One of the top inquiries I receive as a Registered Dietitian is "how can I get my child to eat more vegetables?" Luckily, I have found several amazing small businesses to recommend.

An excellent strategy for raising healthy eaters is letting children play with their food. Really! In our home mealtime is packed with silly songs, food puns, and playing pretend. Away from the table, I have spent considerable time using play to teach my son about the importance of a nutritious diet. While I consider myself fairly creative, we've had success with outside tools from several small businesses along the way. You will find a few of my favorites below, each sure to inspire you and your kiddos to get creative with food!

Dylbug



As a mother to three, Dylbug owner, Leslie Mingo, is well aware of the daily struggle around getting kids to sit down at the table to eat. She was inspired to encourge happy and healthy eating in a playful way and created plates that turn ordinary food into visual art. This approach has been successful as children often taste with their eyes before their tongues.

Leslie is delighted to connect with parents whom her small business has impacted. Her personalized plates and food cutter sets have transformed finicky eaters into adventurous ones who are excited to explore unfamiliar foods. My son asks for a meal on his lion plate almost daily. He has a blast decorating as he eats, so much so that he is usually up for trying new veggies that I throw in the mix!

You can find a variety of Dylbug goodies (and fun printables) for your littles on the website and even score 20% off through December 10 with code MOTHERING20.

Related: How to ACTUALLY get Your Children to Eat Their Veggies

Veggie Buds Club

Several years ago, Monica Irwin, the creator of Veggie Buds Club, was the manager of a Community Supported Agriculture Farm. In this role, she noticed how much children were interested in vegetables when hands-on gardening and craft activities were involved. Her Veggie Buds Club boxes are packed with plenty of activities designed to get youngsters excited about nutritious foods. Each box boasts a different theme and contains inspiration for kiddos to learn, cook, play, create, grow and eat.

Monica has fallen in love with the virtual community her small business has created. She has received several success stories from members, including one mother who wrote that her son refused to eat anything green until he received his broccoli box!

Veggie Buds Club is my son's favorite happy mail and we return to our boxes time and again to play the games and re-read our favorite foodie stories.

Become a Veggie Buds Club Box Member here and save 20% off any subscription with code MOTHERING20.

Related: New Study: Your Kids Picky Eating may be in the Genes

Nutridashe



Dashelyn Velazquez created a line of adorable food picks to help little ones eat healthier right from the start. After receiving her Masters in Nutrition, she was determined to find a fun way to educate families while reducing a child's picky-eating habits. Dashelyn has received lots of positive feedback about her food picks from parents. One customer shared that her selective eater finished all of her dinner using Nutridashe picks (without prompting to eat) and then played house with them!

Find Nutridashe on Instagram at @nutridashe. She is currently accepting messages for orders.

Photo credit: Michael Schneidmiller/Shutterstock