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How to Trick Your Family Into Eating More Fruits and Veggies

A child enjoying fresh veggies at home.

Are you looking for ways to add more fruits and vegetables to your family’s meals? We’ll help you figure out why you might not be eating enough of them, as well as how to change that and get your family on board, too.

There are loads of tips and tricks out there that can help you get your family eating healthier. From transforming fruits and veggies into fun snacks to replacing processed foods with the real deal, we’ll help you get started on your journey to healthier meals.

Why People Don’t Eat Enough Fruits and Vegetables

Someone looking at a reciept in shock of how expensive her healthy food is.

There are lots of reasons why people don’t eat fruits and vegetables much. Some people just don’t like the taste of them, or find them far less filling than meat or a carb-loaded snack, like chips.

However, the two main reasons people skip the produce aisle are time and money. Luckily, we’ve got some suggestions below for circumventing these two major obstacles and incorporating more fruits and veggies into everyone’s diet.

Can’t Afford to Buy Fresh Produce Weekly? Try This!

It’s no secret that eating healthy is more expensive, and that’s one of the main reasons people skip the produce aisle at the grocery store. However, there are several ways to get around this.

First, try shopping seasonally—that is, purchase only fruits and vegetables that are in season during that time of year. The overabundance of these foods means you’ll have loads of really delicious stuff to choose from, and it will be cheaper than usual.

For example, fresh berries are usually on sale in the summertime, while those overflowing bags of apples are at an all-time low in the fall, so take advantage!

Another fantastic alternative is getting your fruits and veggies in the frozen section. You’ll find everything you need at a much lower price, without having to compromise nutritional value. You’ll also have more time to eat them, as frozen produce lasts much longer than the fresh stuff.

Sure, you won’t be able to eat them raw, but frozen veggies are perfect for cooking hot dishes, like stews, soups, or casseroles. Frozen fruits are also ideal for smoothies, oatmeal, parfaits, and homemade popsicles.

Don’t Have Time to Slice and Dice? Try This!

The Everything Bagel chopped salad kit in a bowl on a blue and white towel.
Taylor Farms

Some folks love chopping up fruits and vegetables, but let’s get real, we don’t always have time to do it. Luckily, we live in an age in which convenience and shortcuts reign supreme. Bagged lettuce and salad kits are a fantastic way to get those greens with little-to-no prep.

Again, frozen veggies come ready for steaming, and work great for stews, soups, and casseroles. We also recommend purchasing a tub of mirepoix, which is just chopped onions, celery, and carrots. Then, you’ll be ready to go for lots of meals, as these ingredients are called for in a lot of recipes.

You might even want to try batch-prepping. Over the weekend, take out all your fresh produce, and prep it for the upcoming week while you catch up on your fave TV show or listen to some music. Then, when it’s time to pack those lunch boxes, it’ll be quick and easy!

You’ll be surprised how much time these small adjustments can save you. Plus, it’s worth the effort to provide your family with more nutritious meals and snacks.

Fill Your Pantry and Fridge with Produce

Two crisper drawers filled with fruits and veggies inside of someones fridge.
Canan Asik/Shutterstock.com

Obviously, buying produce will help you eat more of it. Start by thinking about the foods you typically buy that might not be the healthiest, and then select a fruit or veggie that would make a good substitute.

If chips and cookies dominate your pantry, make a concerted effort not to purchase them anymore. Swap out your fruity gummies and crackers with apples, clementines, and bananas.

Use the same approach with your fridge. Replace chocolate puddings and sugary yogurts with plain, sugar-free Greek yogurt. A drizzle of honey or maple syrup with some fresh fruit will sweeten it up the natural way.

Start slowly and work your way up to a healthier fridge or pantry. Overnight transformations can be too shocking for your family, which often leads to disappointment.

Cook with a New Fruit or Vegetable Once a Week

Three Greek Stuffed Eggplants.

If cooking with new ingredients feels a bit intimidating, we’re here to give you a boost of confidence! The internet and the wonderful world of blogging are also on your side. You can learn how to do pretty much anything on YouTube or via a detailed tutorial.

Once you get used to cooking with new ingredients, you’ll feel like a pro chef. You’ll also learn tricks along the way and discover some delicious new dishes your family will fall in love with.

Take eggplant, for example: you’ve probably eaten it at some point in your life, but have you ever actually purchased one and used it in a dish? This recipe for Greek stuffed eggplant is divine, healthy, and easy to make. Plus, it’s filling and the recipe makes four servings. Give it a go!

Disguise Those Greens

Lasagna rolls with bits of spinach tucked away and hidden inside.
Elena Shashkina/Shutterstock.com

If your kids scorn the sight of anything leafy or green, we get it. They can be picky eaters and don’t tend to love trying new things. Until you introduce a new ingredient and they give it a chance, they’ll likely find the idea of eating more fruits and veggies off-putting.

Sometimes, you might have to trick them into trying healthier foods. For example, a couple of handfuls of spinach in a salad or mixed into a casserole goes a long way, nutritionally speaking. And your little ones probably won’t even notice it’s in there.

It’s pretty easy to hide chopped spinach and kale in baked ziti, shells, and lasagna. You can even add it to omelets, soups, and meatballs. It’s a great way to get those nutrients in there, incognito!

Offer Fruits and Veggies as Snacks

A young child eating an apple.

Once you start giving your kids raw fruits and veggies as snacks, they’ll learn to love (and even crave) these new options in the future.

Start with fruits or vegetables you know they already like, and then start introducing new options until they start requesting them. It’s a fantastic place to start, even if we’re just talking about a small bowl of applesauce or a banana with peanut butter.

Transform Healthy Ingredients Into Fun Snacks

a cutting board filled with a bunch of frozen homemade fruit popsicles surrounded by berries.

Once again, you can hide the good stuff in place stuff. For example, carrots, spinach, apples, and blueberries all taste delicious in muffins, which kids usually love! Frozen fruit, leafy greens, and creamy avocado can also transform a bland smoothie into a bright one, and make a filling, healthy treat.

You’ll also love watching your kids swoon over frozen homemade popsicles filled with fresh fruit. No added sugars—just the real deal.

Add Some Tasty Dips

A plate filled with rainbow colored carrots and a small bowl of hummus.

Fruit and veggie can also help your kids appreciate the flavor of certain fruits and veggies. If you think about it, most of us don’t eat a dry salad, and cucumber always tastes better dipped in some cool ranch.

If adding a bit of vinaigrette or creamy dressing for the carrots and celery will get your kids to eat it, then go for it.

All-natural peanut butter also tastes fantastic with apples and bananas, while fresh berries and yogurt make a perfect pair. Cottage cheese combines well with grapes, and hummus or Baba Ghanoush (creamy eggplant dip) tastes lovely with olives, bell peppers, cucumbers, and tomatoes.

Get the Kids Involved

A father and daughter preparing a delicious vegetable dinner together..

There’s no easier way to get your kids interested in eating a meal than letting them help prepare it. Whether they’re 5 or 15, there are plenty of age-appropriate foods they can learn to make.

Cooking is also an excellent way to give them a sense of independence. Plus, it allows everyone to spend time together. After that feeling of accomplishment, it’s time to feed that hungry belly! They’ll enjoy a healthy meal even more if they helped create it.

If one of your new year’s goals was to eat healthier, these tips can help everyone in your home ease into it. Before long, they’ll be asking you for those nutritious snacks!

Emilee Unterkoefler Emilee Unterkoefler
Emilee Unterkoefler is a freelance food writer, hiking enthusiast, and mama with over ten years of experience working in the food industry. Read Full Bio »
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