Healthy Foods for Finicky Little Eaters

This is a sponsored post from BlogHer and Tropicana.

Feeding your children healthy food can be a challenge, but really rewarding! I’m sure we can all agree that getting proper nutrients in every meal is ideal, but what do you do when your kids aren’t exactly eating their fruits and vegetables? Well, it’s easy to make healthy meals and snacks that are full of flavor too!

BlogHer Reviewer

It’s amazing what we do for our kids. Whenever I am cooking a meal when I am pregnant, like now, I think about how much my unborn child would benefit from the foods I am about to eat. Just how many vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients will my baby be getting? At this point, I can control what nutrients my baby will be receiving but what to do when they start to grow up and tell you that they don’t like apples or broccoli?

Well, here are some of my ideas for children who are picky eaters:

Add some honey or fruit to a bowl of oatmeal to make it more appealing.

Add fresh fruit to their cereal or yogurt.

Try a breakfast or lunch using a whole wheat wrap with turkey, eggs and cheese. It is packed with protein and fiber.

Start the day with a glass of fresh orange juice.

If you make tasty snacks your kids will never guess how healthy they really are. Like fresh fruit purees, fresh fruit popsicles, frozen bananas and strawberries on a stick.

Keep organic baby carrots in the house for snacking during the day.

Hummus is a high-fiber nutrient in which they can dip fresh vegetables.

Traditional Hummus

Add vegetables like broccoli, peas or spinach to mac and cheese, mashed potatoes, and meatloaf.

Blend vegetables into their favorite tomato sauce.

Make pizzas with your kids and ask them to add their favorite vegetables on top. Kids love to make pizza and eat their own creations.

Eat together as a family and role model good eating habits.

Okay guys, those are my tips for parents to help get your kids eating fruits, vegetables, and other nutritious foods without complaining…as much! Now, for a chance to win a $100 Visa Gift Card from BlogHer and Tropicana Pure Premium Orange Juice, leave a comment on this post with your tips for how you do the same for your kids.

The sweepstakes: 4/11/2011-5/9/2011


No duplicate comments.

You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry

a) Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post

b) Tweet about this promotion and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment
on this post

c) Blog about this promotion and leave the URL to that post in a comment on
this post

d) For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about
an alternate form of entry.

This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older

Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail.

You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be

For Official Rules Click here.

Tropicana helps put the “good” in morning.

Tropicana Pure Premium provides an array of 100 percent orange juice varieties to help meet individuals’ nutrition and lifestyle needs. All options are nutrient-dense, with one eight-ounce glass delivering two fruit servings and a full day’s supply of vitamin C.*For more information visit them here:

Facebook – the official Facebook page
Twitter – Twitter
Website – The Offical Website

Pledge to squeeze more fruits and veggies into your day and Tropicana will
help kids in need. Tropicana will donate one 8-oz glass of orange juice to
the USDA School Breakfast and Summer Food Service programs, up to 184,375
8-oz glasses. Please pledge by going to Promo will end 12/31/11.

I wrote this post while participating in the Tropicana Pure Premium/BlogHer program on behalf of Tropicana Pure Premium. I received product information to facilitate my post and monetary compensation for the time to write my post.

If you like this page, you can say thanks by sharing it


  1. Mami2jcn says

    I get my kids to eat their fruit in fruit salads and smoothies.

    Love your site! My mother’s family is from Medellin.

  2. Junia says

    I make smoothies, and also I have them help make our meals, I really thought it sounded corny when I heard ppl say that, but it does really work, they are proud to say they made it and are more willing to eat it…

  3. says

    I don’t have kids of my own, but I often watch my friends’ kids, and I’ve found that putting a slice of a sweet fruit inside of an otherwise savory sandwich (peanut butter and pineapple slices, anyone?) often does the trick. I also have gotten them (and myself) hooked on yogurt raisins, and the candied fruits and veggies that they sell in bulk at Whole Foods.

  4. LUCIA MILLAN says

    Sus recetas además de ser nutritivas son deliciosas y cuando se acompañan con Orange Juice Tropicana, son espectaculares, aún para los niños

  5. LENA says

    yo a mis hijos les preparo muchas sopas de verduras en crema 😉 asi no pueden separar las verduras para no comerselas! y las adoran <3

  6. Leah says

    Thank you for the post Erica. You have great ideas; one that i use all the time is adding finely chopped veggies to pasta, potatoes, etc…

    I’ve had luck with the following veggies creations with my picky little eaters:
    Bake and then puree vegetables (tomato, eggplant, onion, squash) into a soup.
    Baby, organic raw spinach with their favorite dressing, Italian or ranch.
    Sweet potatoes, sliced thick and baked, plain or with a sweet or savory topping.

