Happy toddler eating broccoli
Creative Play Ideas

Broccoli Haircut Game – Silly Way to Encourage Trying New Foods

Do you have a “picky” eater in your house? Here’s a fun way to lower the pressure and bring on the silly.

There are so many philosophies about what parents should and shouldn’t do when it comes to feeding children. Accounts like Kids Eat in Color and Feeding Littles are a couple really helpful resources.

They’re legit nutritionists and dietitians, so you trust them when it comes to the scientific stuff.

You can trust me when it comes to the silly stuff.

Enter: “Broccoli Haircut.” The game that my sister and I made up as kids that is now a staple in not only my home, but in my friends’ homes as well.

Here’s just one example of how it could go:

You’re holding a piece of broccoli. Your kid is not interested in it.

Choose a character voice. An outlandish, extravagant, silly, exaggerated one.

Oh, you chose an over-the-top, melodramatic damsel in distress with a terrible southern drawl? PERFECT.

The southern belle broccoli “hops” over to your child and says…

“Ohhh, I beg yer paaardon. You see, I think I’m lost. I’m looking for the barbershop. You wouldn’t happen to be the world-famous barber that all my friends have told me about, now would you?”

Kid smiles and nods.

“Aww, thank GOODness I found you at laaast. I have a very important date tonight and I’m pretty sure my boyfriend is gonna propose to me. I need a haircut right away. BUT! I only want a little teeny, TINY bit trimmed off the side! Can you do that??”

Kid says, “Okay…” and takes the broccoli.

“Oh, THANK YOU, thank you, THANK YOU! Now, PLEASE remember, just a little bit. Whatever you do, do NOT cut off too much of my hair!”

Kid proceeds to shove the whole piece of broccoli in her mouth with a twinkle in her eye, while you scream,

“NOOOoooo… my HAIR, my HAIR! What have you done????”

Your voice trails off as the broccoli disappears.

Kid cracks up and wants you to do it again.

child taking broccoli from mom

Maybe for the next one, you’re…

  • An angry New Yorker who’s late for a business meeting.
  • A witch who needs a haircut for some reason.
  • A snobby queen.
  • A “valley girl.” What would kids call that voice these days? Influencer voice?
  • Someone who sounds like Elmer Fudd or the priest from The Princess Bride. (Fun fact: any time my husband tries to do an accent, he somehow ends up sounding like Elmer Fudd).
  • A surfer dude.
  • A cranky grandma.
  • A very shy, bashful person.

The possibilities are endless…



  • Carrots dipped in ranch. The ranch is the “hair.”
  • Raspberries on top of little fingers.
  • My sister and I used to take Oreo frosting and put it on our fingers for the hair.

If you do decide to make broccoli though… here’s my favorite way to make it lately: Roasted Frozen Broccoli


Let your kid have a turn at being the silly characters, while you are the mischievous barber who never keeps his word!

The key is to be silly, have fun, and try not to stress about what is or isn’t getting eaten.

If you try this with your kids, let me know in the comments how it went!

happy toddler eating broccoli

About Author

Playful Heart Parenting

Hi! I'm Mia.
Mom, stepmom, wife, songwriter, performer, and theater educator.
I love sharing ideas, tips, and templates for connecting with kids through low-to-no budget, waste-free, creative play.