How can I make him eat his vegetables?

Elizabeth - posted on 06/10/2013 ( 13 moms have responded )

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My son hates eating vegetables and refuses to eat if i don't take out the vegetables from his prepared meal.

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Jodi - posted on 06/14/2013

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I actually disagree with Evelyn, that if they try something and don't like it they shouldn't have to eat it again. That won't help with the situation at all. It is a fact that it takes up to about 16 times of trying something before your taste buds will accept it. Instant dislike to a food does not mean you won't eventually acquire the taste. If you give up immediately because he rejects something, you are essentially not offering him the opportunity to acquire the taste, and you will end up with a VERY fussy and picky child. Instead, you should continue to offer it and have him taste it. Then, if he doesn't like it, you can move on and try it again in 12 months or so. Don't just assume that if he doesn't like it the first few times that it is a waste of time.

Ev - posted on 06/10/2013

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Depending on how old he is and all you need to have him at least try a bite of his veggies at each meal. If he does not like it have him eat fruit in place of it. I have a son who did this when he was in his toddler years. Since Veggies and Fruit have a lot of the same nutrients, substituting fruit is good. If he is older than toddler age then he should try it and if he does not like it he should not have to eat it after that.

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Sara - posted on 06/19/2013

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My daughter feels the same way. I make a shake for us every morning with almonds, water, plain nonfat yogurt, kale, parsley, and celery then fruit to mask the taste with a little stevia to sweeten it. That way if I can't purée it into anything else she has eaten some.
I also steam veggies and add chicken boulon and a bit if cream then purée it into a soup. She loves it.
You have probably probably figured out I use my blender to sneak it into dishes. It works.

Renea - posted on 06/18/2013

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when my kids went through that stage I did two things one was let them help me cook the food and the other was to take them to the grocery store and let them pick what they thought was good to eat we all got to try new things because my kid picked up some stuff I had to look up on the internet to make sure it was actual food it worked very well and now they actually clear their plates

Chet - posted on 06/17/2013

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I don't hide vegetables. That's winning the battle, but losing the war. Kids need to legitimately learn to eat healthy food. They need to be educated about nutrition and what a balanced meal looks like. Tricking them doesn't foster good life long habits.

It can take up to thirty tries to develop a taste for a new food. You need to keep trying, even if it's just one small bite.

Sometimes kids are more willing to try food they helped to grow or prepare. Involving them in meal planning and prep can help.

I definitely agree that you need to try different ways of preparing vegetables. Kids can be very sensitive to texture for example.

Cut out junky food. It's difficult to develop a taste for vegetables when you're used to salty or sugary processed food.

Samantha - posted on 06/17/2013

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Hide them!!!!!! There are so many great cookbooks out there for this. I actually used these same books before my daughter was born so my baby daddy would eat a little better! haha

Evangelyna - posted on 06/17/2013

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I agree with Jodi as well, you can't just have him try something once and give up. You can try preparing them in different ways. I personally hate raw tomatoes but I love cooked tomatoes. I prefer some vegetables plain, some raw and others I like steamed/roasted/seasoned. I do not like peas but I love split pea soup. I don't like raw celery but will gladly eat cooked celery. You just have to keep trying different ways. And as far as he won't eat unless vegetables are removed, he's not going to starve himself. You need to be firm and not give in. Make it a rule that everyone at the table has to at least try everything, he doesn't have to like it the first time around but he has to try it. No offense to Page's husband but that's not how you want your son to grow up to be. When I was growing up we all ate the same thing for dinner, no special requests, we had to eat a little bit of everything. If we said we didn't like something my dad would say, "well I guess you're not hungry. If you were hungry you would eat what you were given." Some people might call this harsh but in the end me and all of my siblings would and still will eat anything. Of course we have preferences but we also aren't picky. If I have to eat raw tomatoes or peas I will. I wouldn't necessarily choose to eat them but if that's what someone is serving I'm not going to turn up my nose and refuse to eat. You have to be firm and consistent.

Jerilyn - posted on 06/17/2013

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My girls are 5,2. And I tell them if they want to grow tall to ride the slides at swimming pool they need to eat this. Or if they want to grow up to eat it. My girls prefer it to be steamed. Throw some seasoning on it. Broccoli steamed w melted butter on top is great. Or melted cheese. If your worried they arnt getting the right fruit and vegetables get those fruitables drinks.

Julie - posted on 06/16/2013

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It's a challenge that many parents face: getting the kids to eat their vegetables. Jessica Seinfeld, wife of comedian Jerry Seinfeld, thought she had the answer and wrote a book called "Deceptively Delicious" about how to hide vegetables within foods to trick children into eating them. Check it out!!

Theresa - posted on 06/16/2013

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I need some advise my son is 10 and me and my boyfriend was taken him rafting but when we got to the boat docks he want to just fish so i figured his 10 and knows how to swim and the water doesn't go higher then his mid thaugh i left him food drink and my cell and call a friend to let them knw if he call and want to b done fishg to come get him wel i went down the river and a cop had came and xalld cya and rhey toke my so. saying hw wasin danger.

Page - posted on 06/15/2013

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I so completely agree with Jodi, keep introducing him to a variety of veggies!!! It takes repeated exposures for some kids and some veggies, for them to develop a taste for them. One way to covertly develop this "taste" is to puree a veggie and hide it in something that the child readily eats, gradually increasing the amount so they will get used to its taste over time. You may also have to resort to an incentive system, like "you have to take one bite and swallow it, before you can _____". If you have a spouse who doesn't eat certain things, feed your child those items anytime the spouse is not dining with you, so your child won't ask the inevitable question about why daddy/mommy doesn't have to eat that food item.

I feel very passionate about this topic, because my mother-in-law did not do this with my husband and it has caused huge issues for him and between us over the years. We can't accept invitations to eat at friends houses, unless we know the menu ahead of time. He will only agree to go to a few specific restaurants, and won't try anything new, because there might not be anything there for him to eat. No one could bring meals for us when I was on bed rest for months, when I was expecting both of my children. And saddest of all, I have almost completely lost any enjoyment for cooking that I once treasured as one of my favorite hobbies. As you can see, not giving up and getting your child to eat veggies is VERY important, not just now, but for the rest of their life, not to mention the health benefits! Best wishes!

Ev - posted on 06/10/2013

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Your welcome. If that does not work, then talk to his doctor about it. Sometimes its also a phase too that they got through. When my son was just about a year old he quit eating all veggies and the last one he stopped eating was mashed potatoes and gravey.

Elizabeth - posted on 06/10/2013

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THANKS! I'LL DEFINITELY TRY THE FRUITS....CAN'T BELIEVE I NEVER THOUGHT OF THIS.....I ACTUALLY AM REALLY WORRIED ABOUT THIS AND THE ONLY MEAL I GET TO SEE HIM HAVE IS DINNER BECAUSE I LEAVE EARLY IN THE MORNING AND WELL, I MAKE HIM A VERY HEALTHY LUNCH BUT I DO NOT KNOW FOR SURE THAT HE ACTUALLY EATS ALL. BUT THANKS FOR THE ADVICE.

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