While some toddlers eat everything in sight, others flatly refuse to even glance at the food you serve them, even if it only slightly resembles a vegetable. It’s quite a common occurrence but can be a stressful time because we worry whether or not they’re getting enough vitamins and minerals.
There’s a way to beat fickle eaters at their own game, well give a red hot shot at least! Here’s 5 ways to try to get your toddler to eat more vegetables.
1. Avoid making a big deal out of it
Little ones often have steely determination, and the bigger the deal we make about them refusing to eat vegetables the more likely they’ll shut up shop permanently. Try the softly-softly approach and try not to get too upset or cranky, instead explain that you have a ‘one bite rule’ and that they must at least try it.
Hint: You might find your toddler eats more vegetables when they’re out and about because they’re distracted, in this instance have an organic baby food pouch on hand and they’ll probably scoff the lot.
2. Create your own veggie garden
Not all of us have enough space for a massive plot with the works, but even growing a few herbs, cherry tomatoes or lettuces in smaller pots will be exciting for toddlers. As well as teaching them about nature they will take ownership and get excited when their vegetables start to grow.
Tip: Make a big deal about how your child will get to be the first one to try the tomato or lettuce once it’s grown.
3. Try a different approach
Often toddlers prepare themselves to hate their lunch or dinner before it has even been dished. Try a new approach and offer them veggies at snack time. A lot of kids hate the soft, squishy texture of vegetables so don’t overcook them or consider serving them up raw, depending on their age. Frozen peas in summer are sweet and crunchy, beans are another option and carrots and cucumber can be cut into sticks.
4. Get creative not cranky
Those bento-style lunches seem like a lot of work, but getting creative with how you serve vegetables to your toddler might increase the chances of them eating them. Make a face using celery sticks eyebrows, carrots for the nose, cherry tomatoes for eyes, red capsicum for lips and baby spinach or lettuce for the hair. If you’ve got the time or energy, use toothpicks to put together a vegetable animal.
Hint: Trying encouraging your toddler to make a face out of the vegetables you give them and then eat it together, monkey see monkey do!
5. The sneaky-sneaky approach
If your best efforts are going unrewarded, then you could always find an alternative way to get veggies into them. Simply grate some vegetables or use one of Bubs Australia’s organic baby food pouches such as the Sweet Potato, Carrot & Pumpkin, and include in their pasta dish, mash or risotto. It’s a win-win, your toddler will enjoy the sweet and nutritious taste of vegetables and you’ll stop stressing about them getting their five serves a day!
About the author: Emily ToxwardWhen former journalist Emily Toxward isn’t wrangling her three kids she’s juggling the demands of her business Write Styling and failing fabulously at being a domestic goddess. A published writer for nearly 20 years, Emily left full-time work in 2008 to have children and write from home. Always on the go, she spends her days negotiating with an army of little people she created and visits her local Gold Coast beaches for a little sanity.
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This is a terrific trio of wholesome and nutritious veggies with a dash of organic fruit. Your growing baby will love Bubs Sweet Potato, Carrot & Pumpkin pouch as one of its first meals. All of our meals are Australian certified organic and our ingredients are grown without chemicals, pesticides and other nasties.