does anyone know how to get kids to eat vegies?

Diane - posted on 08/14/2009 ( 44 moms have responded )

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my daughter ate everything i offered, a wide variety of fruit veg and proteins up to the age of 4 now at 6 she wont eat vegetables (other than carrots) at all and wont try anything new at all, she will eat pasta sauce that i add pureed vegies to but wont eat soup and if meatballs, burgers or rissoles etc have any suspicious colours in them she wont eat them either, we have tried start charts, bribes, removal of priviledges and making her go hungry nothing has worked and we are all sick of the meal time drama, any hints will be gratefully accepted

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There is a great book called Simply Delicious by Jessica Seinfeld. It has recipes that hide veggies in food and they taste great!

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Paula - posted on 08/17/2009

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Try making them fun. there are a lot of recipes in many magazines that show you how. All kids do this. If all else fails, just make sure she drinks juice and takes her vitamins. Forcing them on her will only make her like them less. There are many "vitamin enriched" foods out there. Stick with them and accept that as long as her doctor says she's healthy, everything will be ok.

Angela - posted on 08/17/2009

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they now have a juice with veggies in it and also with my boys I did the Gummy veggie vitamin supplements

Karen - posted on 08/16/2009

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When my husband and I moved in together, his three refused to eat pretty much anything I cooked! But what irritated me the most was that one day they would eat something and say they loved it, and the next day they refused to eat it at all... after seeing the wrapper of something that was in it, etc.

We quickly came up with a rule that if you did not want to eat your dinner, you went to bed... no matter hwat time or what was going on after dinner, you went to bed. There was no room for arguement, and if you complained about the food more than once, you got your "choice" to eat it or not taken away and you went to bed. The two most stubborn ones went to bed a few times... but it didn't take long for them to figure out that suffering through it was worth it. I quickly learned after this went into affect which things they honestly disliked and I now give them VERY little of that. Once they all mastered it, we also put a rule into affect that you can "trade" one item per meal.... meaning, if you can find someone to eat it for you, go ahead and give it to them, but you only get to give away one item.

Kelly - posted on 08/16/2009

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Hi Diane! Fortunately it's not my daughter that's a challenge but my husband. I hide it in foods :) There's a great book called "The Sneaky Chef" by Missy Chase Lapine. The mac and cheese is awesome. A bit more work - but good recipes and no one knows :)

Claire - posted on 08/16/2009

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Hi! I told my twins girls (now 6) that broccoli is fairy trees - they love eating it! I glaze Carrots with either a bit of brown sugar or honey and call them Lolly Carrots and for Cauliflower I either do cheese sauce or grill cheese over the top.

Good luck!

Diane - posted on 08/16/2009

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i love the "no thank you " bite i have read much on this subject and this comes up time and time again that children often need to try something new many times before they will enjoy it, i will keep "hiding" pureed veg in her food as much as i can but will also introduce the no thank you bite for sure wish me luck and thank you for the great ideas.

Romona - posted on 08/16/2009

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Quoting diane:

does anyone know how to get kids to eat vegies?

my daughter ate everything i offered, a wide variety of fruit veg and proteins up to the age of 4 now at 6 she wont eat vegetables (other than carrots) at all and wont try anything new at all, she will eat pasta sauce that i add pureed vegies to but wont eat soup and if meatballs, burgers or rissoles etc have any suspicious colours in them she wont eat them either, we have tried start charts, bribes, removal of priviledges and making her go hungry nothing has worked and we are all sick of the meal time drama, any hints will be gratefully accepted


make a simple meal like sauages and veg and every night give it to her, make sure that there is no eating 2 hrs before tea, if she doesn't like it send her to bed so no fighting and make sure you have ice cream after so she knows she will get ice cream too with all the topping for being so good,  might take a month but dont give in good luck.

Kim - posted on 08/15/2009

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I make a lot of veggie and fruit breads like carrot cake, banana bread, zuccini bread and you can just about add any veggie to quick breads. they add a little color without adding too much of the flavor because of the sugar and taste of the original bread. Good luck, and if you have any other tips, please let me know.

