7 steps to get your picky-eater picking veggies

Kale–not just for mamas.

7 steps to get your picky-eater picking veggies

We love the fresh perspective of our fav duo over at Huckle & Goose. Their seasonal, farm-to-table meal plans are kind of amazing, and they make healthy eating look like a breeze. Here’s what Goose had to say about getting your kids to eat kale:

Children and vegetables go together like, well, children and vegetables.

It’s probably the single most stressful parenting issue besides bedtime routine, and at least with sleep you know that eventually they’ll pass out. But that broccoli leftover on their plate? They will stare at that for all eternity if they have to.

While I don’t think there’s a magic formula for getting your kids to eat their veggies, these practical steps have helped my little gremlins eat their greens.

Granted, there will be foods they just don’t like. (But that’s all of us, right? Fennel? I’ll pass.) One won’t touch a tomato if you paid him in Legos and the other thinks roasted zucchini is “disss-gusting” (it’s a texture thing, apparently). But they eat almost every other vegetable under the sun and without bribes.

My boys have actually fought over the last Brussels sprout and demanded that arugula salad be served at most dinners.

Here are 7 steps that’ll get your picky-eater picking veggies:

1. Limit Snacks

We’ve all become pretty mindless with snacking. We take a few bags of Goldfish crackers to the park because, you know, little Simon may need an energy boost for the sandbox.

If kids are grazing throughout the day, then meal times are actually snack times too. They won’t eat what’s on their plate because they were never hungry to begin with. Plain and simple: hungry kids eat.

2. Don’t Do Juice

I used to buy juice when my boys were toddlers and they’d down sippy cups throughout the entire day. That stuff’s full of sugar and its sweetness will completely overpower that asparagus they’re not having for dinner.

But if your child drinks water when they are thirsty, it will cleanse their palate and allow them to taste the subtle sweetness in a beet or roasted cauliflower. If he or she’s getting juice while eating any of those things, it won’t taste good at all. Plus, imagine all the money (and plastic) you’ll save by only serving H2O.

3. Lead by Example

Your Kids are SmartIf you’re not making an effort to cook more vegetables and stock your pantry with healthier options, kids notice. If you’re not a fan of wholesome food, they won’t join the club either.

4. Make the Farmers’ Market a Habit

Dropping some knowledge on how our produce grows and then allowing our kiddos to actually pick it themselves is probably the closest to a magic formula for getting them to eat and appreciate their veggies. An added bonus is that it teaches patience and gratitude.

The supermarket has allowed us to purchase anything regardless of its growing season, and while it’s convenient to buy strawberries in the dead of winter, they pale in comparison to buying juicy local ones in late spring.

It’s a great opportunity to explain these cycles to our children and introduce them to the hands that toiled for months to grow what they will soon eat for dinner. Each season brings the opportunity to make memories with our children, like sipping on hot apple cider in the fall.

5. Let Them Help

This requires extra patience and planning, but it’s so worth it. It doesn’t have to be a daily thing, but it should be routine. This is especially awesome if you’re trying to introduce a new vegetable or you’re introducing it for the seventh time.

Talk about the texture, color, or just make up a a silly story about the veggie. Just engage them by letting them touch and smell and taste. They can wash the veggies, cut them, stir them, whatever. However they’re involved, when it comes down to actually eating, they’ll be more inclined to try it out since they helped make it.

Cook the best things with your farmer’s market veggies and have more time to build awesome forts. 

6. Make Dinner (or Even Breakfast) a Priority

Make mealtime a really important part of the day — cook simple, no-fuss meals and sit and eat them together. Real food—no apple products unless it’s an actual apple. Allow time for giggles and discussions about the day. It’s the perfect time to connect while disconnecting from everything else.

7. Don’t Force

So you tried the six other steps and there she is, making her signature pirate face at the spinach salad. It happens, and it will happen again, but we promise it will happen less and less.

Keep on trying out different ways of preparing it and just don’t make a big deal about it when it does happen. Instead, offer another healthy (but easy) option. Carrots and hummus, anyone?

Get hand-picked weekly recipes from your favorite bloggers and cookbooks + an automatic shopping list at Huckle & Goose.

