Toddlers: 24 Months+


So I started off at first giving my daughter the gerber jar veggies and then started giving her canned veggies. Right now she is 26 months old and eats a small can twice a day of either green beans, carrots or peas (and she loves them all, even asks for it for snack time). Ive been reading some stuff lately saying that we should never eat canned veggies because of BPA. I bought some frozen and fresh veggies and tried that but she wont eat it. So my thoughts were is no veggies better then canned veggies....

I would love to know what you give your kids for veggies....canned, fresh, frozen or some of each and how you prepare it...your opinions would be great as well!


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  • I would be ecstatic if I could get my son to eat veggies twice a day!  The only veggie my son will put in his mouth, chew, and swallow is raw cauliflower.  And we've tried it all - spinach, corn, broccoli, asparagus, brussel sprouts, roasted, grilled, and steamed.  (Other veggies make it through the first two stages and are then spit out).  Other than that, it's sneaky veggies he doesn't know he's eating.

    Exposure to BPA can be minimized in other ways (there's a BPA-free version of every plastic product kiddos come in contact with) and I don't know if the recommendation to NEVER eat canned veggies makes sense unless you assume that ANY exposure to BPA is unhealthy.  

    As for the sodium, I'd consider that in context of the rest of her diet.  Added salt to her veggies twice a day may not be too much salt unless she's eating other processed foods that are high in sodium.  

  • Leap08Leap08 member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 25 Love Its Name Dropper
    I don't think canned veggies are terrible, but I would watch the amount of sodium she's getting.  We don't eat many canned things - mostly just tomatoes and beans (not green - black, kidney, pinto, garbonzo). My kids love beans. All other veggies are either fresh or frozen. My kids LOVE frozen peas. They will eat them straight from the bag. They also like broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots (usually steamed but sometimes roasted and sometimes raw) and they really like sweet potatoes and squash (except zucchini?). I wish they would eat salad greens (lettuce, spinach, kale, etc..) but so far I haven't had any luck with that. I still keep putting it on their plates and hoping they will eventually just eat it. They will eat cooked spinach if it's in something, but not by itself as a side. I think you just need to keep offering different types of veggies. Sometimes kids need to be exposed to them over and over and over again before they will start eating them. It took my 2.5 year old a long time before she would willingly eat certain veggies.
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  • The sodium in canned veggies is probably more harmful than the BPA.

    We primarily buy fresh veggies, though occasionally frozen. DD will gladly eat frozen peas or mixed veggies as a snack. But she will eat pretty much anything except avocado so I'm not sure she's a good gauge for normal toddler vegetable consumption.

    Keep trying. A PP is right - your DD is probably refusing them because they aren't salty like canned ones. Make a game out of it? Try some seasonings?
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  • You can buy canned veggies with low or no added sodium that are a bit better.  I buy canned green beans occasionally as well as beans for the kids.  We mostly do frozen or fresh though.  I would try to offer new veggies fresh on top of what you are offering.  
  • We eat fresh or frozen. Generally, I roast, grill, or sautee veggies (fresh or frozen) with olive oil and seasonings.

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  • My girls love steamed veggies. I buy the steamer bags. They also sell them in individual portions. My girls are super picky. My oldest will only eat corn, green beans, potatoes and broccoli. My youngest will also eat carrots and peas.
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  • We also usually only use canned tomatoes and beans - fresh or frozen everything else, but canned veggies are better than no veggies.

    We started off with regular ole veggies- no purees, just a stalk of broccoli, a green bean, a sweet potato spear, etc.  so that really helped.  But my thought on veggies, for adults or children, is that it all depends on preparation.  So play around with how you prepare/serve them.

    Frozen - my kid LOVES frozen peas and corn, not defrosted, straight from the bag.  Same goes for bell pepper strips.

    Raw - dips are great for this.  Carrots, snap peas, celery, broccoli, bell pepper are good with some yogurt or hummus to dip into.

    Steamed - On their own, not too appetizing, but toss with a little butter/salt/and pepper this is a great way to serve broccoli, carrots, cauliflower and the like.

    Sauteed - this is how I got DH to like veggies.  Cooked with some olive oil stovetop, add some garlic and basil and then zucchini, spinach, brussels sprouts, or other squash.

    Roasted - I love how this carmelized veggies and makes them sweet.  Works great for root veggies like carrots, potatoes, turnips, sweet potatoes.  But also good for squashes, broccoli, beets and brussels sprouts.

