Most kids go through some sort of picky eating stage at some point. Let me put it this way- you’re a very lucky Momma if you have kids who readily accept all foods. More often than not, I find that toddlers and young children don’t get too excited over vegetables. In my toddlers case, veggies (particularly green ones) usually get tasted, then promptly spit out or thrown across the room. The odd time, he will politely hand it to my husband or I, or smash it into his tray. Regardless of where it ends up, it’s not in his tummy.
Why am I not concerned?
Because he eats a variety of fruit (which often carries the same healthy nutrients that veggies do) along with other nutritious foods AND we continue to offer him veggies every single day without pressuring him to eat them, regardless if he tries them or eats them. Yes, this can be frustrating and sometimes seems pointless, but I know that it’s important for him to be exposed to them regularly. After all, it can take up to 20 or more tries for a child to warm up to a food that they don’t initially accept. Yes, I know… that’s a lot of tries. Also, my son is growing well and he sees my husband and I eating veggies regularly (so he’s becoming accustomed to the fact that eating veggies is normal and good).
See?! It’s not so bad!
Even if your child is refusing to eat ANY veggies, he or she is likely consuming a variety of nutrients from other foods and is meeting his or her energy requirements. Keep re-introducing vegetables in a non-pressured way- don’t give up even though you feel like you’re going to lose your mind. Try offering veggies in different ways. Try vegetable soup, grated raw veggies, steamed veggies with some cheese, or a fruit and veggie smoothie. It’s funny… my son will eat carrots when they’re cut length-wise and then dipped in hummus, but he won’t eat them on their own. Go figure. I prefer veggies with dip too! Who likes a plate full of plain raw veggies anyway?!
Try to be creative with how you offer veggies and make sure that there is a lot of variety day to day. Offer veggies when your kids are hungry (maybe as an appetizer before dinner) and add a yummy dip or sauce to make them more appetizing.
For easy, family-friendly recipes, check out my recipe page!
Did you know that we provide one on one nutrition counselling services for families? If this is something you’d like to learn more about, check out our The Centre For Family Nutrition page.