Toddlers: 12 - 24 Months

How do you deal with this?

My LO is just under the age of 2 and she absolutely refuses to eat veggies. This is not a new issue, but an on-going one. I do offer them with every lunch and dinner and nothing. I know I am probably not the only mommy that has this issue, so if you have gone through this or are currently going through this I would love to know what you have done about it. TIA
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Re: How do you deal with this?

  • DD loves veggies, so it isn't really an issue in our house (nothing I did, we just got lucky).  But when I used to nanny I would bring them as a snack for the kids, that's all I offered.  The boy loved veggies so he was fine with it.  The girl hated them and would return them to me uneaten.  I stuck with it though, figuring if she was hungry enough she would eat it.  I guess one day she was hungry enough and started eating them.  From them on she ate them on a pretty consistent basis. 
  • Thought of one more thing.  My nephew is the same way, won't eat a single veggie, even corn.  So my SIL started making smoothies for him and if she puts more fruit than veggies he can't taste the veggies and loves it!  Some veggies that hide well: spinach (although, it does change the color), zucchini, squash, sweet potato and carrots.   
  • image sschwege:
    Thought of one more thing.  My nephew is the same way, won't eat a single veggie, even corn.  So my SIL started making smoothies for him and if she puts more fruit than veggies he can't taste the veggies and loves it!  Some veggies that hide well: spinach (although, it does change the color), zucchini, squash, sweet potato and carrots.   

    Definitely try the smoothie thing for now. You can make a big batch and freeze it in cubes/small containers for later. Just steam the veggies and put them in with frozen fruit and juice.

    Eventually you'll have to work on getting him to eat them when he is aware of them, but for now, just focus on the nutritional factor--smoothies is a great way to do that. 

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  • LoCarbLoCarb
    5000 Comments 250 Answers Sixth Anniversary 100 Love Its
    Playing on the smoothie thing....I give Adam and Eve Fruit and Vegi juice boxes.
    Mommy of two girls: DD1 4/14/9 DD2 4/15/11
  • I hide them with cheese, pasta, tomato sauce, smoothies and homemade veggie muffins. I still offer them on his plate though and I figured he'd learn to eat them eventually - so i hope lol


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  • My kids both ate a lot of veggies when they were both starting out w/foods.  Then they both went through a stage where they refused veggies they had previously loved.  Getting good stuff down them was hard, but I upped the things they loved like fruit.  Starting around age 5ish, my oldest started coming around again & is back to loving broccoli, asparagus, edamame, etc.  So I'm of the mindset that if you just keep offering, they'll generally come around eventually- worked for me!!
  • Both my kids love fruits and veggies, but I would say keep offering them. Some veggies can be "hidden" in food too if you put them through a food processor; i.e. spinach into scrambled eggs, broccoli into mac and cheese, etc. Also sometimes presentation helps, or just calling it something different. DD will only eat cukes if I call them cucumber chips and they have to be thin sliced circles. Sometimes I use small cookie cutters to make cute baked sweet potato or beet shapes. Celery boats with cream cheese (DD will eat anything with "pink princess" strawberry cream cheese) and raisins on top. Hang in there and good luck!
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  • Thank you for all the great suggestions!!
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  • I still give happy baby veggie pouches - DD loves the pea, pear and spinach one.  I'm focusing more on the nutritional factor for now since she is on the low end for weight and is a very picky eater.

    I still offer whatever veggie we are eating.  Sometime she nibbles on them whole, so I'll consider it progress.

    My DD also loves dip.  For awhile, I was able to get her to eat veggies if I offered ranch dressing with them. She started just licking the dressing off and not actually eating the veggies.  Another mom on the bump recommended using baby food jars as dip for other foods and it works great!  You could make your own veggie "dips" too if you have time.   She likes homemade (baked) sweet potato fries and as a bonus I can usually get her to dip the fries in pureed pea or something like that.

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  • DD2 will only eat them if there isn't anything else available that she likes better. We usually give her the veggies first, and keep whatever else we're going to feed her (grains, fruit, cheese, etc.) out of her sight until after she has eaten the veggies. 

    What worked with DD1 was giving her something to dip them in - like yogurt, mustard, etc. She become obsessed with dipping for a while, and wouldn't eat anything unless she had some sort of dip!  

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  • DS won't eat a single veggie.  He hates them all.  He won't touch green beans, broccoli, sweet potatoes, corn, not a single one.  For now I still offer them so he can see them and hope one day he'll try them.  I hide them in sauces, and I also give him a multivitamin each day.  But my coworker who is a pediatric nutritionist says there are no veggies that are absolutely essential.  Her advice to me has always been to give a wide variety of fruit (which DS loves) and he'll still get the vitamins/nutrients he needs even without the veggies.  Makes me feel better for now, I guess.  Once he gets older and easier to reason with, we'll push them a little more like we do with DD.
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  • For DS was works is starting him on the veges early. We usually put him in the chair while we are still cooking and he is usually "starving" so he'll pound peas, green beans, red pepper, etc. Once he sees the other options arrive at the table then he only wants them instead. DS is a monster of an eater so he's smart enough to know other stuff is coming but in this case the lack of toddler patience works in our advantage and he isn't willing to wait for them. I don't know if this would work on someone without that kind of appetite but it worth a shot.

    Also I second the idea of pouches. From what I've seen a lot of non veges eaters will still enjoy it if it comes in a pouch.

    A third idea would be sweet potato fries and carrot slices. We chop them up, drizzle on a little extra virgin olive oil and brown sugar, bake in the oven and he'll eat them as a snack. Heck I don't like either myself and I'll eat them that way.

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  • DS1 wouldn't eat veggies FOR US. He eats them for daycare and his granny. You could "hide" it. Like if you make mac n cheese, puree some broccoli or cauliflower.


    or do what I did and give him a vitamin 

  • My older son likes eating a lot of veggies raw. He also really liked snacking on them while we were prepping dinner at that age. My younger son really loves tomatoes, and tomato-based dishes (soups, chili, marinara sauce), which are easy to add veggies to. Roasted or grilled veggies are always popular, as are frozen peas and corn. My older son has been really into lettuce served with homemade dressing (super easy to make!).

    I don't think "sneaking" veggies into food makes sense - the kid never learns to appreciate veggies on their own merits, and still thinks they hate them.

    DS1 - Feb 2008

    DS2 - Oct 2010 (my VBAC baby!)

  • check out this link, there is really good information about toddler behavior and how to deal with it:


  • I use a vegtable peeler to slice veggies REEEALY thin and then I put them inside of grilled cheese sandwiches or other sandwiches. 

    I also take crescent roll dough, flatten it out and fill it with "stuff" (spinach and cheese is one, steamed brocolli and cheese, corn, peas, shredded can really get creative) and make little "pockets" and bake them (think like a pizza roll, only a little bigger, more sandwich sized).  DD doesn't even realize there are veggies in them.

    I've also started making beef stew or chicken stew, were i mix all the veggies in and flavor them, they end up being a "steamed" sort of texture, and flavored, and she loves them. 

    Sometimes raw veggies are just too much for her and she won't do it.

     But now she's at an age where she loves "dip" and will eat veggies and dip a lot of the time.


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