25 answers

2 Year Old That Won't Eat Vegetables

I am having trouble getting my 2 year old to eat. Especially vegetables. He won't even try them. I put them on his plate and he pushes them away. I have tried to puree them and mix them into things, but still no luck. Please help!!

1 mom found this helpful

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

I know my 2 year old LOVES to be in control and have "choices". I never force anything on her and I just keep trying.
I let her help me prepare the food. If she has a hand in that...she is more likely to eat it.
Keep trying different kinds...ya never know what might grab his attention.
A trip to a farm in warmer months helps out.
Or at the grocery store, let him pick some stuff out in the produce section.
Never make a big deal about it...act like it is just as normal as...chicken nuggets!;)
Guide, but don't force. Get him involved...not just at the plate. He may find something he does like and stick with it.
Although...every day is different, my daughter will eat something one day and not the next! I think she like being able to choose;)
And don't stress out too much about...he will be ok, even if he isn't getting the "recommended" does of veggies each day.
Good luck!

2 moms found this helpful

My son will only eat corn so I buy him the V8 Fusion juice. One serving of vegetables and one serving of fruit. My son loves it. I give it to him every morning. I can rest that he is at least getting one serving in. Good luck

1 mom found this helpful

My three year old is like that too ... my husband and I have to resort to telling him that if he doesn't try one bite of everything on his plate that he won't get anything else to eat that night, and all he'll get to drink is water. He fusses and cries and throws a fit, but eventually, he'll try a bite of everything we've put on his plate. There have been a couple of times where he's refused to try anything and he's gone to bed hungry. I hate to do it to him, but lets face it, food is really expensive. I've been watching "Supernanny" a lot and getting some suggestions from the show. Good luck.

More Answers

I tried a few different things. I put V-8 juice in my spaghetti sauce...all toddlers love spaghetti. Not that V-8 cooked is a perfect substitute, but it was something. I also used to give them frozen peas in a cup to snack on. They weren't messy and the girls thought it was a green treat. Whipped sweet potatoes are good too. Bake them in their skins, remove the skins add butter, agave and cinnamon to taste... whip them with your hand mixer...they taste like candy!
Asparagus and broccoli were always called "trees". Make it fun...carrots, celery, even the trees with something to dip it in.
Most toddlers are funny about this...it will pass.

2 moms found this helpful

Keep offering. Don't express sadness if he refuses. Just offer again the next time. Small portions (2-3 kids bites size) is a good idea. My family prefers fresh veggies over frozen ones. Frozen will do in a pinch but they will not touched canned.

Model for him what a good eater eats. You and your husband should be eating the same vegetables that you are serving him at every meal. He should see you enjoy them. He can even help prepare them.

Some things that worked with getting my daughter to try new things: When first introducing something, we put a little on her plate or in a separate bowl. If she takes a bite, we say "great, now take two more!" Make it a counting game or even a bet "I bet you can't take two more bites." She still likes the "airplane going in to the hangar" game with all the sounds and motions. If all else fails, we reward her with praise (or more of something else we are serving that she will eat) if she will just lick the food or the spoon so we know she is refusing on taste not just on principle. Then if she makes "the face", at least she has tried it and we can move on to something else and come back to this food another time.

Good luck!

2 moms found this helpful

I know my 2 year old LOVES to be in control and have "choices". I never force anything on her and I just keep trying.
I let her help me prepare the food. If she has a hand in that...she is more likely to eat it.
Keep trying different kinds...ya never know what might grab his attention.
A trip to a farm in warmer months helps out.
Or at the grocery store, let him pick some stuff out in the produce section.
Never make a big deal about it...act like it is just as normal as...chicken nuggets!;)
Guide, but don't force. Get him involved...not just at the plate. He may find something he does like and stick with it.
Although...every day is different, my daughter will eat something one day and not the next! I think she like being able to choose;)
And don't stress out too much about...he will be ok, even if he isn't getting the "recommended" does of veggies each day.
Good luck!

2 moms found this helpful

Keep offering the vegetables! If you try to hide them or stop giving them, then he will never learn to like them. Put alittle on his plate everytime and not too much of the other foods.... like 2-3 bites of each thing that he is eating. And don't make a big deal out of him not eating them or act like you really want him to eat them because then it turns into a power struggle with nothing to do with the actual taste of the veggie.

2 moms found this helpful

would he like smoothies? my 2yo is getting pickier about her food and she's just too busy to stop and eat. she loves her smoothies, though. i make 2 differnt kinds and they are both veggie packed! i even fooled my husband they are so good. one is milk, 1/2 banana, protein powder, a cooked beet, butternut squash chunks or sweet potato, flaxseed oil and frozen mixed berries.another is oj, plain yogurt, a big fistful of spinich, flaxseed oil and mixed frozen berries. they are both like a well balanced meal in a cup and you can get a whole serving or 2 of veggies in there! she asks for them regularly, so i don't worry about her diet anymore!

