I think most of us have probably come across some resistance when it comes to our children eating vegetables at some point.
It’s not unnatural for your child to have some resilience to eating veg.
Eating vegetables seems to be a popular topic in most households today.
As parents we all want our children to do well in life and thrive in the best possible way.
We all know that the best nutrition comes from fruit and vegetables and that it why we are all recommended to make sure a part of a daily diet is made up of fruit and vegetables. (source)
I can hear you all the way from over here saying ” help my child won’t eat vegetables!”
You are definitely right to be concerned by this but before you throw in the towel and decide to give up forcing vegetables down your child’s throat (not quite literally) there are a few things that we can do about it.
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Take a look at these 5 tips to help your child to eat vegetables without pulling out your hair.
1. Blend, blend, blend
Blending vegetables has always worked great for us.
If you have a picky eater on your hands, then a great way to get them to eat and digest those healthy veg is to blend them up.
Out of sight out of mind, right?
You can very easily blend spinach, carrots and other vegetables into stews. Your child will never know!
If your children refuse to even entertain raw or cooked vegetables then try a smoothie or a juice.
Make these as fun and creative as you can.
We recently purchased a juicer and the children were really excited by it and could wait to try it out.
I would juice vegetables with a little fruit to sweeten it and they happily drank it…Well most of them anyway.
I have one child that absolutely detests vegetables and its hard work trying to get him to eat them.
Even if he gets a whiff of veg he won’t eat the food, whether or not he can taste them.
In this case, I don’t think it’s about “my child won’t eat vegetables” its more of a psychological thing.
He just won’t eat them
2. Don’t make a big deal about it
This can be a difficult one to contend with especially if you end up getting frustrated but the key here is to remain calm at all times.
If you place too much emphasis on getting your kids to eat their vegetables it will have the opposite effect.
In fact, what you will be doing is reinforcing their nervousness about eating vegetables.
I would suggest you don’t single out vegetables as being healthy eating but rather use them as a part of all the other foods on the plate.
3. Use vegetables as snacks
If your child is hungry enough they will eat their veggies.
I’m not suggesting that you starve them until they eat them but what I am saying is that you should offer vegetables as a first alternative to snacking rather than as an afterthought.
If you are going out for the day make sure that you have cold vegetables available to eat.
You can use dipping sauces to spruce them up.
Things like humous or a sour cream dip could be enough to tempt your picky eater.
4. Start them young
If you have a younger child then I can’t stress this enough!
Use vegetables as snacks for them. Start as you mean to go on.
I made a very big mistake as I was raising my children.
When I had my first born I used to give him cucumber and carrot sticks to eat whenever he was hungry.
It’s no wonder that today he still loves his vegetables so much.
The mistake I made was that the more children I had the less time I have to peel and slice veg.
I ended up giving my children some not so healthy snacks in replacement.
Its come back to bite me in the bum because now I have to find ways to get them to eat more healthy. My first born, however, will eat a whole broccoli raw if you offer it to him.
What I thought was a short cut back in the day has become the hardest road to travel.
5. Begin with easy vegetables
Start with easy to eat vegetables that don’t have too much of a strong taste. Brussel sprouts might not be a good beginners choice as it has a slightly bitter taste.
Sweet potato, carrots, sweetcorn, broccoli, and cauliflower are good choices.
Try not to have too many sweet vegetables in one serving though.
6. Lead by example
If you truly want your children to eat more healthily then you must too.
You can’t expect your children to fall in love with vegetables whilst you eat a plate full of pure carbohydrates. It simply won’t work.
The case here is monkey see, monkey do.
7. Get them to help
There is something very magical that happens when you involve your children in the cooking process.
Children are much more inclined to eat what they helped to cook.
Take your children with you when you go grocery shopping. Let them look at the vegetables and talk to them about the different types they see.
You can ask them which ones they would like to try.
Buy them and try new vegetables on an ongoing basis.
Keep note of the ones that went down really well and keep those as part of your regular meal planning schedule.
Final thoughts on “my child won’t eat vegetables”
It’s a great feeling when your children eat vegetables and love them but this is not always the case with all children.
Never give up and keep on reintroducing old vegetables over time to your children.
Children don’t really know their palate until they are a bit older so don’t be afraid to try vegetables over and over again.
You must get the balance right though.
If your child really does not like a particular vegetable don’t force it on them because they will come to have a negative association with all vegetables in the long run.
Let’s be real here, there are some vegetables we as adults don’t even like, so be fair with your children.
My rule is that you should try it at least 3 times even if its just one bite before you can decide that you truly don’t like something.