Does your kid avoid anything green? All veggies? One of the most common question I get is "how to I get my picky eater to eat vegetables?!"
Picky eating is a struggle for many families and vegetables are definitely one of the most challenging foods for young kids to enjoy. They naturally tend to prefer sweet foods - or quick, easy energy sources. So it's common for children to enjoy fruit, but shun more bitter vegetables.
The good news is that fruit and veggies contain many of the same nutrients! Your child can find folate, vitamin C and fibre in both fruit and vegetables, so you can relax a bit.
One common tactic I want to chat about is sneaking pureed vegetables into your children's food. I don't recommend this, as it does not allow your child to experience that particular food and learn to like (or dislike!) it on their own.
And at some point, they will also probably figure you out - possibly leading to distrust, a stronger dislike of the offending food and power struggles.
It's also not aligned with the "Division of Responsibility" principles, which are cornerstone to creating a healthy relationship with food for your child. You can read more about that on this post, but here are the basics: the caregiver chooses what is food offered, where, and when. The child chooses how much, or even if they eat.
If the parent sneaks foods into the child's diet, the child really isn't the one deciding IF he eats the food. You are. I know....you don't think it will work for your picky eater, but check out Sarah's story here.
Here are some more tips to encourage your child to enjoy vegetables:
Any tips of your own? Share below!
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Jennifer House is a Registered Dietitian, author & mom of 3. From Baby-led weaning to picky eating and meal planning, she helps you to make feeding your family easier