Getting your toddler to eat their vegetables can be a challenge and I know very few parents who haven’t gone through some kind of fussy eating stage with their kids (myself included). Some kids happily embrace vegetables and new foods, while others don’t like entertaining them. My son ate everything I put in front on him until around 14 months when he started to reject most vegetables – namely anything green! At the age of 2 he is slightly better but they are definitely not something he pays much attention to. My advice to any parent with a fussy eater is the same to myself – do not make a big deal of it. I know it can be stressful but there is valuable information in this blog that can help.
Not only are vegetables nutritious, providing important nutrients for growth and development, but including them in your toddlers or child’s diet from a young age, may help encourage a better and more balanced relationship with food into their adult life.
Here are some tips to help include them:
LEAD BY EXAMPLE
MAKE IT FUN
Present vegetables in creative and appealing ways, like making smiley faces or using colourful veggies.
INVOLVE THEM IN COOKING AND MEAL PREP
Include them in meal preparation. My son loves to explore the different ingredients were using and will often try some in the process. They may be more likely to eat what they have helped make.
It may take time for their tastes to adjust, so don’t give up if they don’t like something initially. As mentioned, do not pressure them and just be consistent. It may be helpful to offer smaller portions to reduce food waste and lessen the risk of overwhelming them with foods they haven’t taken to.
Introduce a range of vegetables to expand their palate and avoid mealtime boredom.
ADD VEGGIES TO THEIR FAVOURITE DISHES
Although I Am not a fan of ‘hiding’ veg, I do believe it can be helpful to add them into different dishes for their nutritional benefit and our peace of mind! You can add vegetables into sauces, soups, or smoothies but again, include them in the process so they are aware of what they are eating.
Avoid processed snacks that could reduce their appetite for veggies and try not to give into alternatives when they refuse the food you’ve made. You may mistakenly fall into the habit of providing them with a small variety of accepted foods.
SERVE VEGGIE SNACKS
Offer sliced veggies with a dip or hummus. You can also offer fruits and veg together to neutralise them.
MAKE FAMILY MEALS ENJOYABLE
Eat together, and create a positive atmosphere during mealtime to encourage vegetable consumption.
Remember, each child is unique, so it’s essential to be patient and adaptable in finding what works best for them.
For 1-1 child nutrition help, please contact me with any questions.