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-   -   How do you get your kids to eat veggies? (https://www.3fatchicks.com/forum/veggie-challenged/240565-how-do-you-get-your-kids-eat-veggies.html)

Mama Bee 08-10-2011 08:34 PM

How do you get your kids to eat veggies?
Our oldest is 3, and meal times have become a challenge for him...

The kid will eat pretty much everything as long as its not green. Usually he'll eat everything on his plate but the veggie and then throw a fit about being full. Now I don't want to make the kiddo overstuff himself... but I do want him to eat his vegetables. Lately I'll make his plate up with the full serving of veggie that I'd like him to have, and a very small serving of the other stuff, with the rule that when he clears his plate he can have more meat/potatoes/whatever else is on there that he likes.

I always liked veggies when I was kid, and I always had to eat them before I left the table even if I didn't... but this kid will sit there at the table for 2 hours to avoid eating his veggies.

SLIMplicity 08-10-2011 08:55 PM

Try making it fun..
I have two boys aged 5 yrs and 3 yrs.. what works for me is I usually like to give them raw veggies as opposed to cooked..
I will cut up cucumbers, broccolli:broc:, celery, baby carrots :carrot:and give them dips. Some dips that they like are Ranch dressing and they really like Hummus.

Another way is making a homemade cheese sauce and getting them to dip their veggies in the cheese sauce.
My kids love their dips and they can be very healthy for them.

:hungry: Another thing I do is serve the my meals in "courses".
I will always start of the meal with salad or veggies first, once those are all eaten then the meat and potatoes or pasta or soup or whatever. I keep the other stuff out of sight and make the veggies the star of the meal.. This way they cant say they are to full for their veggies..its always first..

I hope this helps, let me know if u have any questions..

iaradajnos 08-10-2011 09:07 PM

I have two boys. The oldest, 12, now prefers raw broccoli, cauliflower, bell peppers, etc. The little one, 10, prefers cooked and seasoned. The oldest also like raw, plain tofu, plain brown rice, and milk. I don't know what planet my own kid now lives but this Pod Boy is something else. Play dates were "fun" as the parents wondered what the hay to feed him.

For both, I usually have veggies on the plate first then I'm slower to get the other items to them. Their hunger drives them to start working on the veggies. They can't have seconds on anything they like until veggies get done.

We send packed lunches for camp and school. They have lots of friends with one or both parents from abroad (my husband's from Nepal), so lots of kids had "weird" lunches too.

Our oldest has been able to help more in the kitchen and really like to cut the veggies for me. I used to have him cut stuff that didn't need a sharp knife. He's been getting the sharp knife more lately. It helped him engage more. I cooked some yummy Nepali-style cooked veggies while we were camping recently (think healthful Indian) and he actually ate a large amount. Normally any cooked veggie grosses him out. The younger one is getting used to eat lettuce leaves plain like his brother. Normally he needed some kind of sauce. (He's like me while my older son is really like his dad).

usam 08-11-2011 09:22 AM

I have a five year old and a three year old. I usually give them their veggies around 3 or 4pm as a snack. I cut up cucumbers, carrots, celery , red peppers, brocolli and they can have ranch to dip or hummus. They generally don't eat salads but they eat cut up veggies. At meal times I don't push them to eat their veggies cause they do eat them but not every night. Last night for example we had pasta and a side dish of steamed veggies. My 3 year old ate them all but my five year old just ate her lima beans. Oh, well. I don't fuss about it cause I know she eats veggies but she just didn't feel like them last night. I kind of feel that we as adults don't always feel like eating certain things every day and they are human too, they have their own little opinion.
You could also try adding carrots and zucchini to your meatloaf or add mixed veggies to rice. I simply sautee onions add the bag of mixed veggies and let them defrost. Then I add rice and a veggie boullion and thats their lunch. Veggie burgers and so good, you could cut them up or serve them with a bun. Try offering other colors too, they don't have to be green. Like cauliflower, peppers, grape tomatos etc. Hope this helps, if you need anything let me know. I'm a vegetarian so I have loads or veggie recipes.

