Meals are meant to provide nutrition for your toddlers to be hale, hearty and robust. While meat and fruits are essential parts of a meal, vegetables are sometimes the hardest to convince kids to eat. However, vegetables are full of vitamins, minerals, fibers and other essential nutrients that support our bodies’ overall health. When regularly used in the diet, vegetables help reduce the risk of heart diseases, strokes and cancers later in life.
Very few toddlers do NOT go through some sort of picky eater stage. In American culture it's quite difficult to find toddlers that like veggies. Health professionals recommend adding five fruits and vegetables to your toddler’s daily diet, but that is a daunting task.
If your toddler is choosy and you are struggling to start introducing solids and veggies into his meal, this article will provide some valuable insight. As you're shopping in the grocery store, you can keep in mind these tips and yummy vegetable recipes.
How to Get Toddlers to Eat Vegetables?
Work on the following few tips and tricks and get your kids excited about vegetables.
- Consistency is the Key:
Your goal should be maximum intake of vegetables (recommended of 3 to 4 cups every day). Give your kids a compulsory portion of vegetables with each meal. You can start slowly by adding only one veggie as an appetizer or side dish. Don’t be disheartened if your kid refuses vegetables; keep exposing them to vegetables, and there’s a chance eventually they will try it.
It is vital to keep portion size and preparation style into consideration when introducing a new vegetable to your toddler. To avoid being overwhelmed by a full dish, start with a tiny piece, such as one or two bites (don’t forget to be kind and show love).
Present your child with vegetables while dining, and don’t show your disappointment at the table if he refuses to eat the veggies; it can be displeasing for other family members. You can always try at another mealtime.
- Kids love Juices:
Trying to make a vegetable appealing? Try juicing it. Kids are fond of sweet fruit juices, and they won’t even know it’s a veggie juice. You can even try making smoothies with milk, nut butter, and yogurt as smoothies maintain the fruit or vegetable fiber and are really toddler-friendly.
One exciting thing you can do is create ice pops. Everything is more fun when it is in the shape of some ice lollies, especially in summers. Also, try mixing fruits and vegetables to make smoothies and juices; you won’t be disappointed.
- Work on Presentation:
Yes, appearance does matter, and kids love to eat foods that look good. It instantly attracts them when the plate is presented beautifully. You are not a skilled five-star chef, but you can still manage to create a fun plate for dinner.
Use cookie cutters to make fun random animal or car shapes, and use your dips to create small water holes on the plate, and your toddler can swim his horse veggie patty.
- Involve your kids in the process:
Involve your toddlers in the preparation and planning of family meals; they are more likely to eat what they helped make. Make them do the following (don’t forget to take measures for their security when in the kitchen or near cooking space).
- Select the vegetables for the dinner
- Put veggies on pizza base
- Wash vegetables
- Take them veggie shopping
- Older children can assist with grating or cutting vegetables (only if it’s safe)
- Help with plating
These tasks are safe as kids don’t come directly in contact with the stove.
- Keep trying with Vegetables:
With a few kids-approved recipes, you can make your toddlers eat their veggies.
- Spinach goes well with fruit smoothies; try adding spinach into milk or fruit smoothies.
- Make salsa for baked tortilla chips. Salsa is packed with onions, tomatoes and peppers.
- Sneak in vegetables in cheese quesadillas such as spinach and tomatoes.
- Use lettuce leaves in burgers, sandwiches and tacos
- Serve spaghetti sauce or chili with shredded carrots or zucchini.
- Add vegetables to mac n cheese.
Best vegetables for toddlers include carrots, cauliflower, celery, cucumber, sweet potatoes and tomatoes. They are full of nutrition, and best for them to grow strong.
Recipes for Toddlers who Hate Vegetables:
These recipes will become your kids’ favorites.
- Veggie Omelet:
No one can deny eggs’ health benefits, and when they are customized with chopped vegetables in an omelet form, eggs become so delicious. To make omelets interesting for your toddler, ask for their help in whisking and cracking the eggs. Make the omelet tasty and colorful by adding green peppers, tomatoes, onion and anything you want. Finely chopping the veggies is the key.
- Rainbow Spring Rolls:
Hiding your vegetables and disguising them in fun and exciting ways will make your toddler willing to try new foods. All the colorful veggies inside a rice paper shell attract kids; you can use carrots, zucchini, cabbage and cucumbers. For extra nutrition, you can add chicken or shrimp as per your choice.
- Eggplant Mini Pizzas:
This recipe uses eggplant as a pizza base. Make your kids active in the process and ask them to spread pizza sauce on the eggplant base and top with cheese. You can also add finely chopped veggies on the top. This recipe for toddlers who hate vegetables works like a miracle. They enjoy it as if they are eating real pizzas.