    Also, having a garden and getting kids involved in it or taking them to local gardens and farms for education can increase their interest in fresh produce.

  7. says

    I don’t have kids but with kids I do know – I think make your own pizzas and “fruit kebabs” always make eating healthier foods more attractive to kids!

  8. says

    i find that you can put almost anything into a smoothie and picky kids will eat it…. not only like fruits and veggies, but also like flax powder, fiber, etc. Go $100!!!!! =)

  9. Kerri Stewart says

    I see you do like I do!

    My kids are okay eaters. They like fruits & vegetables, however they LOVE pasta. To increase their vegetable intake, I add vegetables like broccoli to their pasta and serve a salad with dinner. My girls love salad!

    gab UNDERSCORE lyn AT msn DOT com

    @Naya2000 on Twitter

  10. Kerri Stewart says

    I tweeted!


    gab UNDERSCORE lyn AT msn DOT com!/Naya2000/status/57949414756585472

  11. Claire says

    We practice good eating habits by having healthy alternatives. For example, juice instead of soda and whole wheat instead of white bread.

  12. Jessie C. says

    We love smoothies, so I put all veggies and fruit in, kids love it too much to care what’s in there. This trick works great with my picky eaters.

  13. Milissa says

    I make my kids smoothies every morning. They think they are fruity and yummy, but I usually sneak some veggies in them too!

  14. Pamela S. says

    I don’t have kids so here is what I do for myself. Protein shakes every morning with orange juice, fresh fruit or veggies, protein powder, and ice. Sometimes I’ll throw in a few spoonfuls of yogurt. Yummy.

  15. Luz Adriana says

    I do not have any children but my husband love the Orange Juice of Tropicana, he drinks it every morning for his breakfast. thanks Erika for all your delicious Colombian recipes.

  16. says

    My only tip is so different than what a lot of people do that I feel odd sharing it. We always made good food and had it for our meals. The kids just ate because that’s what people do. If they didn’t like something they didn’t eat it. I never let food become a power struggle. I see people insist on X number of bites or beg kids to eat more of a certain item or even bribe their children with desserts or candy. I just didn’t do it. Eat it if you want to eat it. If you don’t want to eat it now we can put it away for later. If you don’t like it, that is okay, too. Tips? From me? I just don’t have them. That was my food philosophy.

  17. Claudia says

    My daughter is now 13, but early on we started her on the one-taste rule. You can’t say no without one taste. She didn’t feel forced and willingly tried new foods (she even liked most of them)! Now she is a little “foodie”! Besides the one-taste rule, I always made the food pleasing to the eye and gave it cool names. Different colors on the plate not only means more nutrition, but caught her attention. It’s all about the “marketing”. Celery with cream cheese and raisins doesn’t sound as cool as “ants on a log”!

  18. Susan Smith says

    I keep fresh fruits and vegetables around the house for snacking and serve vegetables and fruits with our meals. I find if I serve food with vegetables in them instead of on the side my children are more likely to eat them.

  19. says

    I don’t have kids yet, but in my family, the rule was always you always have to at least TRY everything on the table (and licking it doesn’t count! You must actually consume the item). I was never a fussy eater, but both my sisters were, so this got them to at least taste some stuff. Now, my boyfriend and I get a weekly CSA box from a local farm, which really encourages me to find ways to sneak veggies into everything, so nothing goes to waste.

  20. Gary Long says

    I love the post. See my comments at

  21. Anonymous says

    I make soup- lots of home made soup. Several years ago I started with a Kale and Leek soup recipe which I was certain my children would run from. They all liked it and it is now a family favorite. Keep trying different things and the kids are bound to bite on something healthy!

  22. Lisa says

    One tip to get kids to eat vegetables is to slice zucchini, eggplant, or sweet potatoes and bake in the oven as oven baked fries. Fruit smoothies are one way to get them to eat fruit and get some calcium.

  23. elizabeth atkins says

    Fruit instead of chips in her lunchbox and smoothies instead of milkshakes!

  24. says

    When my kids were young, for the most part, they were good eaters. Forcing people to eat things, just make matters worse. My best advice is to set a good example, and serve foods that your family enjoys. Bananas every day, is better than no fruit at all.

    Thanks for the great giveaway.

  25. Ashley S. says

    We make smoothies and also add veggies into pasta sauce, but the kids LOVE fruits and vegetables and being outside and active, so keeping them healthy is easy!

