Helping Your Child Eat Vegetables: Broccoli Edition

child with vegetables eating broccoli

Getting some children to eat vegetables can be tough. Luckily there are some great play-based strategies to help introduce vegetables to your child in a fun way! Today, we’ll talk about an activity to introduce broccoli! Follow these easy steps for the following activity: 

1. Bring a head of fresh broccoli to the table. Have your child seated at their usual meal seating position to help add structure to this activity, even though it’s outside of a meal time.

2. Help your child start pulling “trees” off of the head of broccoli. They might need your help to get started. It’s fun to decide if they should pull a small tree or a big tree!

3. Next, “plant” your broccoli trees into the spaces in a muffin tin or an ice cube tray. Remind your child to “plant” their tree after pulling it off the stalk each time. Your child may choose to bring the broccoli to their nose, lips, or tongue. Keep this interaction low-pressure and try not to tell your child to eat or try the broccoli. It’s great if they explore it on their own though, and will be a great step toward eating it at a meal!

4. When your child is done, have them help you transfer the “trees” into a container to save for a meal later in the day. Talk about how you’re going to cook the “trees” and how they can help with this later.

5. Later in the day, prepare your broccoli for the next meal! Don’t be afraid to add seasoning you love or get adventurous with a new seasoning. Try offering a dip or condiment that your child loves, such as ranch or cheese.

If your child doesn’t choose to eat the broccoli at this meal, continue implementing the “tree” activity throughout the next month, or try other food play to provide additional positive interactions with the vegetable to work toward eating it. Make sure you are modeling eating and enjoying the broccoli at the meal so your child knows it’s a delicious vegetable!

For more tips on how to introduce new foods to anxious eaters, check out our other blogs here!

Written by Megan Daly, M.A. CCC-SLP

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