    Grilled - Now that summer's coming it's a great and easy way to make things like zucchini, summer squash, bell pepper, and corn on the cob.  We had corn on the cob for dinner this week and my son loved it - thought it was so much fun to eat.
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  • We try to avoid cans, but don't always.  There are some brands that do not line their cans with BPA--Muir Glen-so google for products that might work.  Glass jars might also be a choice, although some have BPA in their lids.  Tomato and other acid things are the worst--avoid things like tomato soup and spaghetti-os.  If you cook frozen veggies for a few hours in the crock pot and perhaps add a little salt, they are just like canned.  Perhaps you could limit your cans to a few/week and try the alternatives other days.  I would also avoid microwaving freezer bags--many plastics are poorly understood and it's not recommended that you heat any plastic.  If you already know she doesn't go for this, best not to start it.  We make our frozen veggies in a glass dish in the microwave with a few tablespoons of water.
  • yeah.yeah. member
    Ninth Anniversary 250 Love Its 100 Comments Photogenic
    We only eat fresh or frozen, plus those little pouches. Canned veg freaks me out a bit.
  • We only do fresh or frozen. The only thing I buy canned is beans (black, garbanzo, kidney, etc). Not green beans. Actually, canned green beans are one of the most disgusting things I can think of! 
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  • The sodium in canned veggies is probably more harmful than the BPA.

    We primarily buy fresh veggies, though occasionally frozen. DD will gladly eat frozen peas or mixed veggies as a snack. But she will eat pretty much anything except avocado so I'm not sure she's a good gauge for normal toddler vegetable consumption.

    Keep trying. A PP is right - your DD is probably refusing them because they aren't salty like canned ones. Make a game out of it? Try some seasonings?
    Exactly this!  It's all about what she's used to.  We don't eat canned veggies.  I remember thinking my DH was weird when we first got married because he said the fresh green beans I made were gross.  Turns out his family never ate fresh green beans, they only ate canned so that's what he was used to.  

    Sorry.  I don't have any other advice for you.  My DD is going through a stage where it's hard to get her to eat veggies lately.  All you can do is keep offering them to her and find different ways of cooking them and seasoning them.  DD loves italian seasoning and parmesan cheese.
  • My dd eats canned corn once in a while. Reading this tgread id just go for fresh nxt time.

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  • QuinlansPhotoQuinlansPhoto member
    Fifth Anniversary 10 Comments
    edited June 2014
    My son prefers fruits and veggies to pizza!! He wanted his canned carrots and PUSHED the pizza slice out of the way! (And he does like pizza too, btw, just much more in love with carrots.) He can eat an entire can of carrots in one sitting with me doing nothing to them but warming them up. He eats every kind of veggie I've ever given him (except lettuce). He eats spinach pizza, and he's totally in love with tomatoes, peas, carrots, green beans and corn.

    Publix offers low salt or NO salt canned veggies. I get those all the time with WIC and we rarely (if ever) add extra salt to anything. If your girlie refuses the salt-less kind, then get the lower salt kind and gradually bring her down until her palate gets accustomed to it. Better yet, rinse and strain the canned veggies you still have in water before cooking them. That will wash off a lot of the sodium (not all, obviously) which will also assist reducing her taste for salt. I don't know how you prepare them for her, but if you pour them straight from the can into a bowl and microwave it, then strain them straight out the bowl onto his plate (like I am guilty of doing sometimes) then, perhaps pour the frozen veggies into a bowl of water and prepare them the same way as you would the canned. I agree with the couple of commenters I read that suggest expanding her love of veggies. Try different varieties of the same ones that she loves. For example, If she likes potatoes, try the brown Idaho kind and then the smaller red ones... just to switch up her palate a little.

    I took my son into the produce section of my grocery store and let him explore: touch, feel, smell, see the differences in fruits/veggies. Then I bought a few of them so he got to eat them. He loves cantaloupes, honeydews, pineapples and watermelons.

    Good luck!!
  • Excited30, that's what I did!! Sorry, I didn't see you posted that until after I finished my comment! LOL It's a GREAT idea!! My son loved to explore and then to see how different some of the fruits look when you cut them open (such as: kiwi, pineapple, cantaloupe)
  • Excited30 said:
    Just a thought in getting her used to eating some fresh veggies in her diet.  Is it a possibility (given it's almost summer) to go somewhere to a local farm/garden and show her where they come from?  You could pick some together, or at least buy fresh from a farm and get her interest peaked more that way and help her to be more open to eating them that way.. 
    Even better - grow them!  DD has been involved in helping with all the planting in our veggie garden so far this year, and she gets so excited when we go out to water and the seeds are sprouting.  I can't wait until the veggies start growing and she can pick and eat them straight from our garden.  We also have a farm share in the summer, so DD comes with us to the farm every week to pick up a basket of veggies from the farmers who grew them.  She plays with their son and feeds dandelion greens to the chickens who lay our eggs - it's awesome.

    We don't buy many canned veggies, mainly because DH and I both think they're gross.  We do buy canned beans (not green beans, just regular beans) because they're easier than having to soak dry beans, though.  Otherwise, fresh or frozen, and we steam, roast, grill or sautee them.  Or boil and mash (fall squash, yummmmm).

    OP, maybe start introducing more fresh or frozen veggies along with the canned stuff your LO is used to, to try and ease the transition.  Canned veggies are still better than no veggies, especially if you can get the low sodium ones.
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  • We do frozen. There are BPA free canned vegetables out there though. I think maybe Earth's Best has some. You can also buy similar vegetables in plastic cups, which maybe just as bad. 
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