When Miss. K and Mr. H were little they LOVED vegetables. I had no problem with them eating vegetables. But as they got older and more opinionated they started not eating as many vegetables. There are many reasons why kids stop eating their veggies. Either their tastebuds change, the texture feels funny to them now, or they want to have an opinion on what they get to eat.
Miss. K is getting better about eating her veggies again and she is 7. Mr. H is now in a phase that carrots and peas are the enemy on the plate and he will fight like crazy not to have to eat them. Heck he won’t eat anything that touches his veggies. Now if he wants dessert he will eat one or two veggies in order to get the dessert but not without some serious screaming involved. Not to mention I hate rewarding him with food, even though I am guilty sometimes for doing it. Darn it!
As parents we put so much guilt on one another if we do not do what the “experts” say. The “experts” say we should be eating 2-3 servings of veggies a day but do these “experts” want to come to your house and help you figure out the best way to have your kids eat these veggies, I’m putting all my money on, No. We as parents try so hard to do what’s best for our kids and we feel like failures when our kids don’t eat their veggies. I say all you can do is try.
- Offer veggies at every meal (or at least one meal) a day.
Offer carrots at one meal, peas at another and so on. Eventually they may try it.
- Encourage them to eat the veggies by telling them they are “yummy.”
Trying new food is scary and if you tell them it’s “good for them” you will lose them. I can tell you now Mr. H doesn’t care if something is good for him, he cares only if it tastes good.
- Lead by example and eat your veggies.
Eat the veggies you are wanting them to eat and eat a variety.
- Try different presentations.
And I’m not saying carve them into cute shapes. I’m saying give raw and steamed veggies. Both have different textures, flavors and sometimes colors. You never know, it could be one of these difference that makes them unappealing.
- And lastly, be patient and don’t beat yourself up if they don’t eat them.
Patience is a huge thing because it can take time. Don’t tell yourself you are a bad parent simply because your kid won’t eat their veggies. There are far more things that make you a good parent!! Give yourself a break.