A fellow mom told me this week “She will eat all of the fruit in the world, but my child won’t eat vegetables! What do I do?” Picky eaters can make mealtime difficult, but today we are going to give you some great tips to help get to the end of this phase.
My child won’t eat vegetables – tips to help:
- “If he has any cousins or friends who will eat veggies well, invite them around to eat with him. He may be more inclined to eat them if he sees other kids doing so. That was certainly the case for my son, with fruit & vegetables. Things improved with nursery school, too. My son eats a bigger variety of foods now he has seen his school friends eating them without fussing. Good luck.” ~Kate Shaw
- “Keep offering vegetables, but don’t force them. Be glad he eats the fruit. My son ate nothing but cheerios for six months. When I told the doctor about it, he said “As long as he is eating he will be fine and will start eating other foods when he’s ready” ~Nancy Carpenter
- Sneak them into their food, but don’t stop offering them, too.
- Make your own fruit squeeze recipes and add vegetables to them. Put them into reusable pouches for lunch time. Don’t add too many in at first or they won’t eat them and you may not be able to get them to try it again.
- Make smoothies. This is a life-saver for us. Strawberries seem to hide the spinach taste for us!
- Buy a juicer. Our kids don’t mind adding vegetables, because making juice is so much fun. I just add a lot of apples to overpower the taste of the carrots and spinach.
- Try offering raw vegetables before meals. About 30 minutes before dinner, I get out raw carrots, broccoli, cauliflower and peppers. I give the a bowl of ranch dressing and just have it on the table. The kids eat them because they are hungry and they know that if they don’t eat this, they will just have to wait for dinner.
- Let them have the vegetables frozen. Our friend’s son loves frozen peas.
- Try this recipe: In a juicer, add: kale, spinach, broccoli, carrot, apple. Pour it into a blender and add a frozen banana and scoop of yogurt. ~Briana Dean
- “I try not to say ‘eat your veggies’ or ‘eat your fruit’ I try to be more specfic’ eat your green beans’, ‘eat your blueberries’. Big picutre-she knows one is a fruit and one is a veggie. In the moment, she thinks of them as what they are a green bean or a blueberry, and if she likes it will eat it!” ~Katie Kirschner
- Do “bite of this, bite of that”. Give him his favorite fruit and if he has a bite of a vegetable, he can have a bite of a fruit.
- Add a little butter and brown sugar to the vegetables. Slowly wean them off of this taste.
- Make funny faces and pictures with the vegetables.
- Let them play with their food a few times before you offer it to them to eat.
- Let your kids go shopping with you to pick out fresh vegetables. Try a Farmer’s Market or even just get them at your local grocery store.
- Put more on the plate than you want them to eat. If they try bargaining “Can I just eat this much?” you can say “Yes!”
- Let them put toppings on them. When we have sweet potatoes, our kids are allowed to put on their own butter, cinnamon and brown sugar (we just monitor how much goes onto the potatoes).
- Offer raw veggies throughout the day. We buy a veggie tray at the store and I just pull it out every day when they are the most hungry (after school, after sports and before meals.)
Remember that a child can taste something many times before they like it, so don’t stop offering a food just because it was refused at first. It takes a while for their taste buds to like the taste of it.
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