Use code: MOTHERLY for 40% off any annual plan.

Products that solve your biggest breastfeeding challenges

Including a battle plan for clogged ducts!

When expecting a baby, there is a lot you can test-run in advance: Take that stroller around the block. Go for a spin with the car seat secured in place. Learn how to use the baby carrier with help from a doll. But breastfeeding? It's not exactly possible to practice before baby's arrival.

The absence of a trial makes it all the more important to prepare in other ways for breastfeeding success—and it can be as simple as adding a few of our lactation aiding favorites to your registry.

MilkBliss chocolate chip soft baked lactation cookies

MilkBliss lactation cookies

Studies have shown the top reason women stop breastfeeding within the first year is because they are concerned about their milk supply being enough to nourish baby. Consider MilkBliss Lactation Cookies to be your secret weapon. Not only are they wholesome and delicious, but they were formulated specifically for breastfeeding moms based on the science of galactagogues—also known as milk boosters. They also come in peanut butter and wild blueberry flavors.


Evereden multi-purpose healing balm

Evereden multipurpose healing balm

Also up there on the list of reasons women stop breastfeeding: the toll the early days can take on nipples. Made from just five ingredients, this all natural healing balm is ideal for soothing chafed nipples, making for a much more comfortable experience for mama as her body adjusts to the needs of a breastfeeding baby.


Lansinoh milk storage bags

Lansinoh milk storage bags

For a breastfeeding mama, there are few things more precious and valuable than the milk she worked so hard to pump—and it's the stuff of nightmares to imagine it spilling out in the fridge. With these double-sealed milk storage bags, you can be assured your breastmilk is safe and sound until baby needs it.


Belly Bandit bandita nursing bra

Belly Bandit bandita nursing bra

Nursing a baby is a 24/7 job, which calls for some wardrobe modifications. Because Belly Bandit specializes in making things more comfortable for the postpartum mama, they've truly thought of every detail—from the breathable fabric to the clips that can be easily opened with one hand.


boob-ease soothing therapy pillows

Boob Ease soothing therapy pillows

For nursing moms, duct can quickly become a four-letter word when you suspect it's getting clogged. By keeping these soothing breast pillows in your breastfeeding arsenal, you can immediately go on the defense against plugged milk ducts by heating the pads in the microwave or cooling them in the freezer.


Belly Bandit perfect nursing tee

Belly Bandit perfect nursing tee

A unfortunate reality of nursing is that it can really seem to limit the wardrobe options when you have to think about providing easy, discrete access. But by adding functional basics to your closet, you can feel confident and prepared for breastfeeding on the go.


Bebe au Lait premium cotton nursing cover

Bebe au Lait cotton nursing cover

Nursing in public isn't every mama's cup of tea. But babies can't always wait until you've found a private place to get down to business if that's your preference. That's where a nursing cover comes in handy. This one is made from premium cotton and features a patented neckline that allows for airflow and eye contact even while you're covered.


Lactation Lab basic breastmilk testing kit

Lactation Lab breastmilk testing kit

Curious to learn more about the liquid gold you're making, mama? The testing kit from Lactation Labs analyzes your breast milk for basic nutritional content like calories and protein, as well as vitamins, fatty acids and environmental toxins to help boost your breastfeeding confidence.


We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this


14 sweet 'just thinking of you' gifts for every mama

A sweet surprise that tells her you've been thinking of her might be the pick-me-up she needs.

Who says you have to wait for birthdays or holidays to give your bestie a great gift? A sweet surprise that tells her you've been thinking of her might be the pick-me-up she needs in these more-than-trying times. We've rounded up some of our favorite go-to gifts that are certain to be a bright spot in her week. But be warned, you may want to snag a few for yourself. (You deserve it, mama.)

Here are some our favorite "just because" gifts to give our hardworking mama friends.

New Mother face + body care duo

volition face + body care duo

This correcting oil and stretch mark minimizer is perfect for the pregnant mama looking to keep her pregnancy glow. The correcting oil brightens the skin while reducing dark spots, and the stretch mark minimizer works to smooth her ever-growing belly.


Allover roller

esker allover roller

This jade roller goes beyond your typical face roller and can be used anywhere on the body. It works to increase stimulation and reduce puffiness and is perfect for applying any oils to the face or body. Plus, it feels like a mini spa treatment.


