Toddler vs. Vegetable

I am writing this not because I am an expert, but because I am in the midst of dealing with a picky toddler.  Before I had kids, I had wonderful visions of the healthy mom I would be one day–making sure my children would eat an abundance of organic vegetables.  I didn’t take into consideration that toddlers actually have opinions.  And they throw tantrums.  How in the world are you supposed to make a kid eat something they WILL NOT eat?!

Here are some things that I have tried and have been successful MOST of the time (I have found what may work one day can definitely be a flop the next day–kids can be very unpredictable with food).

Homemade

  • Garden: Right out of the garden is best.  My toddler had SO many tomatoes this summer…
  • Soup: frozen veggies, pasta, broth, beans, seasoning, and sometimes chicken.  Simple and successful 95% of the time.  
  • Dip: find something to dip the veggies in and it makes it more fun.  At our table, this only has about a 50% success rate, but it adds variety to the mix.
  • Veggie Pizza: either hot or cold, call it a pizza and it has a better chance of working.  If it is hot, this works 90% of the time.  To mix it up, I like to make cold veggie pizza as well (see this post).
  • Shredded, Pureed, and Cut (very small): if it is easy to eat, there is a higher chance my kids will eat it.  Bite-sized pieces always go over better in our kitchen.  Pureeing works pretty well too because my toddler can’t pick out or around the veggies.  See pictures of “Green Eggs” below.
  • Smoothies:  one of my favorite ways to get greens into my kids.  My toddler has become more picky with smoothies and it just depends on the day, but my 1-year-old loves them!
  • Juicing:  I haven’t done a lot of this lately because I have been busy and lazy, but this is an AWESOME way to get nutrients into any human being regardless of age.  
  • Baked Goods: zucchini bread and carrot cake are good examples of “hiding” vegetables.  It’s a good method to boost nutrition, but it’s wise to teach them to recognize, eat and like vegetables as well.
Packaged 
  • Pouches:  Putting baby food in pouch form has been a great invention.  My toddler recently has become more picky and won’t always eat the ones with veggies in them, but it worked for a long time.  In general, he loves pouches. 
  • Bars: There are SO many bars out there.  My toddler will eat them about 70% of the time and I try to buy ones that have veggies in them.  See picture.
  • Drinks:  Lots of refrigerated juices have options with veggies in them.  My toddler likes green juice more than I do, so this is a great way to get something healthy into him.  
  • Yogurt:  I appreciate how Stonyfield puts veggies in some of their products for kids.  See picture.
  • (I realize some of the nutrition is lost in packaged foods, but some is better than none–and let’s just face it, sometimes I’m desperate.)
Resources
 Green Eggs: blend spinach and milk in blender, then add to eggs.  
Scramble like you normally would and add salt.  

This goes over surprisingly well for my kids:

Good luck!

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