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How to Get Your Toddler to Eat More Leafy Greens

How to Get Your Toddler to Eat More Leafy Greens

True story: I love Kale. Moving on. I totally get that kale overstayed its welcome in the leafy greens health-trend spotlight and by the end of 2016, everyone was like: enough with the kale salad, we get it. But me? I’m over here like, more kale, please and thanks!

Harper is also a big fan of kale, but when it comes to leafy greens, spinach is her spirit animal. Girl loves to eat and luckily will eat just about anything. Her good eating habits could be attributed to using the baby-led weaning method, or simply because we have always given her exactly what we’re eating.

When it comes to leafy greens though, they can just be downright hard for little ones to eat (whether they’re good eaters or not). Thicker greens like kale can be chewy and tough, while softer greens like spinach can still be difficult to chew. You can plop a bowl of kale salad in front of them, but the likelihood of them eating it, or even being able to eat it, is minimal to none. So what’s a health-conscious parent to do? Luckily, with a few simple (and tasty) recipes, you can have your toddler eating more leafy greens in no time.

Side Note: I don’t live in a dreamworld and I fully realize that some kids just won’t try new foods no matter what; especially if they’re going through a “I won’t eat anything green phase.” The trick is to not force it, keep trying/be consistent, and not make a big deal out of it like: “try this it’s good, I promise!” Anyways, on with the chlorophyll.

How to Get Your Toddler to Eat More Leafy Greens

Greens that pack the most nutritional value:

  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Swiss Chard
  • Collard Greens
  • Arugula

Generally, the darker the green, the more nutritional bang for your buck. Curly Green Kale also tends to be super inexpensive, is usually on sale, and lasts forever in the fridge, which is why it’s my # 1 go-to.

Leafy Green Pesto Recipes

My all-time favorite way to incorporate more leafy greens into Harper’s diet is by making pesto. I always have the ingredients on hand, and besides wanting to drink it by the bucketful, Harper loves any excuse to eat pasta, but then again, don’t we all?

*I have also made pesto by combining Kale, Spinach and Swiss Chard – uses up a lot of veggies and tastes delicious.

Leafy Green Smoothie Recipes

Serve in a fun cup with a twisty straw and you’ve got yourself a winner. Even better, let them “help” by pressing the buttons on the blender – endless fun for toddlers. 

Leafy Greens + Grains Recipes

Carbs. Need I say more? 

Leafy Greens + Protein Recipes

Easy ideas for breakfast or dinner! 

Have any good tips to share for getting little ones to eat more greens? Share below!

Pin it for Later!

Trying to get your toddler to eat more greens? This post has a TON of easy, family-friendly recipe ideas that make eating leafy greens easy and delicious! Click for a list of ideas!


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  • theforeverteacher
    March 27, 2017 at 2:12 PM

    Ive got to try these smoothies!! My kids HATE anything green…. no really… anything!! Giving it a go!

    • Marla
      April 12, 2017 at 3:02 PM

      Purple smoothies (with hidden greens) it is then! 🙂

  • Carly
    March 27, 2017 at 2:36 PM

    Love these ideas! I have a picky toddler eater and it’s always a struggle to integrate greens.

    • Marla
      April 12, 2017 at 3:01 PM

      Thanks, Carly! Hope some of these ideas work for you!

  • themomnoms
    March 27, 2017 at 2:49 PM

    These are fantastic ways to get kids to eat their greens. I made a pea and kale pesto for my kid that tastes amazing!

    • Marla
      April 12, 2017 at 3:01 PM

      That sounds delicious!

  • Angela
    March 27, 2017 at 8:36 PM

    I love making smoothies with leafy greens too. Kale used to taste really bitter, but it now tastes pretty good to me. This is a great round up to create healthy eaters. Thanks for sharing. I pinned the post too! 😉

    • Marla
      April 12, 2017 at 3:00 PM

      Thanks so much, Angela!

  • Amanda
    March 27, 2017 at 9:03 PM

    These are excellent ideas! I especially love the thought of lots of pesto! 😋

    • Marla
      April 12, 2017 at 3:00 PM

      Thanks, Amanda! We love pesto around here. My freezer is always stocked with some!

  • Erin Ruoff
    March 27, 2017 at 10:43 PM

    Totally pinning this for later! YUM!

    • Marla
      April 12, 2017 at 2:59 PM

      Yay! Thanks!

  • Latasha
    March 28, 2017 at 9:15 AM

    Awesome tips! 🙂 I have an infant that will soon be a toddler so this post is perfect. 🙂

    • Marla
      April 12, 2017 at 2:59 PM

      Thanks, Latasha! Hope some of these ideas work for you!

  • Sane Mama
    March 28, 2017 at 11:54 AM

    I keep forgetting about smoothies, this summer we will get back into them for sure!

    • Marla
      April 12, 2017 at 2:59 PM

      I always forget about making them, and then I’ll go on a smoothie kick for a few weeks!

  • Mamaguru
    March 29, 2017 at 6:58 AM

    Great suggestions! I’m all about veggies and kids. I’ve done the same kinds of recipes and now my children are great vegetable lovers.

    • Marla
      April 12, 2017 at 2:58 PM

      That’s awesome! There’s nothing better than a kid who loves to eat their veggies 🙂

  • Sarah
    April 1, 2017 at 12:35 PM

    Thanks for including my Kale & Spinach Quinoa Bites! Enjoying your site! 🙂

    • Marla
      April 12, 2017 at 2:58 PM

      Thanks, Sarah! It’s a great recipe!