Angela - posted on 08/15/2009

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Stick to pureed in and on all foods until she is old enough to tell her that she has been eating them and likes them.

[deleted account]

I had a child at school convince mine that vegetables were bad. They went on a veggie strike. I got them through it by putting them to work. At the time they were 5 and 6 (so this could be a phase).
We looked up different vegetables online and in the encyclopedia. They drew pictures of them, learned where they came from, created veggie characters, and we went out and got some. I chose to take them somewhere off the regular route. Instead of picking up the food at the grocer like we always do, we went to the local farmers market. They had their drawings in hand and we looked for as many of them we could find. I let them pick a few out themselves helping to explain how to tell when they are at their best, of course. We took our "land treasures" home and broke out some ancient cookbooks. We spent a good while looking through recipes then decided to make our own!
I introduced my kids to cooking. Not just stirring ingredients in a bowl, but actually cooking. I handled the knife but they had to tell me how they wanted them cut. We cooked on a lower heat setting than normal, and they even helped clean up dishes used as we went along. The recipe they named Leigh and Shelby's Masterpiece Surprise. It was basically a vegetable soup that was tomato, garlic, and black pepper based. There were all sorts of vegetables in there, even some not normally found together. Honestly it didn't really taste that bad to me. They loved it, and 5 years later they still make it for special occasions.
Children really like being a part of everything. They are eager to learn. Use the two together and with a little extra time invested you've done more than get your kids to eat their veggies. After all it could just end up being that they want the attention.

Julie - posted on 08/14/2009

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My son always turned his nose up at new foods. So I implemented the "no thank you bite." He had to take a bite of everything on his plate. If he did not like it he did not have to eat anymore that day. This eliminated the battle, and after having tried the foods a few times he began to like most of them. He now eats most veggies, including broccoli, cauliflower, peas, and many more. And remember, it takes quire a few times of serving a new food before a child might take a liking to it.

Cristine - posted on 08/14/2009

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Kids go through natural "food fits"... Don't stress over her recent development. Just feed her what she'll eat, but try and offer a variety of what she wants to eat. Taking away priviledges, bribes and other tactics rarely work and probably make the matter worse because she knows she's calling the shots. My son ate nothing but cheetos & canned green beans for probably about a month (when he was 3), he's now 14 and healthy as a horse! haha

Candace - posted on 08/14/2009

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Im not sure if you can or have room for a garden, but my son 7yrs wouldnot eat veg. ither and I put in a garden and had him help with it. Now he will eat it if it came from our garden....I think he has pride in growing it. Now he tells me when things are grown and loves fresh peas and stuff. I heard that letting them see where it comes from will help, I was not sure ,but it realy helped me.

Kimberly - posted on 08/14/2009

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Just remember, they won't die from the OCCASIONAL trip to McD's, as long as they see it as a treat, not as a steady diet option.

Same w/the ravioli idea: all for it, with a salad or some green beans or corn or peas, and some applesauce.

My people were all big meat and potato eaters. Where I am from potatoes are usually mashed and need gravy. MILK gravy.

Smaller portions of meat, with as little fat as necessary for cooking juiciness. More mashed potatoes, w/or w/o the gravy and a fruit AND veggie at every meal.

The following items were 'staples' in my cupboards:

Cold Cereal. They have all kinds of vitamin enriched flavors.

Cottage cheese: great with the fruit on top for those 'non-milk drinkers'

Sliced cheese: again for those who don't like to get their 24 oz per day of 'the white stuff'.

Applesauce.

Keep in mind: growing children NEED some sugar for energy and some fat for muscle and tendon growth.

My son wanted some pumpkin pie once. We were at the store and I thought he just wanted an excuse to eat some Cool Whip.

NO! He wanted pumpkin pie, deep-dish.

And he was upset when I told him that he had to share it with the rest of us. He was about 10 at the time.

Carly - posted on 08/14/2009

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Try taking her shopping, ask her to pick out the fruit and veg she wants to eat this week, then when you go home have her help prepare it read cook books together. This is absolutly a power stuggle you will not win, so stop trying and start empowering her teach her the importance of heathing eating. Thins could be a great oppertunity for the whole family to learn some new recipies and try new foods.

