At almost, 7 months old, my little one got to experience food for the first time. We started with avocado and then sweet potato and then other veggies followed every four days. This is to test out whether she had any reaction to any of the foods. Soon, we were proud parents of a veggie loving baby. If a veggie went on her plate, she ate it happily, which made us happy.
Then, she turned two-ish and things started to gradually shift to her distaste for vegetables. Even now, it seems like if it’s not meat, Daiya cheese, or a grain she would rather not eat. Keep in mind, it’s completely normal for kids to do this. I struggle with this a bit but I don’t force my daughter to eat her food. She gets her plate of food with what we eat on it and she has to try a bite of each vegetable or she doesn’t get seconds on her “go-to-foods”. Most of the time she won’t even try them so after she has finished her other food, she gets down from the table. We try to give her options rather than rewarding or punishments for eating.
I do hide veggies in sauces, but I also put veggies on her plate because I think it’s important for her to know what she’s eating and know what foods her palate has accepted.
Here are my rules for getting my daughter to eat her veggies.
1. Consistency- this is kind of a rule with anything for rearing children. Make sure your plan is known to anyone who gives your kiddos food on a regular basis.
2. Mirror. This one is important. Your kids need to see that you enjoy your healthy food too otherwise they won’t be excited about them either. Don’t go overboard- kids are smart and can tell if you’re not really into them.
3. Give options- ask them what they would like as a vegetable and also serve one they aren’t excited about so they can try it. The more one is introduced to more veggies, the sooner they will come around.
4. Change it up. If you know your kiddo hates steamed veggies then try them roasted, season them differently, make them into cool shapes, make them into chips or fries, add some yummy sauce or cheese.
5. Be patient and Relax. As long as you are doing those things, then kids will come around, eventually, when they are ready and their tastes and body are craving them.
Do you have kids who have ever or still have a hard time getting down their veggies? What tricks do you use?