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Old 10-11-2012, 01:13 PM   #1
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Getting a 4 year old to eat veggies

How do you guys do it? When she was a baby/toddler she LOVED veggies. She would eat the green stuff on her plate before anything else.

Now, I can't get her to eat anything. I need help finding ways to sneak veggies in her food but still look/taste like something she likes.

Do you have any tricks/tips?
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Old 10-11-2012, 01:17 PM   #2
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i'd like to hear the tips and tricks too cause my son is 12 and i still have a hard time making him eat veggies! LMAO!!

Have you tried dip? Maybe she will eat raw veggies if she has a yummy dip with it? My son likes to eat his veggies this way.

Other than that, and the veg/fruit smoothie blends, im all out of ideas.

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Old 10-11-2012, 01:21 PM   #3
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One trick is time, I think that for many kids 4 is about the peak of the stage of limiting their diets. My kid ate way more foods at 1 and 2 than at 4, and by about 6 ate way more foods again. He was never a particularly picky eater, but came close at 4.

Some things that worked for us.

-- Frozen vegetables, not frozen and then cooked but still frozen. Especially peas. Don't ask me why but he loved them. For a long time frozen peas were the only green veggie he'd eat consistently.

-- Fruit smoothies with some spinach leaves added.

-- Casserole type dishes with veggies included. Even if he picked around them he was getting used to having them on his plate, occasionally eating one and having it not be a catastrophe!

-- getting "recipes" from the parents of friends, especially if he'd eaten at their house. He'd come home from a friends house and tell me he ate green beans because their mom made them so deliciously. The first few times, I asked for the recipe and it was inevitably something like "I buy them frozen, and then nuke them in the microwave", which is how I'd been cooking them, but the next time I served them I'd say "I made the just like David's mom" and he'd gobble htem down.
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Old 10-11-2012, 01:22 PM   #4

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Try cutting them up very fine and putting them in with darker colored food. Tiny pieces may not get noticed.
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Old 10-11-2012, 01:31 PM   #5
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Try different seasonings. My kids love veggies but we always change up the flavoring. Garlic, Parmesan cheese, Cajun, etc. It may be a texture issue. Try baking and getting them a little "crispy". I'm not a fan of certain steamed veggies, too slimy!
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Old 10-11-2012, 01:37 PM   #6
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Are there any she likes? if so just go with those, she doesn't have to eat all of them. My DS 14 only eats corn, peas and carrots, he is growing just fine and healthy. My DD on the other hand eats everything it is just the way they are wired.

Does she like fruit? if so go with that for now she will get her vitamins from those just as well as vegetables.

Don't make it a battle, go with what she will eat and she may turn around as she gets older to eat a lot of them or she may not but I won't fight over food.

My sister as a kid would only eat corn and mushrooms, that was the only vegetables she would eat. Lo and behold she goes off to college and comes back eating more variety of vegetable than any of us, there isn't a one she won't eat now.
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Old 10-11-2012, 01:52 PM   #7
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Mash cauliflower and/or turnips just like you would potatoes, with some butter and salt/pepper. Taste and looks just like mashed potatoes. You could to the same and mix mashed sweet potatoes with carrots/squash/etc...

Would she like juice? you could juice just about any vegetable and just add a little honey or agave nectar. Also smoothies, and popsicles made from any leftover juices/smoothies.

What if she helped you cook? Like making her own personal pizza?
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Old 10-11-2012, 01:54 PM   #8

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My suggestion is to try cooking them in different ways. And if all else fails, give her a really good vitamin.
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Old 10-11-2012, 01:59 PM   #9
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i agree wth trying different ways cooking them. My boys will eat the frozen veggies but do not like the ones from the can. They claim there is a taste to them.
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Old 10-11-2012, 02:03 PM   #10
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My kids usually preferred raw vegetables to cooked so I just kept plenty of carrots, cucumbers, celery, and broccoli around the house for snacking with peanut butter or ranch dressing for a dip.

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Old 10-11-2012, 02:10 PM   #11
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We love Chinese food in our house so when my DD hit the really bad age, she would still gobble up broccoli in the chicken and broccoli dish from the Chinese restaurant. No idea why but she would eat all the broccoli first then most of the chicken and leave the rice. She still eats all the broc before everything else. I figured that the good part of the broccoli trumped the sodium in the sauce.

Took her awhile but she's back to eating other veggies now. We never pushed it.
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Old 10-11-2012, 02:14 PM   #12
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cheese sauce!!

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Old 10-11-2012, 02:26 PM   #13
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Older DD & DS were pretty good eaters (& still are). DD is a little pickier than DS, but there has always been veggies that they've liked.

Younger DS... not so much! And I promise he's been introduced to foods just like his older sister & brother were - I didn't do anything differently w/ him! So I don't know why he doesn't like any vegetables! He loves just about any fruit though!

Occassionally, he will eat the "matchstick" carrots as opposed to the whole baby carrots. Sometimes, he will eat cucumbers & lettuce. However, all his vegetables must be raw. He won't eat cooked. He doesn't like green beans or peas or cooked carrots or broccoli or zucchini or even corn (& I don't really even consider corn a vegetable!).

It helps if he has some kind of dip to go w/ the veggies.

I will sneak veggies in spaghetti sauces & he likes zucchini bread. Additionally, he really likes pasta, so I buy the tri-color pasta that's made w/ spinach & tomatoes.

I just keep putting a taste of everything on his plate & try to have something that he likes on his plate as well. He's picky w/ meats too - he's the only kid I know that doesn't like chicken nuggets! His favorite meal is bacon & pasta w/ some kind of fruit.

We try not to make an issue of it &, again, just keep offering different things to him in the hopes that eventually he'll find some veggies he likes. He didn't use to like cucumbers, but, just within the last couple of months, he's started eating them.

Oh, and I've decided to count ketchup as a vegetable as well!
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Old 10-11-2012, 02:26 PM   #14
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Get Jessica Seinfeld's cookbook about getting kids to eat veggies. There's a great brownie recipe with veggies and lots of other cool stuff. Grind veggies and add them to meatloaf, meatballs and tomato sauces. Raw veggies with ranch dip in cool shapes. nachos with a few well placed beans, salsa, corn, cheese and lettuce(make sure it's NOT iceberg lettuce which is absent any nutrition). Tacos with a few veggies-shredded carrots, corn and refried beans.
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Old 10-11-2012, 02:34 PM   #15
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I could get my son to eat veggies if I served them to him before the rest of his meal. He was hungry enough he would go ahead and eat them...then I give him the rest of the meal.
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