The vegetable issue is a difficult one. Quite often it feels like just a few months ago that your little one was eating just about everything you spoon-fed them, but as soon as the solid chunks of veg arrived, that was it. Your toddler on a veggie strike.
Every parent wants to do the best for their child, and part of that is having them eat a balanced diet. But how to achieve that when they turn their nose up, scream, cry or even throw their plate to the floor when you try to feed them vegetables?
There are a few methods, but with a little time and patience your little one will be getting the nutritional legumes they need.
The Vegetable Base
For toddlers and children you’ve tried seemingly everything with, this could be your saving grace. A blend of onions, celery, garlic and carrots cooked down and then blended up provides a great, virtually undetectable veggie base for most sauces and soups. Try using it in pasta bake, tomato sauces, bolognaise and curries, along with anything else your child likes.
Although there is an argument that kids should learn to like veggies as they are, more adventurousness with food can come later in life, and if you’re really struggling to get any veg in your child’s mouth, this could be the answer for you.
The Feel and Learn Method
Many kids have an aversion to vegetables as they simply don’t know what they are, and don’t want to put them in their mouths, which can develop into a habit. Inspiring curiosity in the food they’re eating and teaching them about it can take the scary edge away from the veg.
The easiest way to do this is to have them help you pick out vegetables in the supermarket and help you prepare them at home. Toddlers can easily help you break broccoli into pieces or celery into stems and wash vegetables. Let them watch while you’re cooking, so they know just what you’re doing with the veggies.
By handling the veg, it’s won’t be some foreign object on their plate, but something they’re familiar with.
The Frozen Veggies
While many kids don’t enjoy cooked veggies, they will happily snack on frozen veg, perhaps due to the crunchiness and the way it feels in the mouth. Peas, sweetcorn and small chunks of carrot are great for this – just pop a little in a ramekin as a snack.
When you do start getting your little one to eat non-disguised vegetables, it can be a good idea to reward their effort. Try setting up a reward chart, and let them pop on a fun teacher reward sticker every time they try a new vegetable or clear their plate.
Does your toddler eat their veggies happily, or have you had to coax them into eating their carrots?
Louise Blake is a mum of one who is dreading the veggie battle! She writes for School Stickers in her spare time to help other mums.