[deleted account]

Hey! I agree with the who getting the kids involved in meal preparation. As well, my daughter helps plant the garden and sees all her vegetables grow. She is so proud when we prepare meals with the vegetables she helped grow! If a garden isn't an option, maybe try letting her help shop at the grocery store in the produce section.

Another tip if all else fails, giving your daughter some v8 splash juice at meal times could help. It is fruit juice with vegetables 'hidden' in it. My kids love it and they dont' even know that they are drinking their veggies! good luck!

Kimberly - posted on 08/14/2009

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Don't mind me much. I have been feeding people of all ages for about 34 years now.

Anna - posted on 08/14/2009

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Hi,

Does she like mashed potatoes? Try to mix some spinach or other veggies with the potatoes. Maby she would like to try it?

Kimberly - posted on 08/14/2009

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Whenever I fixed a meal for my grandsons, they had to try a Tbs of everything I prepared. Their plate started w/ 1 Tbs of everything, then they got to have seconds of whatever they liked.

Their mother called me for my 'secret beans and wienies' recipe, because the boys would not eat this dish at home.

I told her my secret: eat it or don't! This IS what we are having for supper. Snack is before bedtime and breakfast is 2Moro.

Kimberly - posted on 08/14/2009

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And, thanks for the 'no pills or potions' reply.

It is difficult to keep tweenies and teens from using drugs when you have told them repeatedly "Um, good, take your vitamin for Mommy, now".

The color idea is a good one: if she likes fruits, she may love Harvard beets or candied yams, or baked squash w/cinnamon (a healthy spice) and sugar and butter on it.

most kids like spaghetti. Look for a spaghetti squash at the store. Cover in your pasta sauce.

The main vitamin from veggies is iron. Girls are the ones most likely to avoid iron rich foods. (And the ones who need to develop iron-loving habits, b/cuz of later menstrual issues).

Sometimes the work is in making the food 'fun' to your child. Usually this is accomplished w/smaller portions (mini-burgers instead of full-sized ones). Let her make 'her own salad, but she has to eat it all'. (Gives her the feeling of empowerment that you want her to develop, without giving her the feeling of entitlement that you DO NOT want to encourage.)

[deleted account]

Hay there, No worries. Her taste buds will change over time and her body will crave them but in the mean time with my four I always for example had the eat atleast one green bean for every year of age or just one carrot bite with a reward (but not a sugar reward). Usually when they see the large amount of everything else then they are a bit more inclined to quickly eat the one thing. I am diabetic and I eat veggie chips from the local publix and I have to hide them from the kids so I can have some. Just never stop trying, one day its gonna suprise you ;o) Good luck.

Diane - posted on 08/14/2009

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she eats, and she eats well , she eats fruit she eats wholegrain pasta and bread and she drinks a ton ofwater each day i just want her to eat and enjoy her veg , her weight for height ratio is normal i am just worried about the minerals and vitamins she gets and i dont want to give her pills or potions

Kimberly - posted on 08/14/2009

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1st of all: stop worrying. Yes, this is a power play on the part of your child. I took my son (now 21) to the pediatrician because he got 'off his feed'. Dr. assured me that he would eat when he got hungry. At 14, we could not keep enough food in the house.

2nd of all: what else has gone on in your household lately to assure your child that she can get away w/not eating her veggies: for instance, has a favorite family member of hers (could be an older sibling or aunt/uncle) expressed "Ooooh. YUK! Green beans? You EAT green beans?!

The ketsup idea is a great one, or cheese sauce, or mustard, or jelly (if that is a favored condiment). My children would not eat carrots, but would eat FF like they were starving. Let them dip them in ketsup and viola!, another finger food conquered by sauce. Barbeque, honey, syrup, whatever.

Then you can all go for a short walk to work off those extra calories.

Stacie - posted on 08/14/2009

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Also there is a new juicy juice that has veggies in it. I recommend the grape one. It's rally good and the kids can't tell the difference. The other ones are kind of gritty.

