My Toddler Hates Vegetables: Tips to Get Toddlers to Eat Right

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So, your toddler hates vegetables, and you can’t get them to eat any. This is obviously not ideal because vegetables have essential vitamins and minerals needed for growth.

If you expect your child to become a healthy adult, they need to eat right at a young age. Therefore, ingraining a healthy eating style into your child’s life is essential.

That said, getting your child to eat vegetables can be a challenge. However, if you use the tips this article provides, you should get your toddler to eat their greens.

My Toddler Hates Vegetables

Appearance Matters

Kids are often all about looks. If the food they have in front of them doesn’t look “right,” they probably won’t eat it.

Vegetables often don’t look nice, especially when they are boiled. So one tip is to try to make them look visually appealing. Then, try cutting them to make them look a bit more attractive.

You can use cookie cutters to cut those vegetables into funny animal shapes. You can get creative, but the bottom line is that appearances matter.

Add Some Bad to the Good

If you have a super picky eater, you might be able to strike some kind of compromise. This could be the case without your child actually knowing that there is a compromise happening. For example, broccoli doesn’t look or smell all that appealing.

However, as soon as you add a bit of cheese to the mix, it looks and smells a bit different. Granted, putting cheese on all of your toddler’s vegetables isn’t overly healthy, but a little bit every now and then won’t hurt.

If getting your child to eat its vegetables means sprinkling a bit of cheese on them, then so be it. Broccoli with a little bit of cheese is better than no broccoli at all.

Change the Presentation

You can try to change the presentation of the vegetables that you serve. But, again, we are being purposefully vague and open-ended because you can use your own creativity for this.

The point is that maybe a vegetable doesn’t look nice one way but looks much better another way. As we said, appearances are everything.

This also has to do with the cooking method, which brings us to the next point.

Use Different Cooking Methods

The cool thing about cooking is that there are many different ways to do it. Even better is that vegetables will taste different depending on how they are cooked. For instance, simple boiled vegetables don’t look very nice and usually taste pretty bland.

Vegetables often taste better when roasted, grilled, air-fried or oven-baked. For example, a roasted squash, zucchini, or bell pepper is different from those same vegetables boiled.

Roasting something in the oven often brings out a vegetable’s sweetness, flavor, and appearance. It also often results in a slightly crunchy texture that can be appealing to the mouth. In addition, the golden brown color that roasting or grilling vegetables produces can be visually appealing for children.

Variety is Key

It is no secret that kids can be picky eaters. Well, adults can be as well. You have certain vegetables that you like and others that you don’t. Therefore, providing your child with a variety of vegetables to choose from is essential to getting them to eat them.

Squash, zucchini, cucumber, bell peppers, potatoes, lettuce, spinach, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, and so much more. There are many different vegetables to choose from, and if your child doesn’t like one, maybe the best idea is to move on to the next.

Preparing vegetables in different ways may get your child to like something they didn’t like before. However, if you don’t have time to experiment, simply moving on to the next choice is a good idea. You are bound to find at least one or two that your child will eat.

Reintroduce the Same Vegetables

Kids are picky eaters to the point where they might like something one day but not the next. Maybe your child is in a bad mood and just doesn’t feel like trying the vegetable of the day. It could be due to their mood or because it’s not visually appealing.

Just because your toddler won’t try something one day doesn’t mean they don’t like it. Therefore, if you haven’t had any luck the first time, try a second time. Maybe if you reintroduce the same vegetable twice or three times, they will eventually try it. Who knows, perhaps they will even like it.

My Toddler Hates Vegetables

Those Dips

Kids like interactive things. This is even the case as far as eating is concerned. Therefore, one good tip is to provide raw vegetables and dip.

Kids seem to love eating vegetables when they get to dip them. But, of course, the dip doesn’t have to be anything unhealthy.

There are nut butters, dips, hummus, fruit salsa, guacamole, and more. Of course, dipping vegetables isn’t always as healthy as eating them plain, but it’s better than not eating any vegetables at all.

Add Veggies Into Fan Favorites

Tricking your toddler into eating vegetables is always an option. For example, if your child loves hamburgers, you could always add vegetables to the hamburger. The taste of the meat will more or less disguise everything else.

If you want to take things one step further, you could even go for a mushroom burger or a vegetable-based burger. Another example is if your kids really like spaghetti, you can make your own vegetable-packed tomato sauce.

Nobody will be wiser as long as it looks and tastes like tomato sauce. So packing as many vegetables as you can into meals that your child already likes is smart. Even better is to disguise these vegetables, so your child doesn’t know they’re there.

Get Your Kids Involved in Shopping

A great way to get your toddler to eat more vegetables is to get them involved in the shopping and selection process. Take your toddler to the local supermarket and get them to look at all the fruits and vegetables.

Toddlers are all about looks, and if they see something they like, they will want it. Even better is if you can go to some kind of exotic vegetable or fruit market that has things that they’ve never seen. For example, exotic Asian or South American fruits and vegetables could intrigue your toddler.

Get Your Kids Involved in Cooking

Kids love helping in the kitchen, they love being creative, and they love interactive things. So something else that can get your kids to eat more vegetables is involving them in the cooking process.

Cooking their own meals, or helping prepare the family’s meal, might be the push they need to start eating vegetables. It will also give you a good idea of what they like and don’t like. If nothing else, at least you will teach your child the basics of cooking.

Eat Plenty of Veggies Yourself

One of the best things you can do is lead by example. For example, if you see that your toddler doesn’t want to eat something, make sure they see you eating it.

Even better, take a bite of their vegetables from their plate to show them how tasty they are. If you act like it’s the most delicious thing you’ve ever eaten, it might spur your child on to try it as well.

Final Thoughts

There are many great tips to help your toddler eat more vegetables. In addition, getting them involved in the shopping and cooking process can help.

Moreover, providing variety and cooking those vegetables in different ways will also help. If you combine the tips discussed above, you shouldn’t have any problems getting your toddler to eat healthier. If you can, try not to engage in a battle over food. Be patient and persistent over the years, and you should have teenagers who might surprise you with their food choices.

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