This year marks the first full year Baby Dude will be eating only solid
food. He’s a voracious eater and enjoys a wide variety of foods, but like
most toddlers, he’s not fond of veggies. One of my parenting goals for
2015 is to give Baby Dude the opportunity to eat more vegetables (pre-
ferably organic if possible).
Below are 11 ways to help your toddler eat veggies. Some we’ve tried,
and some I’d like to try this year.
1. He eats what we eat – no separate meal for him. Many times, he’ll want
to eat a certain food just because he sees Mommy or Daddy eating it.
2. Lead with veggies. If I start my son off with bread or meat, he won’t
eat any vegetables. But if I begin the meal with a veggie, when he’s
hungriest, there’s a better chance he’ll at least try it, which can lead to
more bites. It’s important to offer vegetables openly as well as sneaking
them in (more on that later), and to keep trying.
6. Work the veggies into eggs. Can you say vegetable omelet? Any time
you and your child can begin the day with vegetables it’s a better nutri-
tional start. And if he refuses veggies later on, at least he’s already eaten
7. Chop or food process veggies, mix with cream cheese, then spread on
a cracker or a bagel. Yum.
8. Try a small amount of brown sugar on carrots. Hey, at least he’s eating
carrots. A little extra sweetness doesn’t hurt.
9. Bake veggies into muffins. Pumpkin, carrot, and zucchini muffins are
delicious with veggies and nutrients packed right in.
10. Watch your own behavior toward food, especially in front of your
children. I’ll let you in on a little secret. I hate carrots. But I can’t tell
Baby Dude I think carrots are gross, and he needs to see me eating
them. This is a hard one for me. I may try the brown sugar trick.
11. One of Baby Dude’s favorite sandwiches is ham, Swiss cheese, Swiss
chard, and mustard or mayo (yes, Swiss chard!). I break the sandwich
into tiny pieces for him to eat, as he still has a hard time chewing things
like lettuce and Swiss chard.
Now it’s your turn. How do you get your children to eat their veggies?
My parents used reverse psychology on my sister and I when we were young. Dad used to say “this is adult food, you can’t have it until you’re grown up” and we would literally beg to be permitted to have our vegetables. (I can’t guarantee that this will work on every child though, since we were not fussy eaters.)
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