1 mom found this helpful

Try putting butter and a little salt on cooked vegetables - it really makes them taste better. Also, how about making a cheese sauce and throwing that over cooked broccoli or cauliflower. Try raw veggies like tomatoes, carrot sticks and cucumber with ranch - he might like dipping them in. You say he pushes the veggies away. Are you feeding him - at his age I was still putting mouthfuls of food into my kids' mouths at mealtimes so it was easier to make sure he was eating everything. Good luck - ALison

1 mom found this helpful

I agree with the others advise about peanut butter, dip and so on...my experience rasing 3 children and taking care of many more, sometimes I would have to serve the veggies first and not let them even see what they were actually having for their meal...

My 2-1/2 year old grand-daughter Loves veggies but mom also has always given them to her and not let her have alot of sweets and things that aren't healthy for her....

Just keep trying.....

1 mom found this helpful

"I buy him the V8 Fusion juice."

So do I! On another note never stop offering.

1 mom found this helpful

My son will only eat corn so I buy him the V8 Fusion juice. One serving of vegetables and one serving of fruit. My son loves it. I give it to him every morning. I can rest that he is at least getting one serving in. Good luck

1 mom found this helpful

my daughter will eat any veggie i put in front of her.....if i give her ranch to dip it in!

1 mom found this helpful

V-8. Get them in him somehow. If you have to mix juicing fruits and veggies, get them in him somehow.

I'm not big on veggies either. but since I've started juicing I use veggies I wouldn't otherwise buy and eat. Start simple with apple juice with carrot juice. Gradually add stuff. Maybe if he helps, it can be an experience of making a "rainbow" drink, as all the colors can be very pretty and rainbow-like. Make it fun. He gets to drink the rainbow and maybe something MAGICAL will happen (yes; he'll get his veggies and the good effects of them!) And it'll maybe fuel his artistic nature!

1 mom found this helpful

K. ~

We went throught the same thing with our son. It has been getting better over time (he's 4 now and LOVES broccoli if you can believe that). We finally resorted to the V8 Fusion and Juicy Juice Healthy Harvest juices. I had been trying to avoid juices for him, but this was our last resort. I do buy the lite and low sugar versions when possible. I also added a multi-vitamin for him daily. The "My First Flintstones" are good for as young as 2 without having to cut the tablets in half. (Though I recently noticed that many of the childrens vitamins contain aspartame unfortunately, so we're looking for an alternative.) Anyhow, good luck to you, and this will likely pass...

1 mom found this helpful

Hello K., Puree them and put them in different types of food. Spegetti sauce, mac and cheese, cassaroles, etc. He can only be a picky eater if the adults feed him other things after he refuses to eat what is before him. As my childrens doctor told me, when they get hungry enough they WILL eat. Children will not starve themselves. Simply take the plate away, cover it and put it in the frig. When the next meal comes around offer him his leftovers. Do NOT give in and feed him in between. All three of my children were good eaters because of the awsome advice from their doctor. If you are consistent and don't give him any extra attention to his refusal to eat, he will suprise you when he becomes hungry he will eat anything, because he doesn't want to go back to feeling so hungry when his plate gets taken away again. I also always offered a small treat after each meal to only the children who ate their meal. Sibling rivalry worked in my favor with that. When one child got the treat and the other didn't, it became a contest between them to eat all of their food. Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful

I have tried the harvest surprise juicy juice and they seam to really like. its got fruit and veggies in it hope it works for you

1 mom found this helpful

Hi K.--You have lots of great advice. A source I recommend for new parents is www.askdrsears.com. He writes articles for Baby Talk and Parent magazines and he and his RN wife have written over 30 books, one of which is THE HEALTHIEST KID IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD. One of his suggestions is patience. Keep offering because it can take up to 10 to 14 attempts to get some kids to start eating a new food. I've also learned from a psychologist colleague that kids at this age are learning about their independence, and food is one way they can show that. Help them to learn how to make decisions by giving them 2 or 3 options that YOU want them to choose from. It's a win-win situation for both. Your 2 year old gets to independently choose what he wants from the healthy food choices you want him to have. Dr. Sears also recommends a grazing tray---take a cupcake pan and fill it with fruits and veggies and a dip and maybe some hummus (ground chick peas, very healthy). Just let him graze from that. Don't offer other, more desirable snacks. In fact, don't even have them in the house, that way you can honestly say "all gone, honey, this is what we have to eat".

