If you’re anything like me, you have a child with no interest in eating anything other than cheese, bread, and fruit. Despite my best efforts, he wants nothing to do with vegetables of any kind! Not even corn, who doesn’t like corn? Through trial and error, discussions with other moms, and plenty of googling we’ve tried a few methods and want to share what‘s worked for us, so far!
- Use “squeezie” pouches!
We use the baby food pouches with just vegetables at least once a day (we call them “squeezies”). The goal is to transition to “real” vegetables and not continue to use this slightly more expensive option. But in the meantime, this has been a good way to get him used to the taste of a variety of vegetables. Be sure to look at the label, some have just fruit, some have fruit and veggies, and some are just veggies. I also look for sales and coupons for these, to make them easier on our grocery budget (usually get them between $.89 – $1.00)!
- Give them vitamins! (or nutritional supplement drinks!)
We’ve used a couple different kinds of vitamins, to make sure he’s not missing out on some of those important nutrient his growing body needs. They make them in different consistencies, including chewable and gummies, to appeal to different palates. Be sure to look for vitamins containing iron, which is an important component of leafy vegetables they may be low on if they’re not eating veggies! We’ve also tried PediaSure, which he really enjoyed the taste of. This is a more expensive option, though (about $10 for a 6-pack), we’re not able to continue this one long-term.
- Eat vegetables yourself!
If you’re not eating your vegetables why should they? We definitely are more cognizant of our own food choices now that little eyes are watching. Make sure to use a variety of vegetables to they’re exposed to many kinds. The goal is to normalize vegetables as a regular part of each meal.
- Don’t create negative associations with vegetables!
Be careful not to force vegetables as a punishment, so as not to create a negative association with them in their mind. I’ve also not found the “eat 3 bites of broccoli or we’re not going to the park” strategy to be effective. Perhaps with a less stubborn child this could work, but NOT with mine. Along the same vein, don’t speak negatively about vegetables. This can be a tough one, I’m no fan of Brussel sprouts myself; but I don’t want to give him any excuses for refusing them!
- Keep offering them!
Always offer a serving, even if they’ve said no before. I am definitely guilty of thinking to myself: “Well, he wanted nothing to do with the green beans the last 43 times I tried, so why bother?” But they can’t eat them if they don’t have any on their plate! Don’t give up!
What other strategies have you had success with? Let us know in the comments below!