Kombucha making kit

farmsteady kombucha making kit

What could be a more perfect gift for the health-obsessed friend? This kombucha making kit comes with everything you need to brew your own homemade green tea kombucha. They'll think this is the tastiest gift ever.


Laetitia lipstick

cupid & psyche laetitia

This red lipstick is perfect for your makeup enthusiast bestie who is looking to spruce up her life in quarantine. Crafted in the United States, these bee and vegan-friendly and cruelty-free lipsticks are created to flatter all complexions. Cupid and Psyche Beauty makes finding the perfect red lip way too easy!


Jigsaw puzzle

inner piecec jigsaw puzzle

Mamas need to destress now more than ever during quarantine. This adorable jigsaw puzzle is perfect for the mama who needs a brain break! The 500-piece puzzle designed by artist Ray Oranges features an abstract gradient design that fits a standard frame when completed. Bonus: It's printed on recycled paper and the company donates $1 from every puzzle sold to youth mindfulness programs.


Matilda's Bloombox

matilda's bloombox

If we have to be stuck inside, we might as well have some gorgeous florals to brighten up the space. Matilda's Bloombox locally sources blooms, delivers them to her door and provides simple tips on how to arrange it into a beautiful bouquet.


'I Am Enough' bracelet

I Am Enough bracelet

Let this dainty bracelet serve as a constant reminder to your bestie that she is enough. She'll wear this on her wrist and read this daily oath to herself, "I Am Enough."


Glow assorted teas

vahdam low assorted teas

This tea gift box set covers the entire spectrum of flavors from sweet to spicy. Individually packaged in beautiful tins, your gal pal will feel like a queen sipping her morning tea. Originally $40, this set is currently on sale for just $24. We'll take two, please.


Find your voice journal

find your voice journal

Journaling is a great way to ease anxiety and will slow your bestie's racing mind before bed. This gift is perfect for first time journalists and includes prompts, daily quotes and coloring pages to help her unlock her potential and find her voice.


Premium frother

shore magic premium frother

This gift is fitting for your latte-sipping bestie who can't go a day without her coffee. All she has to do is add two scoops of collagen to her favorite drink, and she'll have a perfectly foamy drink ready in seconds. Skipping the drive-thru line has never been so easy!


Bath soak infusion kit

maude bath soak infusion kit

Say hello to hydration! She'll be feeling smooth and relaxed as ever after a long bath soaking in these salts. This vegan + cruelty-free set incorporates dead sea salt and dehydrated coconut milk powder for an ultra hydrating experience.


Tiny Tags 'mama' necklace

Tiny Tags 'mama' necklace

It's a hard-earned title she answers to a hundred times per day. Whether she's new to the club or a seasoned professional, this delicate script 'mama' necklace is guaranteed to be a perfect fit.


Superfood honey

Beekeeper's Naturals B.Powered honey

With a lack of sleep and jam-packed days, getting through the afternoon can be a real challenge. Send her a powerful pick-me-up in the form of a therapeutic blend of royal jelly, bee pollen, propolis and raw honey. It makes the ideal companion for tea, smoothies, yogurt or even on its on.


Calming midnight mask with melatonin

Who doesn't deserve a reminder to pamper themself every once in awhile? Even better, this mask does all its work at night while you're sleeping with no extra effort needed. It's an amazing plant-powered antioxidant-packed mask that has melatonin, wild dandelion leaf and hyaluronic acid to rehydrate, repair and reset facial skin. It's so good, you might want to gift it to yourself. We won't tell, mama.


We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.


Two weeks. I cannot believe that it has been two weeks since my second son was brought into this world. Two weeks since my husband and I welcomed baby Simon, the final piece of our little family.

But, here is the whopper: It has been two weeks since I have been the mom of a toddler and a newborn. I am now responsible for taking care of two tiny humans.

It absolutely blows my mind how much my life has changed in the last two weeks. It's definitely not all rainbows and unicorns around here, but things are going pretty well. This is me being cautiously optimistic.

What I have done is learned a lot about myself, my kids and my new life in the last two weeks.

Keep reading Show less