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Do you force your kids to eat their veggies?

My five-year-old daughter is such a picky eater. She didn't start out that way. After breast milk, she used to enjoy the baby food veggies. Now, she hates all veggies aside from corn on the cob. Instead of broadening her food horizons, her tastes become more narrow. For example, at one point she liked tomatoes. She's decided she no longer likes them. She used to eat pasta she has to eat pasta without sauce. She even stopped liking jelly! She no longer eats pizza because she doesn't like the sauce (not that that's a big loss nutritionally.) She's love to live off chicken nuggets, peanut butter and fluff sandwiches and hot dogs.

Neither my husband and I are picky eaters. I don't know where she gets this! I think at first she was imitating her older cousin's pickiness. (They spend a lot of time together). But now that cousin eats more and more foods while my daughter gets more finicky by the day.

I have tried making veggies fun with little faces, etc. Any other suggestions? Is it possible she will grow out of this? Should I force her try at least a few bites of a new food? She does take multivitamins.


Asked by fraujones at 10:41 AM on May. 2, 2011 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

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Answers (25)
  • Mine eat a variety of vegetables and fruits, so if there is one they occasionally don't like or don't want to eat, I don't force the issue. However, in your circumstance, I would definitely continue to offer them and make her eat at least one bite. I would not offer her separate meals from what you are making to accommodate her pickiness because I think it would just encourage it. Good luck mama!

    Answer by Mom-2-3-Girlz at 11:14 AM on May. 2, 2011

  • thank God I don't have to, my kids love veggies my dd's favorite is broccoli and cucumbers, my ds's fave is corn and broccoli

    Answer by josiesmommy00 at 10:42 AM on May. 2, 2011

  • I give her veggies first...if she wants her pizza or pasta, or niggets...she has to eat all her veggies first.

    There are some she will eat & some she wont.....she is not totally picky.

    Answer by samurai_chica at 10:43 AM on May. 2, 2011

  • Not force. but encourage. She accepts that she has to have as many bites as she is old. 4.

    Answer by tootoobusy at 10:44 AM on May. 2, 2011

  • Your child could be mine!! Their diet is pratically the same. I do not force her to eat veg., it would never work. My son, however will eat anything you put in front of him, besides mashed potatoes. I use many recipes from Deceptively Delicious by Jessica Seinfield. They have no clue they are healthier, because the food is so good! My dd will eat a lot of fruits, so I try to get her to eat some with each meal. They also like the fruit/veg juices.

    Answer by AngieBry at 10:46 AM on May. 2, 2011

  • I used to force him. Now I don't have to. I explain that he needs to keep trying things he doesn't like because his tastes change as he gets older. Also, the more a food is introduced, the less foreign & "gross" it will appear. He also now gets excited when he tries something new and likes it. He says, "Wow mom! My 6 year old tongue likes asparagus now!!!"

    Answer by SleepyCupcake at 10:48 AM on May. 2, 2011

  • *nuggets

    Answer by samurai_chica at 10:44 AM on May. 2, 2011

  • yes, i "force" my kids to make healthy decisions. good thing i started that from birth and now at ages 4, 2 and 1 they enjoy their veggies without having to be "forced"

    Answer by tnm786 at 10:45 AM on May. 2, 2011

  • Mine had to eat a small serving of veggies. He never got to really eat nuggets, hot dogs, pizza or anything really unhealthy. He had no choice. I served him a meat and some veggie..he ate or he starved. He is now 15 and will eat about anything. He DID hate veggies, but, he wasn't allowed to ONLY eat certain foods.

    Answer by BradenIsMySon at 10:47 AM on May. 2, 2011

  • My kids fortunately like veggies but if I see where they are starting to dislike things then they are made to eat veggies. That is the most important thing on the plate and I will give them the rest of the meal after they have eaten them.

    Answer by Melbornj at 10:48 AM on May. 2, 2011