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Please help me get my son to eat vegetables!

  1. #1
    thanka2 is offline Registered User
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    Please help me get my son to eat vegetables!

    My 3-year-old son refuses to eat almost any fruits and vegetables. I love fruits and vegetables and eat them a lot. I especially like dark green vegetables like spinach and eat it almost every day. I grew up eating a lot of vegetables as my dad was a gardener and most of the vegetables I ate were raw--pretty much straight from the garden. It stresses me out that my son won't touch any vegetables. The only vegetable he'll eat is broccoli and it has to be cooked. As far as fruit goes, the only fruit he will allow in his mouth are apples but he doesn't eat those much now either.

    I really need some ideas on how to get him to eat vegetables and fruits because I am very concerned about his health at this point.

    Thanks for any tips.
    “Many women have described their experiences of childbirth as being associated with a
    spiritual uplifting, the power of which they have never previously been aware …
    To such a woman childbirth is a monument of joy within her memory.
    She turns to it in thought to seek again an ecstasy which passed too soon.”

    ~ Grantly Dick-Read (Childbirth Without Fear)

    Mother of Two
    JMW, boy, born November 29, 2007, 9:43 pm, USA
    MJW, girl, born March 17, 2011, 4:14 pm, HK

  2. #2
    penelope is offline Registered User
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    My 4 year old is the same although he is getting a bit better, but before he wouldn't touch any veg apart if it was in a soup(well blended NO bits). Every time i would have to lye to him saying that it was potato and sweet potato soup... It was actually loaded with carrots,leek , suede etc... And he loves it go and figure. he won t touch carrots if they re in bits...
    For every 4 spoons of soup he gets a piece of bread with cream cheese or melted cheese.
    For the past 2 months I have started telling him what s in the soup AFTER he s finished and he s fine with it. It s like a game now before his diner he asks me "is it sweet potato soup??" "yes it is" "are you lying?" "yes I am...".
    I know maybe I shouldn't teach him to lie...:)

  3. #3
    ozmerc is offline Registered User
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    In the short term, can you sneak them into things i.e. making a pasta sauce with pureed carrots hidden in it, or muffins with applesauce, etc? Actually I remember there was a cookbook published on this exact thing by Jessica Seinfeld.

    That's obviously not a long-term solution because he will have to learn to eat veges eventually. I would start by getting him very involved in food preparation (if he's not already). My 3 year old 'helps' in the kitchen almost every day and he gets very enthusiastic about eating the final product.

    If you can, get him interested in where they come from i.e. visit one of the small farms out in the NT and show him the produce growing. Then use it in your own cooking so he sees the full 'life-cycle' of the produce rather than just the plastic wrapped version from the store. Or, failing that, take him to the wet markets and show him all the glorious fruit and veges on display!

  4. #4
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    carang is offline Registered User
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    i have the cookbook mentioned if you want to borrow it, thanka...it actually worked wonders for us... took the fight out of me. i still served veg. now, i have 2 veg and the kids MUST choose one.

    my son will reluctantly choose one and my daughter does so much less reluctantly. she LOVES ceaser salad! (especially the croutons, but if it it gets her to eat the rest, who cares?)

  5. #5
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    carang is offline Registered User
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    penelope, she did you mean by suede? (suede is the skin of a cow, the opposite of leather).... i know it's a miskake, but you've picqued my curiosity.

  6. #6
    thanka2 is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by ozmerc View Post
    In the short term, can you sneak them into things i.e. making a pasta sauce with pureed carrots hidden in it, or muffins with applesauce, etc? Actually I remember there was a cookbook published on this exact thing by Jessica Seinfeld.

    That's obviously not a long-term solution because he will have to learn to eat veges eventually. I would start by getting him very involved in food preparation (if he's not already). My 3 year old 'helps' in the kitchen almost every day and he gets very enthusiastic about eating the final product.