  26. Jessica Miller says

    I dont have my own kids but for my nieces,nephews,brother and sisters

    I will make fruit smoothies,or cut up some fruit for them and make a little fruit salad. Also carrots and celery are good with a little dip or them or peanut butter.

  27. Rebecca says

    Simply adapt kids to eating vegetables at a very young age, then as they get become older they will eat them regularly in everyday meals!

  28. says

    My son is a teenager, so I have very little influence over what he eats. If I make him a “healthy” meal, he just buys his own out! He loves orange juice though, so that wouldn’t be a problem!

  29. Sharon says

    I’ve found that keeping fruit out on the counter and easy to grab and go really does encourage kids to eat healthier. Rather than snacking on chips or candy, they will grab a banana or an apple. Just make it very accessible and easy for them.

  30. Johannah B says

    We “dip” food, and I find the kids will try just about anything if it has something they can dip it into! Fruits and Vegetables expecially. As for Tropicana OJ I add it to my baked goods – and it’s great in pie crusts!!
    1prizewinner at gmail dot com

  31. Wanda M says

    No children here, but I remember my mom would make peanut butter & banana sandwiches and we loved them. Also, she used to make mango or papaya shakes before smoothies were a big thing. Because she incorporated fruits and vegetables into our daily lives, to this day I eat healthy and so does my husband.
    wbailey113 at hotmail dot com

  32. Gladys Hernandez says

    I would have my children help me with the shopping and prep of the veggies each had a mini cutting board and a plastic butter knife . They loved to be involved. they would announce proudly to their dad what they helped make in the nights meal .
    the kids would try one piece of of what they prepped that night , if they liked it, great, if they didn’t , that was OK too , because over time when we made the veggies or fruit again they would give it a chance again and maybe like one of them. It takes time .
    I would also steam veggies till soft , puree them then add them to soups , cakes and into rice.
    with fruits they loved to freeze grapes, dip bananas in chocolate and freeze . but a yummy one was frozen orange juice in Dixie cups with a frozen grape in the bottom .
    experiment you never know what they will try.

  33. Beth Pineda says

    I am a mother to six under the age of 14. We start offering as many different types of foods as possible as soon as they are eating table foods. I personally think that the sooner you begin introducing kids to lots of different types of foods, the better. They become adventurous eaters from the beginning!

  34. says

    I don’t have children right how but when I do I will definitely be giving them some green smoothies or as those with kids call them “green monster” smoothies. I drink them myself adding some leafy greens such as spinach or kale along with fruits such as apple, pear and banana. Tastes so delicious and they will never know it’s full of veggies!

  35. says

    Our kids have always loved fruit and vegetables, so no need to hide them in their food. We just make sure we have a lot of “ready to eat” fruit/veggies on hand for them since they work and go to school and have busy schedules.

  36. PBPD says

    All in my family enjoy eating fruits & vegetables. Fruits are great in snacks or breakfast. Vegetables are always nice at dinnertime, especially when cooked up tastily.

  37. Georgia says

    We always had fruits on the counter for snacks. Never had pop in the house. The only thing they had to drink was juice or water. Love fruit!

    gmissycat at yahoo dot com

  38. Georgia says

    Tweeted here too!/gmissycat/status/63017882505838593

    gmissycat at yahoo dot com

  39. Norma says

    Thankfully my daughter loved fruits and most veggies when she was a child – she thought fruit was a dessert, and I kept veggies simple and stuck to the ones she liked (carrots, peas, corn, yams, lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes) rather than trying to make her eat the ones she didn’t like. (zucchini, cauliflower, cooked spinach). I added cheese or something special to ones she had mixed reactions to – like grilled Parmesan asparagus and artichokes with garlic butter.

  40. LAMusing says

    I don’t have kids, but I remember as a kid my mom always kept fresh fruit around (which I loved) and sometimes made things like baked apples or warm cinnamon peaches. Veggies were a little more difficult until Dad started a garden – after helping to grow them I couldn’t wait to eat them!

  41. Samantha Lee says

    I try to eat fruits and vegetables every single day, with my meals that I prepare.

  42. Steven M Cote says

    In our house I’m the picky one so my wife makes us stuff like: Orange & carrot juice, Beetroot to orange juice, smoothies with fresh fruit and yogurt, she minces the veggies & adds them to soups and sauces so i will eat them with not noticing them. She has also got me eating spinach without a problem… She adds flavor to the veggies to keep them from being boring and also tries to keep them slightly crunchy so they aren’t a gooey mess. The main in our household is the presentation, she always makes the food look nice there by attracting curiosity and temptation, our child has not been picky yet so I couldn’t say much for her. I have a wonderful wife! :) hehehe

  43. says

    Chopping up veggies super small and cooking them into things is a great way to trick your kids into eating them. If you chop them too big they are likely to eat around them.

