Tips To Increase Vegetables

Vegetables are packed with vitamins, minerals and fibre to help with healthy growth and development. Vegetables will help to strengthen your child’s immune system and ensure they are healthy to learn and play at school. 

We know not all kids love vegetables. Here are some top tips for ways to include more vegetables in the lunchbox. Remember, there’s a rainbow to choose from. 

  • First, find out what vegetables your child likes and discuss ways they would enjoy them in the lunchbox. 
  • Explain to your child the need for vegetables. Focus on things that are important to them like ‘it will help you learn and play’. 
  • Children are more likely to eat what’s packed when they’re involved in the planning and preparation. Involve your child with the washing, peeling and chopping of vegetables  
  • Try the SWAP IT everyday lunchbox planner with your child. Download the PDF and add to your fridge to easy planning. 
  • With your child, allocate a compartment or section of their lunchbox that is only for vegetables. 

  • If your child prefers cooked vegetables, then why not try adding cooked vegetables to their lunchbox. 
  • Cook extra vegetables the night before and store them in the fridge ready to be added straight to the lunchbox. Our favourites include homemade sweet potato wedges or corn on the cob. 
  • Add dips such as hummus and dress the vegetables in lemon juice for a zing. 

  • Choose bite sized vegetables like cherry tomatoes, baby cucumbers and snow peas that require minimal preparation. 
  • Cut vegetables into smaller pieces to make them easier to eat e.g. carrot, cucumber and capsicum sticks. 
  • Pack cherry tomatoes in a small container to avoid them getting squished. 
  • Chop extra vegetables the night before while you are making dinner to save time in the morning. 
  • Colour and crunch – choose vegetables in a variety of colours and textures to keep things exciting. Why not try our rainbow vegetable vegetable kebabs. 
  • Pack raw vegetables with a dip or cheese to make them more appetising. 
  • Include salad vegetables such as lettuce, spinach, tomato and cucumber on a sandwich, wrap or roll. 

  • Try to include as many raw vegetables as possible first as this will save you the most time. If you’re struggling to get your child to eat any vegetables, then it’s time to try hiding them. See our vegetable recipes for more ideas. 

Project Partners

SWAP IT was developed by NSW Health and the University of Newcastle. Implementation support provided by the following partner organisations as part of externally funded scale-up trials:

Whilst brands may be depicted in these images and videos, SWAP IT and Good For Kids has no affiliation and do not endorse any specific food brand. We do not warrant that the information we provide will meet individual health, nutritional or medical requirements, or individual school policy.

Artwork: "The heart of a child" by Lara Went, Worimi Artist.