    If you can, get him interested in where they come from i.e. visit one of the small farms out in the NT and show him the produce growing. Then use it in your own cooking so he sees the full 'life-cycle' of the produce rather than just the plastic wrapped version from the store. Or, failing that, take him to the wet markets and show him all the glorious fruit and veges on display!
    The funniest part is that he is always involved in food preparation and likes to see how things are made and help as much as we'll let him. And we live right next to a farm in the New Territories (walking distance) and we go there and pick our own vegetables and strawberries. He loves all of this--he loves to participate and isn't grossed out by the vegetables. In fact, he kept telling me for weeks when the strawberries were ripening, "We're going to go pick strawberries, right?" So, we took him to pick strawberries--he picked them with us and had a great time and then when it came to wash and eat them he wouldn't let a strawberry touch his lips. My husband finally got him to try one by promising him chocolate milk--he nearly spit it out and only took a tiny nibble and refused to eat any more. We had even gone with his best friend and his best friend was eating them and he had no inclination to try them himself. :(
    “Many women have described their experiences of childbirth as being associated with a
    spiritual uplifting, the power of which they have never previously been aware …
    To such a woman childbirth is a monument of joy within her memory.
    She turns to it in thought to seek again an ecstasy which passed too soon.”

    ~ Grantly Dick-Read (Childbirth Without Fear)

    Mother of Two
    JMW, boy, born November 29, 2007, 9:43 pm, USA
    MJW, girl, born March 17, 2011, 4:14 pm, HK

  7. #7
    thanka2 is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by carang View Post
    i have the cookbook mentioned if you want to borrow it, thanka...it actually worked wonders for us... took the fight out of me. i still served veg. now, i have 2 veg and the kids MUST choose one.

    my son will reluctantly choose one and my daughter does so much less reluctantly. she LOVES ceaser salad! (especially the croutons, but if it it gets her to eat the rest, who cares?)
    I have that cookbook as well and we use some of the recipes. But, my problem is that the way the veggies are prepared to me seems to be killing all of the nutrition--steamed, baked, blended, frozen, mixed, reheated--hmmmm....

    But, I do have some of the recipes in our monthly meal plan. So, he is getting things like pumpkin in his macaroni and cheese as well as cauliflower in his eggs--things like that. We also make him alphabet soup at least once a week (all pureed) using a recipe from the back of the organic noodles we use in it. I'm just worried that he doesn't get enough raw, fresh veggies. In fact, since I eat salad a lot my son says, "Mama eats salad and the bunny eats salad but I don't eat salad." :(
    “Many women have described their experiences of childbirth as being associated with a
    spiritual uplifting, the power of which they have never previously been aware …
    To such a woman childbirth is a monument of joy within her memory.
    She turns to it in thought to seek again an ecstasy which passed too soon.”

    ~ Grantly Dick-Read (Childbirth Without Fear)

    Mother of Two
    JMW, boy, born November 29, 2007, 9:43 pm, USA
    MJW, girl, born March 17, 2011, 4:14 pm, HK

  8. #8
    thanka2 is offline Registered User
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    This is what I'm thinking about doing:

    My point is I want my son to be eating raw or steamed veggies on a regular basis.

    So, I'm going to try to rework our menu to include a vegetable "appetizer" before every meal. I'm going to start off really slow and simple. Like two baby carrot sticks (y'know, the tiny ones?) with salad dressing to dip in. I'm going to make sure I eat every meal I can with him and if not ask the helper to eat with him so he has a role model to follow.

    This appetizer will be presented before the meal and he'll need to finish the appetizer to get the rest of the meal. This sort of ploy actually works pretty well with him on other things--like getting him to finish food he's not wild about. I'm going to make it a very small amount at first--if it's like spinach it will literally be like two leaves--again with salad dressing if he wants it.

    If he refuses to eat the appetizer he has the option of choosing to come back later when he's ready to eat. I won't make him sit there until he finishes but will let him get down from the table and go play and then when he says he's hungry he'll have to eat the appetizer before the rest of the meal. I figure, eventually, he'll get hungry enough and since it's a very small amount it shouldn't be a big deal. If he says he's hungry later he'll know that he has to come back and finish the appetizer and the meal. This is what we do when he tells us he's not hungry at dinnertime--we don't force him to eat. I just tell him, "Well, this is dinner and if you get hungry later, you'll have to come back and eat this." Then at bedtime when he tells me he wants a snack, I reheat his food for him and he eats that.

    If need be, I'll teach him how to plug his nose and eat his veggies (what I used to do) because the point for me is that he eats them--at least tries them and hopefully it will become a habit.
    “Many women have described their experiences of childbirth as being associated with a
    spiritual uplifting, the power of which they have never previously been aware …
    To such a woman childbirth is a monument of joy within her memory.
    She turns to it in thought to seek again an ecstasy which passed too soon.”

    ~ Grantly Dick-Read (Childbirth Without Fear)

    Mother of Two
    JMW, boy, born November 29, 2007, 9:43 pm, USA
    MJW, girl, born March 17, 2011, 4:14 pm, HK

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