April Snow 08-11-2011 02:43 PM

with my 7 year old, it turned out that he didn't really like most raw veggies, so now I'll lightly steam and then blanch things like broccoli or carrots and then refrigerate so he can have them cold and dip them in ranch, etc. He loves them that way - it's been kind of sad to see him get all excited about a big veggie tray at a party and take a piece of broccoli but then not like it when it was raw.

also, when he was younger, I tried to not stress too much about it. His ped. said that it's very common for kids to not like the taste of veggies but they grow into it if you keep offering them, plus my son has always been a big fruit eater so he was still getting a lot of fresh foods that way.

tommy 08-11-2011 06:12 PM

I also treated veggies and fruit on the same plain - if a bowl of cantaloupe was going to be consumed at dinner - cool. A bowl of blueberries as your afternoon snack - hey I am not gonna stress about veggies with dinner. Coming from an eating disorder background I was ****-bent on not forcing any eating. Coleslaw seemed to be enjoyed by all the kids- I make my own and include cucumber and apple - a great cruciferous vegetable. Lettuce wraps with a darker lettuce like red leaf (more vitamins) were popular. Carrots with Ranch or some other dip were often enjoyed. My son did not really enjoy cooked vegetables except broccoli-beef stir fry so that was in the rotation. I think flexibility and a lack of pressure is the key. So often their tastes change on a dime.

YogaMomma 08-12-2011 10:17 AM

My oldest son has extreme sensory sensitivities. He will vomit if forced to eat something that feel or tastes "off" to him. We've had to get very creative to get him to eat a well balanced diet!

You can make your own veggie-filled marinara sauce with a few cans of tomato paste, a mix of veggies like carrots, celery, broccolli, etc., and a juicer. I juice the veggies, add the tomato paste, and then season it and let it simmer for a while. Very sneaky! The kids love this, but I don't let them see what I'm putting in their beloved spaghetti sauce, or they probably wouldn't touch it.

We do a lot of fruit. He seems to tolerate it a lot better. I also keep a lot of the veggies that I know he will eat - which is basically just peas at the moment. I praise the death out of him for trying something new or eating all his veggies. He takes a multivitamin every day as well, just to make sure he's getting everything he needs.

fitmom 08-12-2011 10:43 AM

I have two sons, ages 9 and 6. The nine-year old eats anything that I put in front of him - no problem there. My younger boy is a bit picky, lol. I basically tell him that he has to eat a few bites (I give him one or two tablespoons compared to me and his older brother) and if he wants dessert (I know it's bribery, lol) then he has to eat them. Now it's getting a little easier as he's gotten older - he'll eat corn, spinach, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, sweet potatoes, green beans and cucumbers. He loves, loves, loves fruit. Not much of a salad eater yet but there's still time. Just started eating chicken soup. There's always gonna be some issue I'm learning.

Esofia 08-12-2011 11:12 AM

My friend's six year old daughter refuses to eat vegetables. However, she hasn't yet realised that fresh peas in the pod are vegetables, and will happily shell them and nosh away. Her four year old brother, on the other hand, shells the peas and puts them out in neat little patterns but doesn't eat them, so that they have to get him to stop!

gardenermom 08-12-2011 11:13 AM

My kids are 7, 5 and 1. My 7 and 5 year olds will both eat a good variety of fruits and veggies (some veggies they prefer raw, some cooked), BUT, they will eat very few things that are mixed or in a sauce. They will eat plain pasta with veggies on the side, but if i mix the veggies into the pasta then they just won't eat it. Definitely no tomato-based pasta sauce. Argh! It drives me crazy. They are BOTH like this with most "mixed" foods - to the extreme that they will not even eat a sandwich (bread and filling separate, please).

