How do you make your children eat their veggies?

Philippines
April 10, 2008 1:12am CST
I have 4 kids: 7, 6, 3 and 1 year old. My youngest eat mashed potatoes, and some vegetables. I guess because he is not old enough to complain. But my 3 other children are becoming more selective of the food they want to eat. I cannot make them eat their vegetables. I was told that the earlier I expose my kids to vegetables, the sooner they will try new vegetables, the more vegetables they will eventually come to like, and the more vegetables they will eat over time. I am sometimes successful in forcing them to eat their vegetables. But there must be an easier and better way. Please help.
2 people like this
18 responses
• China
10 Apr 08
I suggest: First,you(and your husband) eat eat all the vegetables in your plate,never say " I don't like......Because many children's eating intention comes from their parents. Second, you can try various way to cook vegetables, chirlren like new things. Third,when you eat vegetables,tell your husband:~~~ is good for my eyes,&&& can make me clever...... your children may follow you. I don't think forcing your children eat their food is a good idea!
• India
11 Apr 08
yes i agree with weiping. one more thing you can do you can start a topic like harry potter(name of their favorite hero/ power rangers) eats vegetable and say that he likes children who eats vegetable. They will not start eating from that day. The day when they or one of them eats a vegie dish apriciate them in front of all, even if you family friend come,say my all childern eat vegetable.
@Rachel322 (115)
• United States
10 Apr 08
When my son was an infant he would eat any vegetable you gave but as he continued to get older he started refusing more and more veggies. I tried everything. Offering dessert as incentive, taking away tv time, etc...but nothing worked. Recently I found this book called The Sneaky Chef by Missy Chase Lapin. It teaches you how to make these great vegetable and friut purees that you mix into your kids favorite foods and as long as they're not watching you do it, they don't even know the vegetables are in there. It works way better than the age old fight of "you can't get down from the table 'til all your green beans are gone!" You can buy the book online.
1 person likes this
@alexigne (903)
• Philippines
10 Apr 08
Me, my brother and my sister were all good in eating vegetables when we are toddlers, but now, only me who like it very much. I already have a daughter and really hard when eating times. There are times that i force her to taste the food but if she doesn't really like it, i just give her another. On the next day, try again, try and try because not all the time the children have the same attitude regarding food. Let her join in the table during meal time. We all know that children imitate older people and that's what i do to her. Now she even eat bitter gourd.
@gabrielle47 (1221)
• Philippines
10 Apr 08
Hi Orange. Welcome to myLot. Its the natural thing for children and recently I have watched the Ophra Winfrey show and learned a lot from it with regard to children eating vegetables. Dr. Oz explained why most children dont want to eat vegetables. But the most interesting part is letting them eat vegetables. I also experienced that with my son when he was younger but now I have no problem of him eating vegetables as he even ask for it. I guess I give credit to my grandma that it is always a dish in every meal for us to have any vegetable dish. For you children, you might want to look up at Ophra's website and search for the blog of Jessica Seinfeld who tells on how he let her children eat by pureeing vegetables and incorporating them in everyday dishes and even cookies! Its one smart idea and how I wish I had known of that years ago. See for yourself!
@heart143 (1204)
• Philippines
10 Apr 08
I've got only a daughter and she's three years old. I'm happy that she eats any kind of vegetable that an adult person eats. I can even make her eat ampalaya (bitter gourd), which happens to be her dad's most hated vegetable. I always liked veggies and maybe that's the reason why I was able to make her eat them too. I always show her (and even exaggerates sometimes) that eating vegetables is fun. She imitates me always. Anything I do, she likes to do...so I didn't have a hard time feeding her veggies. She eats Cabbage, carrots, chayote, ampalaya, Pechay (Chinese cabbage), broccoli, cauliflower, beans, kangkong (water spinach), camote (sweet potato)tops, lettuce (she calls it leaves )...anything. I think we should always set the example...if they see us eating vegetable, they will do the same.
• Romania
10 Apr 08
Hi! I know you might think it's not a good way but here's how my mother managed to get all her 3 daughters to eat everything on the plate. She had no problems with my older sister but when it came to my other sister and I uhhh.... We were bull headed and will not listen to her. Everybody was eating and we were just stareing at the food and eventually playing with it. We managed to bargain off eating the veggies, once or twice, untill she got mad and forced us to eat them. She would not hit us , i want that to be clear, but when everybody finished their food they left the table and my sister and I were the only ones remaining there. She would say to us:" You will not leave the table until you eat everything !" I used to stay for 1 hour or so, or maybe longer till i finally finished what was on my plate. Once i fell asleep at the table and my mother came back home and found me . After realizing we have no escape ,we started eating the veggies because we wanted to watch TV afterwords.
1 person likes this
@rombi001 (943)
12 Apr 08
I think kids find it hard to eat vegies when they are just boiled... I would say try to get them to eat fresh vegetables such as carrots, cucumbers, lettuce, cabbage etc.. They also contain the highest amount of vitamins when they are fresh... Just wash them, cut them up, sprinkle some salt on them and enjoy with your chicken or whatever else you're having
@SViswan (12071)
• India
11 Apr 08
I never had a problem with both my kids eating their veggies (they are now 7 years and 16 months old). I always believed in starting early.....and it worked for me. The older one didn't know anything else till he started school. In fact, he would refuse to eat chicken when he was younger because it was the last thing I introduced fearing he might not have his veggies if he started with chicken first. I remember not having my veggies when I was younger. We always finished a meal with rice and yogurt (my favourite)...and what my dad did was to tell my mother not to serve me the rice and yogurt if I hadn't finished my veggies. A couple of days I sat there at the table thinking my mother would cave in (she usually did) but she didn't...and reluctantly I started having the veggies....with great difficulty at first....but soon I started LIKING them! and it wasn't as hard to finish the veggies.
