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How to get toddlers to eat veggies more?

My kids are 18 months and 3 and half yrs old. I really would like for them to have more veggies in their meals. I tried giving my oldest veggie juice and he just hated it. They won't eat plain broccoli, cucumbers, cauliflower. I'm thinking maybe I need to mix it up with other food. Any ideas you have?

Answer Question

Asked by ChildGoddess at 7:44 PM on Jan. 10, 2011 in General Parenting

Level 9 (311 Credits)
Answers (12)
  • Just keep putting it on their plates every day...then, make them have at least 3 bites. They will start to eat it. It becomes a habit and second nature.

    Answer by BradenIsMySon at 7:46 PM on Jan. 10, 2011

  • you can make a meatloaf with a bunch of ground up veggies in it, save some of the mix for hamburgers later on in the week

    Answer by angevil53 at 7:48 PM on Jan. 10, 2011

  • cut it up and place with fruits on their plates. Or steam them and give them some perhaps mashing the veggies for your youngest

    Answer by brieri at 7:48 PM on Jan. 10, 2011

  • DO NOT HIDE THEM!!! That teaches them nothing. How can they grow to love veggies or learn to do thing they don't want to do? Hiding them is no different than baby proofing so well that you never have to say no or redirect or anything. How can they learn a thing?

    Answer by BradenIsMySon at 7:53 PM on Jan. 10, 2011

  • My 15 month old daughter prefers a lot of flavor. So, I steam her veggies and put salt and pepper on them. Or cheese. Or whatever. I know many would say that I'm setting her up for poor eating habits, but I think liking veggies with stuff on them is better than not liking veggies at all.

    My 2nd course of action is to get Daddy to eat whatever our daughter isn't liking. We have strong "Daddy Magic" in our home, so anything HE does is AWESOME and worth imitating. For instance, my little one (still mostly bf'd) recently decided milk wasn't cool. So I filled her cup tonight and handed it to Daddy who took one sip. She stole the cup from him and chugged 6 oz!

    Answer by Airamana at 7:54 PM on Jan. 10, 2011

  • just keep trying every day.

    Answer by chefjen at 8:27 PM on Jan. 10, 2011

  • Give them something to "dip" it in - ranch, ketchup, cheese, etc. Kids love to dip!

    Answer by missanc at 8:27 PM on Jan. 10, 2011

  • Just eat them in front of them, and offer them what you're eating. When the meal is well-rounded and made up of increasingly familiar smells and flavours, they adapt to an increasing range of flavours in their own time.

    Hiding foods in other foods is shameful behaviour, and should never be recommended by anyone who values the little things in life, like truth or honesty or respect.

    Remove whatever it is you don't want them eating: highly processed foods, junk, extremely bland foods --just stop buying them. Even if the kids 'might starve' without them. Even if the kids (in fact, especially if the kids) appear to be addicted to them.

    Serve a variety of whole foods in as close to their natural state as possible and expect kids to like a range of them.

    Answer by LindaClement at 8:32 PM on Jan. 10, 2011

  • While I aim to help my daughter like veggies for the sake of veggies, I do like the idea of finding ways to incorporate ("hide", if you will) veggies in other dishes as well.

    Answer by Airamana at 8:33 PM on Jan. 10, 2011

  • Kids LOVE to dip. Offer them plates with assorted raw and steamed veggies. Give them different dips on different days. Ranch dressing, french dressing, cream cheese (they love it when you dye it with food coloring), plain yogurt with herbs. Try different things. I always told my kids that when it comes to eating vegetables they had to eat a rainbow. That way they would get lots of different vitamins. Try different things too. Try Jicama (peel and slice like french fries), fennel, olives, different pickles too. My daughter just loves pickled beets. My kids still love when I make 'nibbles' for dinner. I dice cheese and salami and put lots of different veggies and olives, etc. They don't even bother with dip now (they are 12 & 14), they love them raw. Just stick with it and keep offering things. We always did have a dinner rule that they had to try everything on their plate.

    Answer by Marwill at 9:46 PM on Jan. 10, 2011

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