I don't want to create a lot of pressure about eating (as tommy says above, I am concerned about creating eating issues), BUT at the same time I don't want to cater to this degree of fussiness. Every day is an attempt to get them to eat more "mixed" foods, and every day is a compromise. We make occassional progress - I make my own mac-and-cheese and they like that, they sort-of accept rice mixed with certain veggies, and my 5-yr old will eat pizza (7-yr old will only eat the crust!). I was similarly fussy as a child, and I grew out of it eventually, so I assume they will too - one day. Thankfully my 1-yr old is at the delightful stage of eating almost everything!

astrophe 08-12-2011 11:28 AM

When DD was a toddler I made her baby food. Gently steamed and then blended mild veggies with apple or pear. Over time, less of the fruit and more of the veg. Then just the veg and no blending.

Now it's a question of keep offering even if they go through phases of not liking it. You have to offer a kid something a lot of times to be sure.

I know from my spouse that texture matters. He'll eat raw apple all day long but not cooked ones. He objects to anything "squishy."

For child...Sweet ones like carrot, tomato, sugar snap peas, bell pepper or mild ones like green bean, zucchinni, romaine, cucumber, green pepper are always easy. So are "baby" veg. Well rinsed, drained beans like kidney or garbanzo are finger food snacks.

Bolder ones like broccoli or asparagus -- best to get it fresh as possible so it is still sweet. Then not to overcook.

It helps to let her make the salad or prep the veg where possible -- she's invested in it then and more likely to want it.

Also smoothies. Lots of ideas here:


Last, she always has to take at least one bite and explain to be in detail what it is she objects to. The taste, the shape, how it is cooked etc. Then I'm willing to let it go and trade out that veggie for a small can of V8.

She just happens to like low sodium v8 -- I do not know why. So swapping out the veg for a v8 works when she tries something and it turns out not to work.

Sometimes I think the problem isn't so much the VEGGIE as it is the OTHER food. She doesn't get desserts at home or too much juice or sugary drinks. Fruit is about it. The sweetness in veg is often subtle -- and you aren't going to appreciate if getting a lot a sugar elsewhere. My own palate knows this... it isn't just kids.

She does like celestial seasonings lemon zinger, raspberry zinger, etc. I make it plain and iced so it looks like koolaid and pretty but isn't sugared up. We like the Honest Tea or Honest Kids pouches too because they are lower sugar in lunchboxes.


April Snow 08-12-2011 04:24 PM


Originally Posted by gardenermom (Post 3986909)
My kids are 7, 5 and 1. My 7 and 5 year olds will both eat a good variety of fruits and veggies (some veggies they prefer raw, some cooked), BUT, they will eat very few things that are mixed or in a sauce. They will eat plain pasta with veggies on the side, but if i mix the veggies into the pasta then they just won't eat it. Definitely no tomato-based pasta sauce. Argh! It drives me crazy. They are BOTH like this with most "mixed" foods - to the extreme that they will not even eat a sandwich (bread and filling separate, please).

ha, my son is like this too - even with hamburgers, he will pick up the meat and eat that, and then ocassionally, he might eat a few bites of the bun after he'd done with the meat! lol!

also the same with not liking to mix things together - he loves strawberries and cottage cheese but they have to be in 2 separate bowls! lol!

It can be a little bit of a pain but I was (and still am to some extent) a VERY picky eater, and have my own issues about not mixing certain foods. So at
7, he is so much better than I was at that age, I'm very happy to go along with these issues and keep him eating a reasonable variety of healthy foods.

hpnodat 08-16-2011 10:47 AM

We have never given our daughter the option to refuse. Since she was a baby she's eaten all kinds of fruits & veggies. We never force fed her anything but we've taught her sometimes you just have to do things you don't like, including eating veggies you don't like. Of course it helps that she actually likes them. ;)

PhatBeth 09-12-2011 05:52 AM

Perhaps the most important factor to consider is your own attitude and approach toward eating in general.

Avoid forcing your children to eat vegetables – or any other food for that matter. Encourage children to try a spoonful, but don’t get upset if they refuse it. Eventually, they will try it, so keep reintroducing various foods from time to time.

stan255 01-08-2012 02:04 PM

Finely chopped the vegetables and mix it with a bit of meat and sauces and they will definitely eat it

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