Diane - posted on 08/14/2009

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i am going to keep doing the puree of veg thing , im going to keep putting recognisable veg on her plate and im just gonna hope for the best in the future :-)

Stacie - posted on 08/14/2009

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Have you tried a cheese sauce on them or eating raw vegtables with ranch. My kids also won't eat a lot of corn but love it on the cob. Good luck!

Diane - posted on 08/14/2009

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tried the ketchup ,or tomato sauce as we call it in australia and it has had very limited success

Diane - posted on 08/14/2009

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as a family we eat a lot of veg. its a big part of our plate 9 out of 10 nights, so she has been exposed to it and she just refuses it,,,,,,,my worry is why did it start after 4yrs old before that she ate everything

Diane - posted on 08/14/2009

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i have always worried about masking veg as a puree, cause they dont really know they are eating them and i worry that later they wont eat veg anyway but i do it because i know she needs the vitamins etc

Tena - posted on 08/14/2009

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Tina and others. Here is a story I must tell. While I have and will get vegetables into the kids I am honest when I tell them that Ive been made to eat enough of them in my time. I am a very picky eater, especially veggies! When V8 veggie+fruit juices hit the shelves I was on it.

Tena - posted on 08/14/2009

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Cabbage and potatoes too. I also like to get garlic into the kids meals and potatoes are a good place to do that.

Tina - posted on 08/14/2009

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Hi Diane, My daughter wont eat veggies either. But now there are juices that you can buy that have fruit and veggies in them. I thought that they would taste gross and that she would hate them but she loves them. There are differient flavors. My daughter likes most of them. Try a few differernt ones and see if she liks them. Taste them yourself I think you will be surprised. Good luck.....Tina

Della - posted on 08/14/2009

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Choose a veggie that they like, and incorporate others of the same color.....for example--whip cooked turnips into mashed potatoes. Try it....it really is tasty!

Diane - posted on 08/14/2009

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i have pureed vegies in pasta sauce and it does work, but i love the idea of calling food cool names like "witches pasta" love that idea and i will try it , i just hope that one day she will eat a vegatable without it having to be disguised

Tena - posted on 08/14/2009

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Puree the veggies in the blender and add them to other foods. Carrots into tomato sauce, etc. Jerry Seinfeld's wife has put out a recipe book following the concept.
I've also created exciting dishes. A favorite for me is angel hair pasta with alfredo sauce. I added spinach to the dish and call it 'witches pasta'. The twins ask for it from time to time.

~GL~

Kathleen - posted on 08/14/2009

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Try giving her frozen mixed veggies (peas, corn, small carrots). My kids eat it like it's candy! I put it in a small cup for them to eat before dinner, so it doesn't feel like it's part of the meal but they still get their servings in. Good luck!

Kim - posted on 08/14/2009

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My son and I take Juice Plus. They are 17 fruits and vegetables in a pill. The kids can get gummies or chewables. I never worry about him getting enough nutrition anymore. You can order them at kcecchijuiceplus.com. My son loves the gummies - it's like candy to him.

Diane - posted on 08/14/2009

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thank you jenny, yes she loves tomato sauce and the limited success we have had is by putting sauce on her plate and hand feeding her a small amount of veg with sauce on it, she is more than happy to help prepare meals and even helps to shop for and choose good veg, but wont eat them :-( i think its come to the point now where it is a power struggle and i for one and over it , im ready to let her eat what she wants just for the joy of having a meal without a fight,,,,,,,,thank goodness she loves fruit

Jen - posted on 08/14/2009

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I agree meal times should be happy occassions :)

Maybe its the taste or the texture of the food that she doesnt like. Some children don't like lumpy bumpy food. Tomato sauce is a popular condiment with meals when children arent keen on their meal. When I was working in child care a lot of 'fussy eaters' would change their mind to taste the food if they could put sauce on it.

Often children are more eager to try food if they have had a hand in helping prepare it and set the table etc.

I dunno if this helps, but i wish you good luck. The main thing is to not make a big deal about if she refuses food because it will lead to a power struggle and you dont need that added stress. take care :)

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