your own picky eaters to try a vegetable, try one of these suggestions. My latest trick might not work for everyone, but if it helps just one child to start to eat their vegetables – I am a happy blogger!

Wait, are you thinking this was a one-time occurrence and not a long lasting milestone?

Well, the next night I set a bowl of steamed green beans on the table ~*wink* ~
And it’s lasted since.


FYI – I am not affiliated with any of the tricks I linked above.
I just like to share my parenthood secrets. Good luck parents!

Disclosure: I received product to facilitate this review, all opinions are my own.



  1. Is that smokies and perogies on thier plates? Notice I didn’t ask about the vegetables? We always have to come up some kind of tricks to get kids to try something new. If only you knew to do this a year ago.

  2. I have four year old twins who are also picky about their veggies. They used to LOVE broccoli, but had decided recently they didn’t like that anymore. I heard a specialist on the radio who pretty much suggested what you did – put foods in bowls on the table and let kids dish their own up. It’s not a perfect solution, but it has really helped! We also express how much we enjoy our veggies and I talk about being queen of the broccoli club. Whenever they eat their broccoli (which they have been!) they tell me they are princesses of the broccoli club.

    1. that is so cute!!
      Brocolli isn’t so bad in this house. Sometimes they will eat a couple ‘trees’, if smothered in cheese that is! lol

  3. Ireland huffs and puffs and counts every vegtable put on her plate…… maybe I will have to try this!

  4. I heard about this rainbow thing!

    What a great idea,, and yes,,, Mom is Winning!

    Way to go Mom!

  5. Nice idea. I remember doing the same with my daughter. Then the novelty wore off and I was back to trying to get her to eat the meals we cook. She is so so stubborn about trying new foods. Ive seen tears flow over half a teaspoon of coleslaw.

    good luck

  6. Giving my toddler choices works great as well. I haven’t tried the veggies on the table though. That’s a great idea! Love and Logic is an awesome parenting book all about giving kids choices within reason. It’s completely changed our family!

  7. Brilliant! I can’t wait to give this a try tomorrow. Lately my wonderful eat anything preschooler has turned into a fussy, picky, eater. I know it’s a power struggle thing with her. She just thrives on being contrary lately. Frustrating as hell. Thanks for the fantastic suggestion.

  8. Great idea! I like to serve fresh cut veggies with the meal. It’s weird but it seems to work:)

  9. We were having the same kind of issue, but it was with their whole plate of food, my 2 oldest would find the amount of food I put on their plates overwhelming and then not eat, so we decided that whenever possible we would serve dinner at the table and allow them to serve themselves. So far so good! Glad you found a trick that works it can be very stressful getting them to eat the “good” stuff 😉

  10. Great article. I love veggies and fruit and eat them all of the time in front of my toddler. If he sees me eat them, he wants them. It works!

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