Photo: Veggie Mama

1. It’s all about the sauce. Cauliflower says a lot different once it’s got a “cheeselike” sauce, celery-well it’s better with nut butter! At least for kids that may be new to veggies you can make it fun by create dip platters with mixed veggies and 3-4 sauces to let them “dip” into and begin exploring the tastes of fresh vegetables. Some of our family favorites are bright sauces like red bell pepper hummus, guacamole, and our nut based “cheese” sauce.

2. Take your kids on the farm. Have you ever seen an organic carrot? Most kids think they look like alien carrots and of course they have to try a bite! Farm fresh produce taste the best as its picked fresh from the earth so  it’s the perfect place to awaken new tastebuds to the idea of eating “fresh”! Try to find a farm in your area that has tours or allows for walks through the farm along with a farm stand. This way kids can experience how their food is grown. If you don’t have a farm in your area try planting some fresh herbs like basil and some baby tomatoes. When children experience the plant growing in their own yard they take more pride and are often excited to try the fruits of their labor.

3. Blend them with something sweet. Smoothies are a great way to get kids to try something green- try blending strong tasting fruits like mango and pineapple with a cup of spinach- the greens don’t taste bitter like salad greens when they are blended with fruit and kids are often surprised. This can pique their interest in trying something green in the future once they associate the taste of the color green with something sweet. This also works for salads. Try sweet homemade dressings that are sweet on mild greens to start off with, berries especially blend up nicely with raw sweeteners for an easy sweet salad dressing.

4. Play with your food. Get creative with the next snack plate and use toothpicks to turn 1/2 a red bell pepper and 4 cucumber rounds into a car that a broccoli and cauliflower can ride around in. If you help kids use their imagination with foods studies show they are more likely to try new foods more often throughout their entire lifetime. We routinely make banana ghosts, tangerine mini pumpkins, fruit rainbows and carrot stick houses to include in our afternoon snack bar at home and it’s become a heartwarming way to share new healthy foods for our family.