and so it begins--kids and veggies - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 08-20-2010, 04:27 PM - Thread Starter
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DD is 3 and I snuck veggies into her food for the first time last night (spinach in her pizza, disguised with the fresh basil). She has always been a big fan of veggies (red pepper sticks for a snack, almost any veggie with dinner, mushrooms on her pizza, etc--I thought we were totally home free on this stuff), but I'm noticing more and more of them going uneaten on her plate in the last couple of months. Hmmmm... She ate 2 big servings of green beans the other night, but other than that it's been just little bits of veggies here and there recently. I am very aware of not making it a battleground issue--we've kept food as a very peaceful topic so far and I intend to keep it that way. She eats plenty of fruit so I know she's getting many of the vitamins and nutrients she needs but I have this thing in my head that she "needs" vegetables. Maybe that's not necessarily true, IDK. DH and I eat a lot of vegetables--we genuinely really like them. I started looking at the Sneaky Chef recipes where they use the veggie purees in foods and I can't decide if it's worth the effort or not. Yes, pureed green and/or orange veggies would make my meatballs more nutritious, but is the added nutrition work the effort of having to make all the purees when you're only adding a small-ish amount per recipe (and therefore even smaller amounts per serving). Anyone with opinions on whether that stuff is worth the work or not? In some ways I think it may get easier when the cool weather comes back again and we have more soups and oven-baked meals. I tend to keep the oven off all summer and I think we're all getting bored with the same raw or grilled vegetables.

Mama to DD (06/30/07).
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#2 of 5 Old 08-21-2010, 01:46 PM
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I wouldn't worry about it much at this point. All kids go through picky phases, I just roll with it. My 5 year old has been wanting to eat pretty much nothing but whole grain bread and apples lately My 9 year old is also going through a really picky phase, she's old enough that I do require her to eat at least a few bites of everything, but again, I don't worry about it too much.
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#3 of 5 Old 08-22-2010, 12:33 AM
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mine stopped eating a lot of foods at 2.5-3 too. makes meal planning a bit of a pain, but i guess there's not much i can do about it. for me the sneaky chef stuff wouldn't be worth it, too much work for the amount of time i have in the kitchen. but i'm sure for some people it is worth it, just have to weigh the priorities i guess. i'm hoping they will eventually start eating more again, but it may not happen until they are much older i realize. i eat more (variety) now than i did as a child, so i'm holding out hope they will too!

~helen~ mama to 5 yo twins jonas and micah and my 2 yo baby boy eli
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#4 of 5 Old 08-22-2010, 07:16 AM
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I have a very adventurous eater and at about that age, she was actually eating more things than she does now. I don't think it's fair to make a blanket statement that around that age kids get picky. None of my friends' kids got picky at that age, either. "And so it begins" sounds so fatalistic. It doesn't have to be that way.

I think rather than being sneaky, just keep offering. I *do* think that vegetables are extremely important even if fruits are eaten. Of course, you don't want to make it a battle. Put them on the plate... better yet, let your child put them on the plate and then if it's not eaten, try the next time... and the next time, and the next time... This is also a great age to get them involved in the kitchen. And think about the way you are preparing them. If you are boiling canned vegetables, yeah... nobody would want to eat that! But nicely roasted fresh veg gives a ton of great flavor and good texture.

This is a good age to start talking about fueling the body. Eating is ultimately to supply what we need to go about our daily activities. Gently talking about this, without any coercion, will also help out as they get older and are more in tune with their body's cues.

Good luck!
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#5 of 5 Old 08-23-2010, 07:40 PM
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i both offer veggies at nearly every meal and as snacks throughout the day, and sneak some pureed stuff in.

there are generally some sort of raw veggies available for snacking; carrots, peppers, tomatoes, celery, broccoli, mushrooms... i slice stuff up and put it in jars or baggies in the fridge so it's easy for them to grab. my youngest will actually even eat raw onions and garlic! i let them use ranch or catalina dressing to dip, or whatever they think might be interesting.

i also include a veggie with just about every meal, either as a side, in salads, or in a casserole or stir fry. i do a lot of stir fry style meals. omelettes or scrambled eggs are a good way to add a bit of veg if you add some cheese to the eggs and then top with salsa. the only thing i've run across so far that absolutely no one likes is eggplant.

i add a can of beans (black, red, pink, vegetarian refried) or chopped mushrooms and petite diced tomatoes to a lot of meals to stretch out the meat. tacos, sloppy joes, chili, anything like that gets one or all of these added in.

my sneaky veggies are usually in the stuff that i bake. i add sweet potato or squash puree or grated summer squash to cornbread and to my younger sons gluten-free bread. i make carrot cake, zucchini bread, pumpkin muffins, etc. i add pureed pumpkin to peanut butter muffin batter and put it into my brownies. as always, spaghetti and pizza sauce are a great place to hide a bit of pureed green stuff

on the whole, i don't stress about it. if they pick around the peas and mushrooms in their dinner, so be it. they'll survive, and they'll probably eat some other veggie later. most kids will take in what they need, even if it seems to us that they are surviving on air!

"give me life, give me pain, give me myself again" - tori amos
30yo SAHM of 4 DS's: 10/98, 6/01, 2/03 and 11/04, wife to DH, 33
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