tuesday food day: how to make a picky child eat his vegetables

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very pregnant and cooking with my picky eater, see #9

Today I’d like to discuss something that should be of paramount importance to all parents. How to make a picky child eat his vegetables. Before you try any of these things, don’t forget to explain to your child that vegetables are healthy for his body and will make him grow big and strong. But this probably won’t work every time, so I have a few additional suggestions:

1. Smother them in oil or butter.

2. Chop them up in tiny little pieces so that he doesn’t notice what he’s eating.

3. Pretend his fork is an airplane and “fly” the food into his mouth.

4. Make a colorful salad with fruits AND vegetables. Make sure he doesn’t pick his way around the vegetables.

5. Stick to only the vegetables he likes: baby carrots and cherry tomatoes.

6. Sneak veggies into smoothies, muffins, breads, and sauces.

7. Do not serve dessert until he eats everything on his plate.

8. Threaten an early bedtime.

9. Enroll his assistance in creating a salad dressing or vegetable dish that he’ll like. It will probably be sweet.

10. If all else fails…resort to bribery. Just kidding. Sorta.

How do you get your picky eater to eat his vegetables? Is it a daily battle or have you become a pro? Please share your own experiences and advice!

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16 thoughts on “tuesday food day: how to make a picky child eat his vegetables

  1. Great suggestions. My twins are pretty good veggie eaters, and I think a big part of it is that we take them with us to the farmer’s market every, single week. They pick stuff they want to try and we make it together, just like your #9. Can’t help it think we’re definitely making a difference in the health choices that our children will make when they’re grown. Thanks for posting.

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    1. Your twins are lucky to have a mama like you! Good for you for showing them how to eat well. Emile helped me pick vegetables out of my mom’s garden recently. He loved it! But it seems like he’s been getting pickier lately. I’m trying not to stress about it.

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  2. Daily struggle with Michael here 😦 Great post! I usually rely on throwing a handful of spinach in his smoothies to quiet the major Mommy guilt I feel about his diet.

    Aa a side note, I use your avocado trick in smoothies all the time now! It even works in place of yogurt in his berry smoothies. Yum yum! It’s perfect for using up the rest of the avocado after I mash some up for Griff’s lunch.

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    1. I have mommy guilt too, big time. I will usually do everything I can to get Emile to eat about two bites of veggies. But I always feel guilty that I’m not doing more. I can only battle for so long!

      I hate mommy guilt.

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    1. Emile is also a big fan of fruit. He will do anything for strawberries, even “skut” (ride his balance bike) for 2.5 miles around the lake tonight, while I ran with the stroller. Although he does love the skut, he started to lose interest after a while…until I reminded him about the strawberries waiting for him at the finish line 🙂

      But he seems to be getting more and more picky with veggies. It’s a battle to get him to eat 2 bites of anything green.

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    1. I know! It’s so great. My stepson is 4 now, so it’s not as effective as it used to be. Maybe I should get one of those airplane spoons.

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  3. I’m still figuring out how to get my husband to eat more veggies LOL

    i do whip up a hodgepodge type of soup that my 2 year old daughter seems to love even though she often rejects the veggies elsewhere, it’s just a toss of some zucchini, squash, potato, diced asparagus tips, shaved corn on the cob kernels, pinto beans, even little pastina stars, with a can of diced or stewed tomatoes and a small box of chicken stock (or veggie stock) – sometimes i throw in shredded chicken or ground turkey….it’s just a throw together but she asks for it all the time….

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    1. Me too with the husband! Although mine has drastically improved his eating habits since he met me 🙂

      I can see why your daughter loves the soup. Sounds yummy to me too! What seasonings do you use? Anything besides salt and pepper?

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  4. You know what is so funny? We don’t have kids, but I just about PANIC everytime I think about how poorly my HUSBANDS eating habits are. We have to start pushing more fruits and veggies on his end (I”m doing a decent job of it for myself). I like the ‘sneaky approach.’ 🙂 Great post!

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  5. LOL! the only thing my hubs would eat that was green was LETTUCE! but since we’ve been together he has certainly expanded his horizons *hallelujah* asparagus is now his fav…good boy. i use olive oil to sautee, salt and pepp, fresh garlic, fresh basil – but that’s it – I am going to do a post next week about it after i post my mango green chile chicken pita – it will be with another squash dish (calabacitas) – i even like to eat it cold!

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