  44. Bonnie says

    I think eating as a family, and serving as a role model is one of the best ways to get the children to try new foods. Also, adding veggies to regular disshes like macaroni, and meatloaf is a good idea!!

  45. Mary M says

    My kids were not to much of picky eaters. They actually loved fruits and vegetables so I was pretty lucky in that area. They always got their juice and fruit in the mornings and the veggies at night for dinner. They usually ate it without to much coaching from me, thank god.

  46. ria says

    I add fruit and veggies wherever possible- veggie pizzas, chicken/veggie tortillas, squash/pumpkin muffins etc
    rmartinclarke @

  47. ANGEL JACKLYN says


  48. ANGEL JACKLYN says

    2ND ENTRY TWEET @!/kytah00/status/65268027242971136 kytah00 at

  49. nan says

    my son refuses veggies so i grate carrots and put them in muffins and i buy fruit/veggie blend drinks to sneak them into him
    nannypanpan at

  50. Kerry says

    My kids like to dunk and dip their food. So ranch dressing or hummus with their veggies helps a lot!

  51. betsy says

    I have a lot of fruit and vegi’s for snacks and don’t keep much junk food in the house. My son loves apples, banna’s, carrot sticks.

  52. Susan E. says

    Smoothies and adding veggies to sauces is the quickest and easiest way I’ve found for anyone who doesn’t like veggies, including my husband.


  53. Melanie L. Herman says

    I encourage them to help me cut up the fruit and/or veggies. When they are involved in the preparation, they tend to eat the final product.

  54. Debra F says

    I am very lucky. My kids love love love fruit. Never any problems getting them to eat fruit. They also like quite a few veggies, so I don’t push it and force them to eat what they don’t like. I do introduce and reintroduce new and seasonal veggies all the time and my oldest especially will try more and more.

  55. sy says

    i love organic baby carrots, i try to add fruits and vegetables to our diet but we often don’t have enough, so i add supplements too, i like powder supplements that i can add to drinks.
    songyueyu at gmail

  56. Judith says

    We are a vegetable eating family so the kids and now the grandkids don’t know anything different.

  57. says

    My kids are older now, but with my grandson one of the things we do when I go visit is find places to pick fresh fruit. There’s almost always someplace with blackberries growing wild, or [he lives in Southern California] date palms dropping fruit, or oranges, or lemons. And when he comes to visit here we do the same.

    It’s helped him understand where fruit comes from and how it looks on the tree or bush, and now he’s a right good fruit shopper on his own.

  58. Joyce Raymond says

    My daughter always loved grapes and small chunks of cheese.I would also give her a glass of milk or a juice box (only real juice, no kool aid or hawain punch).

  59. Donna B. says

    I make sure we eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables and I keep plenty of healthy snack options on hand. I also limit sweets, sodas, fried foods and other junk food. My son has always loved all fruits and veggies so getting him to eat a healthy, varied diet has never been an issue, but I will add veggies to spaghetti sauce, meatloaf and casseroles to boost the nutrition.



  61. Betty C says

    I’m very fortunate that my children have never been picky eaters. In fact, they love almost every type of food that they have tried. The main problem was keeping enough fresh fruit in the house. It always seemed to disappear too quickly.

  62. says

    We told our daughter that you can’t visit new, exciting places if you don’t try new food.. now she’ll try anything for a chance to go to Paris!

  63. Anne says

    I just serve healthy foods and figure that sooner or later the kids will eat them. We keep little junk food in the house, which helps because they do get hungry. My oldest daughter commented just yesterday that she loves black beans now, and can’t believe it took her so long to try them.

  64. Mari says

    I keep a veggie tray with my family’s favorite dips out on the table in between meals, rather than processed junk food.

  65. Francine says

    I get them to eat their Vegetables by seasoning them with good tasting seasonings and herbs. They LOVE Fruit, so it is never a problem to get them to eat it.

    aliaskys (at) yahoo . com
    Thank You! :)

  66. Joanne Schultz says

    Sometimes it’s easier to serve foods in a different way if your family doesn’t like them the way they are normally prepared. Cooked spinach- yuk, cooked spinach in cream sauce – double yuk! But put spinach leaves in a salad and that’s ok!
    Thanks for the giveaway!

  67. Tracie Trump says

    We grow our veggies and kids water them and them pick them! We then rate our favs!