Getting a 4 year old to eat veggies

Discussion in 'Community Board' started by smilie, Oct 11, 2012.

  1. smilie

    smilie I've been unwonked!

    Aug 31, 2004
    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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  3. goofyintoronto

    goofyintoronto I really wanted to like it, but I didnt.

    Mar 29, 2011
    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.
  4. Mickey'snewestfan

    Mickey'snewestfan DIS Veteran

    Apr 26, 2005
    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.
  5. usnuzuloose

    usnuzuloose DIS Veteran

    Sep 20, 2009
    Try cutting them up very fine and putting them in with darker colored food. Tiny pieces may not get noticed.
  6. Zooshoveller

    Zooshoveller WAR EAGLE

    Sep 4, 2012
    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!
  7. Hannathy

    Hannathy <font color=darkorchid>When I stop laughing I will

    Jan 24, 2006
    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.
  8. MotifNumberOne

    MotifNumberOne Mouseketeer

    Jul 9, 2012
    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?
  9. worm761

    worm761 <img src=

    Feb 4, 2001
    My suggestion is to try cooking them in different ways. And if all else fails, give her a really good vitamin.
  10. ENSOCK

    ENSOCK DIS Veteran

    Mar 22, 2006
    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.
    Good Luck!
  11. KimR

    KimR DIS Veteran<br><font color=teal>Needs to lay off t

    Sep 30, 2001
    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.
  12. Eeyore'sthebest

    Eeyore'sthebest DIS Veteran<br><font color=darkorchid>Not So Tagle

    Mar 5, 2005
    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. :goodvibes

    Took her awhile but she's back to eating other veggies now. We never pushed it.
  13. Ilivetogo

    Ilivetogo I really DO want to live there!

    Sep 25, 2008
    cheese sauce!!

  14. Wendy31

    Wendy31 DIS Veteran

    Mar 5, 2005
    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! :thumbsup2
  15. shortbun

    shortbun <font color=green>Peacenik<br><font color=purple><

    Aug 21, 1999
    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.
  16. Styx Fan

    Styx Fan DIS Veteran

    Jan 16, 2009
    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.
  17. Wendy31

    Wendy31 DIS Veteran

    Mar 5, 2005

    The other night, I was preparing a salad to go w/ a chicken pot pie.

    DH doesn't normally get home until around 7:00 pm, so, even w/ a late afternoon snack, younger DS is HUNGRY at dinnertime!

    So, as younger DS was "helping" me get the salad ready, he was snatching pieces of cucumber, radishes, lettuce leaves, & even some carrots to eat.
  18. badblackpug

    badblackpug <font color=blue>If you knew her you would be shoc

    Oct 18, 2005
    I agree with trying different preparations, sauces, and seasonings. I'm not so much into the "hiding" vegetables because I think that reinforces the myth that vegetables are "gross."

    Just keep offering them, and and make the rule that they have to at least try them.
  19. okeydokey

    okeydokey <font color=green>Frosty the Snowman scared me as

    Aug 9, 2006
    I actually don't anymore. I have a 12 year old who only eats raw carrots. He eats fruit, so we are sure he has that at each meal.

    You know how they say a kid that is hungry enough will eat what you put in front of him. My child will actually go hungry and it not worth a fight over food.
  20. Fire14

    Fire14 Spartan Living in land of Buckeyes.

    Dec 19, 2001
    My mother had issues with me from day I ate baby food to her death. I LOVE RAW carrots but you cook em and I won't eat them, I love corn but don't feed me the canned stuff. I hate salad but will eat croutons, cucumbers, bacon bits. I love apples, pineapple, oranges, grapes, watermelon.

    I drove mom nuts entire time I lived at home, than she had to deal with my youngest brother who I swear lives on chef salad with blue cheese dressing and fresh melons.
  21. Colleen27

    Colleen27 DIS Veteran

    Mar 31, 2007
    Plant a garden. My kids all went through a picky phase at 3-4 but every one of them would eat things we grew even after turning up their noses at the very same veggies from the store.

    Honestly, if she ate veggies before I wouldn't make a big issue of it now. Continue serving them, insist on a "no thank you" bite, and let her outgrow it. That's an age where they're trying to assert their individuality in one of very few ways available to them but as long as you don't just throw in the towel and let her run the show she'll most likely come around to your normal family eating habits in time.

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