How can I get my 9yr old to eat more vegetables, fruits etc

Gail - posted on 04/30/2010 ( 6 moms have responded )




My 9 yr old won't eat vegetables, fruits, drink milk, in essence his eating habits are awful, I know that my husband and I are to blame for can we change this? I am not home for supper times right now, but am going to change my work schedule to be home....suggestions?


Patricia - posted on 05/01/2010




It is natural apparently for children to not like green foods. They have to grow into them. My daughter at 2 wouldn't touch salad, but loved to eat. I decided to serve salad as an 'appetizer', before serving the second course. She told me she didn't want any, I said that was fine, she'd have to wait 5 minutes for us to finish ours then we'd have the main. She lasted about 30 seconds before she dove in to her salad. Couldn't stand to wait!

Generally, I just serve what I want them to eat, (what we eat, my kitchen isn't a restaurant or cafeteria!) and they eat what they want, have to try what they don't want- house policy, and generally they grow into most things.

Also, if you don't want them eating it, DON'T BUY IT! :)

Good luck!

Melanie - posted on 05/03/2010




Most of my ideas have already been said. our vegetable policy is can choose one not to eat (so a meat and three veg dish becomes a meat and four veg) and sometimes I will put two or three vegetables that are not favourites on the table so the choice becoes that much harder (you quickly learn which vegetables are dispised and which are just disliked).

Being eight he is old enough to reason with, so do it. Explain to him why the changes are being made (well sorta kinda), your father and I (or just I) think the family needs to start eating more healthy foods, or whatever other reason you want.

If he says he is full give him the benefit of the doubt but if he has had three bites of his dinner (so you know full well he isn't) no more food until breakfast. If he comes to you an hour later and complain he is hungry tell him tough he had the opportunity to have dinner at dinner time and it is due to his actions (refusal to eat) that he is now hungry. It won't happen often - afterall not very comfortable going to bed hungry. If he genuinely didn't like/ couldn't eat dinner then offer him a healthy alternative - boiled egg, sandwhich. But this is not to be a regular thing. An example may be you cooked a curry he tried it, did his best to eat it but genuinely could not (may have found it too spicy etc), if he is just turning his nose up then first rule applies.

Get him involved. as a family make pizza (individual ones work well), you control what goes on in so much as what you put out, things that go on our homemade pizzas include bacon (and other small goods, if we have them), snow peas, mushrooms (tinned/fresh), spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, pineapple, olives, sundired tomatoes, boccoccini, feta, brie and anything else we have in the fridge that we think will work. We also make our own hamburges - mince into patties (or a some bbq (minute) steak), tomato, lettuce cheese, any type of sauce/mayonaise toasted bread or hamburger rolls (another one you can do as a create your own). Make you own fish and chips - cut potato into chip shape pieces drizzle with oil roast in oven until cooked,.

But getting him to help you in the kitchen with preparing the vegies, peeling potatoes/carrots, tipping beans, watching you. During this time talk about the vegetable, how you prepare it and how you are going to cook it. you could also make boring mash look interesting by adding food colouring, cut things into interesting shapes and make faces or other silly pictures with the food.

If you can grow some vegies/herbs so he understands where food coees from and can be part of the process - helps children become more open to trying new vegetables.

Make food interesting for your son and he will be interested in eating it

Nancy - posted on 05/02/2010




We have a rule in our house. When our kids say they are done eating if they have food on their plates we make them take as many bites as the are old. My 14 eats just about everything now, he used to leave the veggies until the end but he has figured out that if he eats them first the last bites are the good part of dinner. We have also done the veggies by telling them they have to eat as many peas, green beans, what ever as they are it they are 3 that is not a big deal. I would not push too much though just try a little at a time, and stick with it. My kids also like smoothies...banana's with ice cream and strawberries. Having them make them helps too!

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If you are willing, a bit of a lifestyle change could help..... gradually buy fewer and fewer processed foods, so they just aren't in the house. Then make sure he is hungry by the time it's dinner time, ie no snacks between meals and no sweet drinks (not even fruit juice)... and keep him physically active...

This means he'll hit meal time with a massive appetite... this could help him eat the veggies that you serve as part of the meal.

Sometimes I'm sneaky - wait til the kids are really hungry then give them a plate of crunchy salad vegetables while I'm cooking. Surprising what they'll eat when they're ravenous!

Christine - posted on 04/30/2010




i have 5 kids and only 2 are very good eaters, the other three i think survive on air - don't blame yourself.....if he is healthy and growing well and the doctor says all is OK then i would not beat myself up so can offer but if you push the issue too much, he will totally rebel just to win. If he likes OJ, buy tropicana fortified - it has calcium and vitamin D - like milk...., yogurt with fruit mixed in or jello & fruit or ice cream and fruit smoothies are other tricky ways to get the fruits in.....and you can mix pureed carrots with sauces and stuff like that.......I was a horribly picky eater as a child but now i like and eat just about there is hope!


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Roseann - posted on 04/30/2010




my son is 8 years old he has always loved milk vegetables and fruits now my 5 year old daughter i have to make things look intersting and fun i have to look up fun recipes she has to see me eating all of these things and i have to tell her things like it makes you healthy stronger i find things to tell her that she things are important i let both kids help with making the snacks thats always fun..well good luck

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