How to Get your Toddler to Eat Vegetables

eating vegetables2

My son is at that age where he’s starting to push away his vegetables. Oh the joy! He was doing so well!! Now more vegetables land on the floor than in his mouth.

While I am not an expert, and maybe you have far more ideas for me, I thought I’d share some things that have worked for me.

Eat Them Yourself

If your kid is anything like mine, he wants what’s on YOUR plate. Forget that his plate might have the same thing.  It is simply more delicious coming from your plate. Even when I have a plateful of salad (which Gavin definitely doesn’t like) he will still ask for some. I willingly give it to him. Mostly, he will “taste” it, suck off the dressing, take it out and hand it right back. But every once in awhile, he will eat it and ask for more. One of these days he will be a salad eater!!

Serve Them as Snacks

Sometimes I find that if my son is hungry enough, he will eat anything. He is more apt to eat his vegetables when he doesn’t see other food first. Getting him to eat his vegetables during dinner can be a bit of a chore once he’s seen the chicken, or pasta, or whatever it is I made. Quite often I will serve my son vegetables for an afternoon snack, or when I’m preparing dinner. This keeps him out of trouble and then I know he’s getting a healthy snacks.

“Hide” Them with Other Foods

My son is more apt to eat a pea when it’s mixed in with a bite of macaroni or placed in the middle of his sandwich. Here are some of my favorite things to do:

  1. Serve up a smoothie with fruit and veggies! My husband and I usually make smoothies for breakfast, so I take some and pour it into Little Green Pouches.  Gavin will drink a smoothie for a snack later in the day, or I throw them in the freezer for another time.
  2. Put them in a sandwich. Often I will put some spinach in the middle of a cheese quesadilla or a grilled cheese sandwich. My Gavin loves these!!
  3. Serve them up with noodles or in a casserole.  Recently I made Sausage Spinach Pasta for dinner. Before adding all the spices, I put some aside in a bowl for Gavin. He ate up everything….even the spinach! The whole time he was eating all I heard was him saying, “Mmmmmm!  Mmmmm!”
  4. Offer the veggies with a dip.  I have to say, this one was my last resort. But one day I was so tired of it taking one whole hour to get Gavin to eat his lunch.  And about 50 minutes of that was just trying to get him to eat his veggies. Every day was a battle with more vegetables on the floor than in his mouth. So finally I put some dip on my plate, dabbed a green bean in and gave it to Gavin. Thankfully, he ate the rest of his veggies without a problem
  5. Mix with Mashed Potatoes. My son does not like broccoli. He’ll eat it if pureed with sweet potatoes, but he will not eat them alone. I found that if I am serving steamed broccoli with dinner, he will eat them if they are with a bite of mashed potatoes. Loaded mashed potatoes makes them all the better!

What tips do you have to get your child to eat vegetables? I would love to hear about them!

 

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