Just don't stress too much. He won't starve himself. But, if you would like a little nutritional insurance, I have found a company that has developed a process to put 15 different fruits and veggies into capsule, chewable or gummie form. It is the most thoroughly researched supplement on the market. I love it because it IS food. It's called Juice Plus+ and it has been a great benefit for my family's health. If you are interested in more information about JP+ or other ideas for getting your kids to want their fruits and veggies, just let me know. I am taking a wellness education class and I have lots of great files I can share. I am fascinated by what I am learning and love to help other people become healthier. Feel free to contact me anytime. There is no obligation for the information. In health, D.
###-###-#### www.dianeshealthed.com

You may find the ideas in this article really helpful. This is what has worked for us and all 3 kids try any veggie. http://www.nourishyourkids.com/articles/yourkidscanloveve...

The two bite rule works for us really well I think because I am very consistent with it.

Good luck.

I had a daughter that didn't eat vegetables.... but she would drink them..... V-8 splash, just about any flavor and also carrot juices are a hit with her. V-8 splash is mostly carrot juice. Not a replacement for vegetable, but at least it gets SOME vitamin a and C into her until her taste widened. We had luck with sweeter vegetables, especially baked carrots glazed with maple syrup or sweet potatoes with brown sugar..... and eventually lighten up on the sweetener.
Good luck. L.

K.,

You seem to have recieved a lot of good advice and I have a son the same age 9/9/06 and he is/was the same way. I use to feed him around 5:30-6:00, but realized (he goes to a babysitter during the day) that he was not really that hungry. So I pushed his dinner time back to 7;7:30 and he eats really well at that time, so you could be feeding him at a time he is not hungry. Also when it comes to eating veggies, that would be the first thing I would give him. I would wait and give him the things I KNEW he would eat last. I would also let him have a special treat at the end of dinner if he ate well and that included a little of everything on his plate. But do not get flustered that he does not eat and if you are worried that he may not be getting all his vitamins he is at an age to begin taking a multi-vitamin. I give my son one every morning. I hope you find some advice that you can use.

Good luck.

Something you can try...which will work if he has some fear about tasting or eating them, or if his autonomy is threatened by the pressure of eating them. Turn it into a game where he is feeding you, and you request the meat or the rice, and close your eyes... he tricks you and feeds you the broccoli... then you ham it up... being disgusted, oh my gosh, no not broccoli, ewwww, this is green, I don't like it... If it gets laughs from him you are on the right track. Keep playing. You can also do it with dolls or something, but the key is that he is in a powerful situation, making someone else do something that he feels pressured to do, or afraid in some way to do. Let me know how it goes... I instruct parenting classes based on emotional health and connection and would be happy to give more suggestions that fit your child... feel free to email me.

Hi K., I have the same problem with my 3 year old. I even bought a juicer because he does like to drink juice but he wouldn't touch it. He doesn't touch any veggie and will only eat chicken if it is breaded, that is the only meat he will eat. I even bought a new toy and put it in front of him at dinner and told him if he eats whats on his plate, even just tries it, I will give him this new toy and still nothing so the toy is still in the box. So if you find something that works let me know! Good luck.

Hi K.,
In time, he'll eat his veggies... but my advice for now is to give him liquid vitamins, called Kid's Toddy from Youngevity.com - Look there and see if you're interested and I'll set you up as a preferred customer to get them at wholesale. They're 98% absorbable and a lot more beneficial than the normal kid's chewables (which have additives and preserviatives). Let me know, ____@____.com

Have you tried smoothies?

I made a smoothie of spinach, fruit, banana, carrots, oat bran, yogurt and anything else I can think of and mix it up and my son will drink it up..

Does he like peanut butter? I give my son baby carrots and celery with a spoonful of peanut butter, he likes them that way. At the risk of sounding like a tv mom, look for that show Yo Gabba Gabba, they have turned every parenting problem into a happy song, the song that comes to mind that helped me with Laurence was, There's a party in my tummy, so yummy so yummy, green beans want to come to the party in your tummy... lol sometimes silly works.

My three year old is like that too ... my husband and I have to resort to telling him that if he doesn't try one bite of everything on his plate that he won't get anything else to eat that night, and all he'll get to drink is water. He fusses and cries and throws a fit, but eventually, he'll try a bite of everything we've put on his plate. There have been a couple of times where he's refused to try anything and he's gone to bed hungry. I hate to do it to him, but lets face it, food is really expensive. I've been watching "Supernanny" a lot and getting some suggestions from the show. Good luck.

Our kids are older, but I heard this trick the other day. I think it will work, especially if you have young kids. Require them to take a "no thank you" bite. Over time, they will acquire a taste for vegtables. I also have used several recipes from Jessica Seinfeld book, "Deceptively Delicios."

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