• United States
11 Apr 08
Shove it down their throat. Na Im just kdding. The best thing to do probably is feed them so much candy that they will want to eat vegetables and stuff. So make them sick of what they love which is candy and that will make them want what they hate which is vegetables. I know this has never been tested on children before but hey you could be the first one to find out if it works. It might not but give it a shot. lol. :-)
@magrylouyu (1629)
• United States
11 Apr 08
Luckily I dont have this problem. My children 3,4,5 LOVE their veggies. My oldest daughter 4 doesnt however care tomuch for milk unless it's chocolate. So daddy says "If you want to grow up big and strong like daddy you need to drink your milk" And then usually she does in 5 minutes flat as it usually takes her about 15-25 minutes to drink the cup. I'm sure this will wear off after time when they get bigger. Hopefully you can find a easier way to get them to eat. You could also just give them that pediasure stuff. It's good for children up to 16 I believe. My children dont mind it but I have no reason to actually have them drink it.
• United States
11 Apr 08
My children have always loved vegetables. I fed them more veggies when they were babies than I did fruit, but they love both. 20 bannanas last about 2-3 days in my house and I only have 2 kids. I never liked vegetables though and I remember once my grandmother told me if I did not clean my plate she would spank me and the only thing I did not like was greens and I loaded them with salt and sucked them down. Something you can try with lima beans and green beans is what I have always done. Drain your juice in your boiler and add a chicken flavored bouillon cube. I also like to add olive oil to my green beans with a little salt and pepper and they are good. Pinto beans my kids will eat with ketchup on them, now this is the one vegetable they would not eat unless I had tried the ketchup. I also use can sliced potatoes and drain all the juice and put butter and garlic. They love these too. I would just try all different kinds of stuff and maybe they will like some of it.
@michelyn (717)
• United States
11 Apr 08
I have never forced my children to eat vegetables. I love vegetables although there are some that I cannot stomach. I was forced to eat vegetables that I couldn't stand when I was a kid and it's those same vegetables that I won't eat today. Of course I was quiet about that around my children. I ask them to at least taste it and then if they don't like it, they don't have to eat anymore of it. When we are at the grocery store, I give the children choices in what vegetables they want to eat. This encourages them to eat vegetables without forcing them to eat any particular vegetable. Now that they are older (14 and 16), I can be vocal about vegetables that I don't like without it affecting them. My son will eat any vegetable out there including the ones that I can't bear to eat. My daughter is open to almost all vegetables, even more so since she's decided not to eat red meat anymore. She won't do spinach out of a can though. My advice - make them at least take one bite and make their own decisions as to whether they like it or not. Because they are young, give it some time (couple months) and have them try it again. Offer lots of different types of vegetables, both raw and cooked. They will find something they like and their tastes will change as they grow. Good luck!
@perry8 (40)
• China
11 Apr 08
Hi, i think you can give your kids some rewards once they eat the vegetables, eg: give some dessert , or take them to the zoo or play games with them. as it is known to all, kids should be encouraged!
• Philippines
10 Apr 08
My kids hate veggies like I did when I was young. Here's some of the things I do for them to eat their veggies; Just an idea for moms. 1. I tell them that it is hard to earn money and I just don't pick money to buy food I work hard for it. 2. I show them kids in Africa...hungry children....Heart breaking even for kids.. 3. I tell them if they finish their food I will pay them. Ha! That's what I need mom..hehe.. 4. I tell them that we lose money because they are wasting their food. And it's unlucky. We all find ways in pushing our kids to do what we want. We just have to act like kids as well sometimes...
@deebomb (15319)
• United States
10 Apr 08
I personally think that there are 2entences that we use on our kids that prevents them from wanting to eat their veggies. They are no you can't have any sweet because it isn't good for you and eat your veggies they are good for you. Sweet bad for you but tastes good so if veggies are good for you must taste bad. We have to learn how to tell the kids that veggies are good not just good for you. I wouldn't force your kids to eat their veggies because sooner or later they will really rebel What you need to do is both you and your husband eat more veggies than any thing else, so when the kids see you eating all those veggies they'll want some too.
@gemini_rose (16192)
10 Apr 08
I have never forced any of my children to eat vegetables ever, I remember how I used to feel being forced into it as a child, as a result I hardly touch vegetables now that I am an adult. I make the veg, and I put it on their plate, if they look at it and pull a face I ask them to try it, and tell them that they cannot say they do not like something unless they try it. I tell them that if they try it and do not like it then I will not give it to them again. This usually works and 7 times out of 10 they end up liking it. They eat brocolli, peas, carrots, sweetcorn and just the basic veg but that is fine, and I do not have to force them to eat it.
• India
10 Apr 08
I am a vegetarian so ... my children;.;;;
@jillbeth (2710)
• United States
10 Apr 08
I agree that it is not a good idea to force children to eat anything they don't want, or even to clean their plate. It sets them up for a lifetime of bad eating habits. Feed them the ones they do like, often. And sneak the rest into their food by pureeing them and adding them to soups they like, or chopping them up and putting them into the meatloaf or casseroles. You might find they like vegetables better raw than cooked, or vice versa. My grandkids won't eat cooked carrots but will polish off the whole bag if they have ranch dressing to dip them in! Experiment to find out what works for your kids. But if you continue to fuss over the issue they will only become more resistant.