Why won’t my child eat broccoli?  Why is it so hard for kids to eat veggies? 

Let’s put this into perspective.

Here’s the timeline of a child’s food experiences: Kids start off drinking sweet smooth breastmilk or formula, the other end of the spectrum – the end goal – is broccoli… bitter, crunchy broccoli.  Now don’t get me wrong – I love broccoli!  It’s actually my favourite vegetable.  And thankfully, my kids eat it.  Here’s how I got them from sweet smooth liquid to bitter crunchy solids.

Two words – Food Intelligence.

What is Food Intelligence?

Food intelligence is the foundation for happy healthy kids.

It’s the ability to know good food, make good food choices and energise your body with the right stuff.

It’s knowing the awesome variety of foods that are healthy, how to grow, prepare and cook them, and how to eat and enjoy their benefits to your total well being.

It’s the science, maths and language of food.  We teach our kids how to walk, talk, count and read.  We need to teach them how to eat well too – and that put simply, is food intelligence at its core (pardon the pun!).

Why is it so important to include it in your kid’s education?

Informed kids will make better choices.

Getting your kids to eat veggies starts with a solid foundation so they can build their food intelligence and become informed eaters.

Somewhere along the line, our kids lost the knowledge of good clean healthy eating.

We could start the blame game and point fingers at the media, major fast food chains, massive ‘processed/junk food’ companies for brainwashing our kidlets, but it won’t solve anything.

What we can do is take back the power and go back to basics.

Without it, the health problems of our current world will only increase and our kids will not have the tools in place to combat them.


Empower and inform them is all we have to do.  We all love our kids and just want them to feel happy and healthy.  Which is why food intelligence is so important.  It’s that simple.

How to improve your kid’s food IQ – where should it start?

Our school teachers have enough on their plates with today’s curriculum to go adding to it.

That said, there are some fantastic programs out there that focus on integrating food intelligence education into every day class work.  But really, we are our kids first and last teachers – each and every day.

We model and teach, they copy and learn.  So rather than add to our school teachers load, we can take easily meld this into our daily routine with our kidlets.

The earlier, the better.  And it’s not rocket science, so we can all jump on board with ease.  How?  Here’s the key:

Engaged kids will learn more, remember more and actually have fun whilst they’re doing it!

So if you want them to increase their food IQ, get them involved, start at home, start early, make it fun, immerse their little lives in it and model good food choices for them to imitate.

At home, at the shops, at the dinner table, when packing a lunchbox, when cooking dinner, when watching tv and seeing the ads for less healthy options etc.  You can do it anywhere, anytime.

Whether it’s growing herbs in a pot on the windowsill, peeling a carrot at dinner time or helping you choose the veggies at the market, you can slowly and easily take things back to basics and reap the rewards for your child’s entire lifetime.

We all have our little tricks of the trade to help our kids eat veggies.  Introducing and improving our kids food intelligence was our saving grace.

What do you do to improve your child’s food IQ? 

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.com

  • My children are food smart, they can spot a hidden vegetable a mile away! Just kidding, some great advice.

    • Haha! Yep – there’s no tricking kids with a good food IQ! :-) Loren x


  • Love this I educate my kids everyday on food they get excited about picking out fruit and veges at the shops

    • Hi Mom92217! So great to hear your kids get excited about picking out fruit and veges. There’s nothing like an awesome bit of broccoli (gets me excited too!) :-) Thanks for sharing! Loren x


  • So true im very lucky my children have been great fruit and veg eaters, however i have always given them no other option, however i do engage my children in discussion and even games on healthy foods and sometimes foods and often my children will pick healthy foods over sometimes foods showing me i have done something right!

    • Hi Manda..84! I have to say, it’s not luck, but your awesome parenting that has created just clever kids making healthy food choices! :-) Games are definitely a great way to get them engaged – would love to hear what games you play with your children… Thanks for sharing! Loren x


  • Thanks for this interesting and informative article with good tips. Thanks for sharing.

    • Hi Mom93821! Thank you so much for your lovely comments and feedback. Such a pleasure to reach other mums out there and hear everybody’s fabulous ideas to bring our kidlets up to be clever, happy and healthy :-) Loren x


  • Don’t have a veggie patch. Get my kids involved with the fruit and veggie shopping. They get to choose 3 types of veggies differently through out the week each and they’ll eat them in the different meals I’ll make through out the week. Grandmother has veggie patch and the kids are in the process of getting it ready for the new season of veggies.

    • Hi Mom 68857! What a great idea to get them to choose types of veggies to try! Grandparents are great for helping to increase our kids food IQ aren’t they? Thanks so much for sharing :-) Loren x


  • We have a veggie patch, the kids help prepare some meals and we talk about ‘treat’ food.

    • Hi Mom57522! Looks like there’s lots of little budding gardeners getting exposed to the wonders of homegrown veggies! Yay! Helping to prepare meals is definitely another one of the best ways to get your kids in the know isn’t it? And I find it pays off as the kids are now older and take over in the kitchen giving us nights off :-) Thanks for sharing :-) Loren x


  • We offer our son options and alternatives to the sweet and savoury choices he wants to make. It’s about reminding him constantly (but with subtlety) of what works for his body and why. It’s certainly a work in progress.

    • Hi Rovermum. So great to hear you are teaching your child about good food choices and that it is up to him to make those choices from an early age. Yes – when it comes to kids, it is a work in progress :-) Thanks for sharing! :-)


  • food IQ is something new to me

    • Hi Aliceou! Through my own life experiences with my kids, I have found we all have different intelligences and can learn just about anything if given the chance :-) Thanks to my fabulous parents, I was fortunate enough to grow up learning about food, how it’s grown, different tastes, textures and the joy of cooking and sharing a meal with friends and families. To me, in a world full of processed foods, this form of intelligence is important for our kids to appreciate natural, whole foods and the glorious variety out there for them to discover! Thanks for sharing! Loren x


  • Love this idea, we Re looking at starting a veg garden with our son.

    • Thanks Levismumma! Planting a vege garden is such a fun way to increase your son’s food IQ – precious time and so healing and healthy :-) Plus there’s something special seeing your child enjoy his first crunchy homegrown carrot and marvel at the flavour! Enjoy! Thank you for sharing and happy gardening! Loren x


  • I see my three year old nephew choosing fruit and vegetables over chocolate and chips any day of the week. His parents showed him how things are created and he is the inquisitive type so asks lots of questions.

    • Hi Statho2000. How awesome is your little nephew and his fabulous parents! So great to hear folks abolishing the myth that kids don’t like veges and providing a great foundation for his little inquisitive mind to expand and grow! Thanks for sharing! Loren x


  • Great article. Thanks for the information. We’ve just started growing a few veggies and fruits at home and I hope that including my toddler in the process will help him to enjoy fresh produce. I also tend not to keep unhealthy foods in the house which also limits his exposure to highly processed and preserved foods. I also believe that most things are fine in moderation though so I don’t cut out the odd sweet treat occasionally.

    • Thanks Bela! Wow – it sounds like you are providing a wonderful healthy balanced life for your little one! I have fond memories of my kids playing in the dirt as I planted seeds for our veggies when they were toddlers. I too think extremes are unrealistic and occasional treats are found in our house too :-) Thanks for sharing! Loren x


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