Vegetable Faces

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For Parents

This activity is appropriate for kids ages 4 to 7. (Some veggies, like whole grape tomatoes and baby carrots, may be a choking hazard for younger children.)

Finding new ways to interest your child in vegetables can improve his familiarity with them. And familiarity is an important step toward actually eating them. You may have to let your child try a food 12 times before she decides she likes it. So keep trying.

Your child will be more excited by this activity if you get involved. Select vegetables that will help make an interesting face. Cut them in different shapes and sizes. Use vegetables in a variety of colors. Try serving some vegetables raw and some cooked.

Some ideas for vegetables:

  • Grape tomatoes
  • Baby carrots
  • Celery sticks or smaller smile-shaped pieces
  • Peas (fresh or thawed from frozen) or edamame (blanched or steamed)
  • Cucumber or zucchini slices
  • Red, orange, or yellow bell pepper slices
  • Broccoli and cauliflower florets
  • Shredded broccoli or carrots
  • Lettuce, small leaves or shredded

Older kids may want to make other pictures with the veggies. That's great! Let them be creative with food. The point isn't how the art project turns out. It's about kids associating vegetables with fun.

To encourage kids to eat the veggies, you may decide to give them a small bowl with 2 tablespoons of low-fat ranch dressing or hummus for dipping. Or you may choose to let your child eat the vegetables on a sandwich or on whole-grain crackers.

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