My toddler refuses to eat fruits or vegetables!

[deleted account] ( 11 moms have responded )

I've tried everyhting, even recipes from the "sneaky chef".
Nothing works, I'm very frustrated because he gets very constipated and he suffers so much!
Please help!


Sarh - posted on 11/04/2010




What you eat is going to be a big influence on what he will eat. Like Aurora said do you let him see you eating these fruits and veggies? Persistence in presenting a once rejected food is a very important thing to do. If children have repeated opportunities to try new foods, then at least some of them will be accepted. That may mean that you have to try a small teaspoon size portion of a fruit or veggie 10-15 times before your little guy will even try it.

How old is your little guy? Studies have shown that the number of foods kids like does not change much from age two or three to eight yrs of age. However that study also showed that the new foods (fruits & veggies in your case) are more likely to be accepted at age two to four than four to eight yrs old. Not sure if that makes sense or not, but that is what the study showed. haha.

Does he like smoothies, muffins, yogurt, etc? Not sure if you have tried these and add fruits or veggies to them...? Does he drink 100% fruit juice? This will give him fruits and should also help w/the constipation.... Although eating whole fruit is better because it also has fiber, 4-6oz of 100% fruit juice for a 1-6yr old child and 8-12oz for an older child is an easy way to 'eat' 1-2 servings of fruits.

Have you tried getting him to pick out fruits or veggies when you go grocery shopping?

Try mixing fruit pieces in w/yogurt (if he likes yogurt) or try serving fruit w/some dip...? Apples and caramel.... may be messy, but if he will eat it go for it. Sit down and eat this snack w/him.

Maybe a snack mix of raisins, nuts and cereal...?

Have you tried adding bananas or berries to his cereal?

How about dried fruits? Or adding fruit to jello-o?

For veggies, again try offering them w/dips. Maybe try a stir-fry. Not sure how old he is, but have you let him help you cook? That may help him eat veggies as it is something he helped cook? You could start growing your own vegetable garden, he can see them grow, and he may even try them while picking them w/you?

Make meal time fun, try not to 'force' him to eat fruits and veggies, it may then appear to be a punishment to a small child. I know when I was a kid I felt as if I was being punished for not liking onions because I had to stay at the table until my plate was clear.

If none of this will work, maybe try a multi-vitamin? Also talk w/his pediatrician.

Do you know the serving sizes of fruits and veggies for a toddler? You don't want your expectations to be too high... right? For toddlers a serving of veggies may be as small as a tablespoon per yr of age and 1/2 a piece of fruit.

Does he possibly have Food Neophobia?

My daughter who will be 5 soon, chocked on a grape when she was about 3yrs old and at my grandmothers house, my grandmother freaked out which made the experience worse for my daughter. Anytime I buy grapes my daughter asks repeatedly mommy and I going to chock on this again? For her it was very traumatic (and would have been for me as well if I was there), but she some how works through it, but will only eat them while in the same room as me.

Good luck! Sorry for this being soooo long.

September - posted on 11/04/2010




I'm sorry I don't have lots of ideas for you but since you mention he drink juice, have you tired the V8 juices that provide 1 serving of fruits and vegetables with each 8oz. served? That might help. Good luck!

Aurora H. - posted on 11/04/2010




what does he eat? What did you feed him when he was just a baby? Does he see you eat the fruits and vegetables?
You could always tell him that if he doesn't eat his fruits and vegetables that the boogy man will come and get him or make up some little kid scary stories. Luckily I don't have that problem yet but I had friends kids that did the same thing. But the whole scary story telling worked.

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[deleted account]

i agree with everyone... just be persistent keep offering them, try eating them with him. if you dont think hes getting enough nutrients from the rest of hid diet talk to your doctor about vitamins or supplements until hes eating a proper diet good luck!:)

Jade - posted on 11/05/2010




try floarong the vegies or making a shepards pie and include in it pasta and vegies my kids go nuts ov er the everything shepards pie and if thqat dosnt work dont offer another meal my kids eat what they are given or the go hungry i wont cook 3 differnt meals... hes taken you for a run, ur in charge so take control and say no more we eat as a family here too which i find can help but sometime s we need to brib e with dessert ... another thing i used to do is make a beer batter and but all ya vegies into strips and coat them in beer batter and fry them so yummy and my kids just call them chips they dont even relise its vegies that may work does he like potatoe cause u can mash other vegies into it... i cant think of much off else but try those and if that dont work try asking your doctor for help or advice

Katrina - posted on 11/05/2010




the standard formula that I have heard of is 20 yucks to 1 yum.
Do not give too much variety but start with giving a "side" of veges (maybe only one at a time) prepared the same way each time. So say steamed carrots and broccoli. Don't pressure him to eat it but just have it available. It should be at least 20 yucks or "I don't want to" before he decides to eat it properly.
My now 3yo occasionally won't want to eat veges that she hasn't seen before but I tell her "You don't need to eat it, but it is staying on your plate and I would like you to try a bit for me anyway." Most of the time she will try a bit (half a mouthful) and will keep going of her own accord.

Good luck :)

Shannon - posted on 11/04/2010




my daughter was the same, she didnt touch veggies from the age of 2-5, just keep putting them on his plate and encouraging him and he will eventually try them!! I used the "are you brave enough" tactic which worked after awhile, in the mean time loads of fruit!! :)

REBECCA - posted on 11/04/2010




i get my baby girl to eat hers by kinda teasing her when she wont take a bit e i say no mine and pretend to eat them and keep teasing her in a fun way of course but when she sees me enjoying it and i say no you cant have it its mine after a few she gets mad and wants what mommy has i also heard if you just add a lil bit of sugar it makes it taste better for them my aunt used to do it in like spaghetti and chilli veggie soup to make it more appealing to the taste buds

[deleted account]

He's 3 yrs old, whenever he gets constipated we remind him that he gets sick because he wont eat fruits or vegs., we have told him abou the boogy man too, he does drink 100% juice about 2 times a day but that's about it!

Amanda - posted on 11/04/2010




My 5 year old was the same way for about 2 weeks at 2 years old. When I took her to her pediatrician, she told me to let her have whatever she wanted. As long as she was eating, she would eventually eat better for me. So I did, for a week. I ate normal, and told her how great my broccoli and so on was. after that time period, I started telling her that she loved it too, and she hadn't given me any problems since then. My now 2 year old has always raten good, maybe because she does everything her sister does though, lol. Best luck to you!

Ischer - posted on 11/04/2010




my son is d same way....but my son loves what i did wa i mix raisins and peanuts together. also my son is in school from 6 weeks....he is 1 now and will b 2 jan 14. and in k1 they are learning alot about fruits and different thing so once he see the other kids eating the fruit he would try it....but would not eat it at home

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