How do you get the veggie haters in your family to eat their veggies?
September 11, 2010 1:12am CST
I used to work with developmentally disabled adults and remember visiting one small board and care home where the houseparent had a difficult time getting one man to eat the required amount of vegetables and finally resorted to putting them in the mashed potatoes that he loved or hiding them in the spaghetti sause that she made whenever they ate pasta. He got the nutrition he needed because of her creativity. How do you get your children or other veggie haters in your family to eat their veggies?
12 Sep 10
The veggie hater in the family happens to be my 3 and a half year old. He says he hates vegetables and doesn't want to eat them. I have to get creative all the time. Sometimes I mash all the veggies and mix it in his rice and cover it up with yogurt. And sometimes I mix mashed veggies in the roti (a kind of bread we make) dough. But he still manages to pick out the pieces he finds. The easiest way is to feed him myself when he is distracted....which is something I do not like to do:(
• United States
14 Sep 10
Ah, mixing veggies in rice, covering it up with yogurt... Wondering what spices you are using for that? Ah, veggies hidden in the roti. Seems like a food processor or blender would help a little bit in that venture. I can understand why you might sometimes resort to feeding him when he is distracted. You sound like a good and creative mom.
19 Jan 11
In India, most rice eaters have plain rice and two veggie side dishes with a gravy that would be mixed with the rice. So the spices are usually used in the dishes and gravy instead of the rice. I didn't make anything separate for my son. I would either use the blender with my regular side dishes(mash it up) and mix it with the rice and mix yoghurt with it....he loves yogurt but hates it with the dishes...so I mix more yogurt to cover the taste of the dish and it's healthy. As for the rotis, I found he couldn't pick out the pieces if I used a blender and then mixed the veggies when I was kneading the dough instead of using it as a stuffing. Well, my techniques seem to have worked. My son is now 4. Though he still complains about the veggies, I don't need to go to all the trouble of being creative (which involves extra work) to get him to eat his veggies. He has given up on me, I guess ;)
• United States
11 Sep 10
My kids (now grown) always ate vegetables with no problem, but if I had that problem, I'd puree vegetables and put them in spaghetti sauce, too. I'd also put them in meat loaf and any other ground meat dish. Sometimes people will drink vegetable juice like V8, so that could be useful. Also, if you dehydrate vegetables and then powder them with a blender, you can put them into gravy and sauces. There are recipes for black bean brownies and mock apple pie, which uses zucchini or tomatoes or other vegetables and those are good ways to serve vegetables to the pickiest of eaters.
• United States
18 Sep 10
I was the veggie hater in our family because my parents used to force me to eat them (persuaded to do so by the pediatrician). To this day, I won't eat cooked carrots, peas, or green beans unless they are REALLY disguised. So my first piece of advice--don't force them! I offer my kids a choice of 2 every lunch and dinner, or sometimes fruit or a veggie. (One is something I know they will at least try). I tell them they have to try one tiny piece, and if they don't like it, they don't have to eat it and can eat the other one. That way, they never feel pressure to like something. I offer the same vegetable again maybe a week and a half later, and then maybe two weeks later, etc. Experts say that it usually takes kids at least 10 tries to like something new. In this way, I convinced both kids to eat broccoli! I also try to vary the textures. One son really likes crunchy stuff, and always has, so I give him more raw veggies, and try to be creative--one of his first veggies that he agreed to eat were water chestnuts, since they are crunchy! He also likes soy beans, again b/c of the texture. My other son prefers cooked vegetables, so I try to make cooked veggies a few times a week. And I try to make them fun--black olives on the fingers, broccoli looks likes trees, red pepper strips are mouths. You get the idea. And I buy the 100% fruit/veggie juices. When all else fails--nothing wrong with hiding them, as many people have suggested! Spaghetti sauce is great for that!
18 Sep 10
My son don't like to eat some of the veggies like squash. What I did was, I tried to innovate the taste of the veggies and turn it to his favorite food. Example squash, instead of cooking it as pinakbet or viand I make it as a dessert like "maja calabasa" and my son really love the taste.