How to Get Kids to Eat Vegetables

As someone who works in health, wellness, and nutrition — I’m the chief holistic nutritionist and CEO of my own company, Sarah Wragge Wellness — I tend to get a lot of eating-related questions. And I’m happy to answer them. After all, at SWW™, we’ve taught thousands of people how to eat for optimal health and energy and, more importantly, enjoy the foods they love.

Some of my favorite nutrition questions to answer, though, are from parents who are wondering how to help their kids love food while eating in a way that supports their overall well-being. As a busy mom myself, I know that feeding our children can be a challenging task, to say the least, which is why I’m always happy to help.

In my first column, I wanted to share the top question I get asked by parents looking to give their little ones the best start in life through proper nutrition — and the answer I usually give. Let’s dive in.

How do I get my child to eat more fruits and vegetables?

I absolutely get this question from parents all the time. In general, kids can be so geared toward eating carbohydrates. So many parents have trouble helping their children eat a more balanced diet that’s full of fruits and vegetables as well as simple carbs.

Here are a few tips I use with my own kids that hopefully will help get your little ones excited about fruits and veggies too.

  • Let them choose. Take your kids to the grocery store and make them your “director” of the shopping experience, letting them pick out their favorite fruits and vegetables in the produce section. This helps make your kids feel like an integral part of the shopping experience and gets them excited about pulling out their picks when you all get back home. Also get them involved in food prep in an age-appropriate way. I have a fruit-and-veggie smoothie almost every day, for instance. I always add in a liquid, a protein, a fiber, and a healthy fat, and I let my kids choose different ingredients for each category. Oftentimes, they want to try it themselves — despite the spinach I sneak in.
  • Make it fun. There are several different ways of doing this, depending on your kids’ unique personalities. Try creating a “try it once” challenge at home, where everyone has to try a new fruit or veggie at least once, then decide whether or not they like it. Or I sometimes create a little competition between my kids by inviting them to see who can finish a certain fruit or vegetable first. Even just cutting fruits and veggies into interesting shapes can add some fun into the process and make your kids more willing to reach for them.
  • Explain the “why.” Rather than simply telling kids that fruits and vegetables are good for them, explain what the foods will do for their bodies. For example: “These bananas will give you tons of energy for your soccer practice later.” Kids are curious, and when you give them education, it empowers them to make better choices.
  • Take the pressure off. The more we push, the more kids pull back. Consistency is key, so offer a variety of healthy fruits and vegetables from a young age, even if they don’t always eat it. Keep in mind that progress takes time, but with patience and persistence, your child’s palate will expand and they’ll feel good about making healthy choices.
  • Lead by example. Make sure to include plenty of fruits and veggies in your own meals and snacks. This tip often goes overlooked, but kids are always watching us — and they learn by example. By having a healthy lifestyle ourselves, we can help create that domino effect in our household.
  • It’s OK to sneak in fruits and vegetables. Again, this might depend on your little ones. But my thought is that while kids aren’t normally naturally drawn to veggies, when they actually try them, they like them. So after my kids have tried a dish that has fruits or vegetables in it, I’ll let them know, so they can see that adding in some spinach or blueberries can enhance the flavor of a dish.

In general, I don’t believe healthy eating is about subtracting things from your diet as much as it is about adding things in — and the same holds true for kids’ foods. Here are two takes on pancakes and muffins that turn what can be a sugar bomb into opportunities to fill your kids with all the good stuff.

Image Source: Anne Menke

Sweet-Potato Pancake

This recipe yields six three-inch pancakes, about two servings.


  • 2 small sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into medium chunks
  • 4 eggs, whisked
  • 2 tablespoons coconut flour
  • 1 teaspoons cinnamon, plus more for sprinkling
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup, plus more for topping
  • Coconut oil or coconut spray, for cooking


  1. Peel the sweet potatoes and dice into medium cubes. Fill a saucepan with about 2 inches of water cover and bring to a boil. (If you have a steam basket you can place in the bottom of the pot.) Drop the sweet potato in and steam for about 10 minutes or until tender when pierced with a fork.
  2. Strain the sweet potatoes and transfer the steamed sweet potatoes to a bowl, then mash with a potato masher or a fork.
  3. Add the whisked eggs into the bowl with the sweet potatoes and the coconut flour, cinnamon, and maple syrup. Using a whisk, whip the mixture until it is fully incorporated.
  4. Melt coconut oil in a large skillet over medium heat, or cover the pan with the spray.
  5. Once the pan is hot, using a ladle or a 1/4-cup measuring cup, pour pancakes in the skillet.
  6. Cook each side about 3 to 5 minutes or until browned.
  7. Divide pancakes onto plates and sprinkle with cinnamon and maple syrup. Enjoy!

Image Source: Anne Menke

Flourless Chocolate PB Muffins

Makes roughly one dozen muffins; stores for one week in an airtight container.


  • 3 medium-ripe bananas, mashed
  • 3 egg
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup all-natural peanut butter, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder


  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a muffin tray with liners or spray with oil.
  2. Whisk together the mashed banana and eggs. Using a hand mixer or a whisk, slowly whisk in the maple syrup and vanilla until well combined.
  3. Next, add the melted coconut oil until an even consistency is achieved. Add the salt and 3/4 cup of the peanut butter. Continue to mix, then add the baking soda and baking powder. Slowly add the cacao powder. Continue to mix until a thick pancake-like batter is achieved.
  4. Fill each muffin liner with the batter, about 1/3 cup each. Add the remaining peanut butter onto the top of each muffin and if desired.
  5. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until muffin tops are just firm, taking care not to overbake. Remove from the oven, allow to cool in the muffin tin for 10 minutes before removing. Enjoy!

Sarah Wragge is the chief holistic nutritionist and CEO of Sarah Wragge Wellness and a mom of two.

Image Source: Photo Illustration: Aly Lim