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My Nearly 6 Year Old Son Will NOT Eat Vegetables

Can anyone give me any pointers on how to get my nearly 6 year old son to eat vegetables. he only eats corn. I have tried carrots and after 7 hours between two different days he ate one. - Then last night we tried green beans - after 4 hours at the table he put them in his mouth and threw up all over. So by that time it was bedtime, he went to bed but we told him that tomorrow he would have to sit and eat them. He sat at our table from 4-8pm again without eating them. I did not starve him, I gave him a piece of toast and some apple sauce and he went to bed again. He has never had green beans (unless I blend them up) so I feel it is about time for him to try them-I do not want to lose this battle - but I cannot take much more of this. I really do not want to continue to blend up veges, I have done that for years- but he in my opinion is now old enough to try things and just refuses - Any advise would be great. - thanks

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My son was 4 and still not eating most foods. His situation was much worse. He would only eat about 10 different foods - saltines, gold fish, animal crackers, apple sauce, peas, pears, bananas, etc. We got into the habit of asking if he would eat what was served. When he inevitably refused, we gave him what he really wanted.

We were told by professionals (teachers, doctors, psychologists) that we could not continue to cater to his taste. He had to eat what was served. Period.

We started out simple - just one bite of each thing at that table. After he ate that, he could eat his favorite foods. Once that was less stressful, we moved to two bites, and so on.

We didn't make him sit until he ate it. We just said he couldn't eat anything else until he ate his dinner. That dinner would be his only option for desert, bedtime snack, breakfast, etc. until the next dinner.

Yes, he also threw up a few times. At first, I gave into that. After all, I remember throwing up when I disliked food. But, he seemed to gag on everything at every meal. So, as heartless as it seems, we cleaned him up and then asked him to try again.

It took a LONG time and we had to stick with it. But, it WAS WORTH IT! He's 5 1/2 and now eats everything we serve (without any gagging), and is more willing to try new foods. There are several foods that he hated - even threw up - and now LOVES. Yes, I said loves. He will actually request those meals and ask for seconds!

For what it's worth, I hated fruits and vegetables as a child. I would gag whenever I ate them. That's why I was so lenient with my son at first. But, now, I really regret that my parents hadn't been more insistent. At my age, it's a lot harder to learn good eating habits!

Good luck with whatever you choose!
P.

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Sorry this is short, but do you ever watch the food network? Some of the shows have great meal ideas and great inovative ways on preparing veggies, especially Racheal Ray.

I would give him his vegetables first and tell him he can have the rest of his dinner when he is done. If he doesn't eat them, he doesn't eat dinner. He won't starve. He'll eventually be hungry and eat them. I wouldn't make a big deal out of it or even sit and have a talk with him about it before hand. At dinnertime or lunch time, just hand him a plate with veggies and say "when this is gone you can have the rest of dinner."

If you get upset or start to try to convince him to do it, it is a power struggle. If you stay calm and don't react if he doesn't eat, then it's all on his shoulders. I would do this at lunch too when he is home. He'll eventually want to eat, and if he hasn't eaten his veggies then do just what you were doing and hand them back to him. Good luck!

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I am sorry but you are doing more harm than good, I would never force a kid to eat any thing. and i sure wouldnt make a kid sit for four hours, that is pure torture. dont be surprised if he developes an eating disorder later in life. not to mention the emotional damage your causing! I think you should stop being a control freak and try a loving way to make him healthy. sorry but i am being honest!

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I urge you to not make him sit at the table like that. It will not endear him to vegetables. In fact, you're going to make him hate them even more. He will remember it..trust me. I have a similar story with sweet potatoes. I was made to sit at the table and eat a HUGE serving of them. I wound up puking all over the table. I think I was probably about 7 or 8. I'm 30 and I still can't stand the smell of sweet potatoes. Put the vegetables on his plate and then ignore him. Don't make a big deal about it. Make it clear that if he doesn't at least try them, he can't have any dessert or snack after dinner. I would include drinks too. If you enjoy dessert, then go ahead and eat yours. Eventually he's going to want a snack and he'll at least try a vegetable. And if he doesn't, well, I know lots of adults that don't eat vegetables and they all survive.

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I will just tell you from personal experience that there were certain things I didn't like when I was young. My parents made me do the SAME thing you're doing. I would sit there for HOURS and when I finally tried it I would feel sick too. Do you want to know what it did for me??? Made me still not eat ANY of those things even now at 31 years old! So, stop doing that, trust me....here's what my pediatrician told me, she said "It's your job to supply a healthy meal for your children, but it's THEIR job to eat it" She said to just make sure they had one or two things they liked on their plate, and if they eat, GREAT, if not, no snacks that night and you'll see them at breakfast to eat again. My son doesn't like much at all. So, every night, we sit at the dinner table, he knows my rule is he can't say anything not nice about my cooking, so he usually will just sit there. I don't give him snacks after 2:00, so he'll be hungry enough to try a few things, but I never tell him to. If he's not eating I just say "Brayden, eat" and then not pay attention to it. So, ever since I started doing this, instead of forcing him to try something about 2 years ago, he's trying things here and there on his own. Sometimes he likes it and will eat a few bites, sometimes he just will not try it. But, he understands that it's his last chance to eat for the night, and it's his choice. I do give him vitamins every morning to make sure he's getting his nutrients. My advice would be to just continue to offer it, and maybe to encourage him to try them on his own, make the other servings on the plate a lot smaller. If he eats the other things and wants a second helping, tell him, you can have more when you've eaten everything on the plate. Don't give him a bunch of veggies, maybe just one or two bites' worth. (remember, since he doesn't like it, he'll probably eat one of half of one at a time, so don't give him a lot, maybe like 4 green beans, etc.) If he decides to eat the small amount of veggies, let him have another helping of the other food. Eventually, he will get used to eating that bite of veggies, and it won't bother him to go ahead and just eat them. Until then though, you're basically traumatizing him into NEVER wanting to eat veggies by forcing him to sit there like that. Small servings...must eat his tiny amount of veggies before he gets more.....and then let him have his second helpings....I think it will work great for you.

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vegetables should have been part of his diet while still eating meals in his highchair. It is going to be tough to get him to eat veggies now. We had a rule in our house that you had to eat a bite of everything served at the meal. If you know that he won't eat veggies, give him his one bite of veggies that are served that meal before he is allowed to have the rest of the meal (with the rule that that bite must stay down). Be sure that the entree is one of his favorite for the first few times that you do this. A whole serving of veggies at age 6 when he has had only blended veggies is too overwhelming; they could make him gag since it is a different texture than he is used to. You can't hold him accountable totally for the mistake you have made in allowing him to get this old without eating veggies. The one bite rule worked in our family. I hope it works with your son. Good luck!

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Whoa, did I read that right? "after 7 hours he ate one" and "after 4 hours at the atble he put one in his mouth and threw up"? Wow, if this kid didn't hate veggies before I'm SURE he does now. Not only will he not ever eat veggie this way, but he will continue to fight you and resent you. People have different parenting styles, but this is a road I would never choose to go down. Buy a suppliment or some V8. And you don't want to blend them? Why not? it's ok for him to sit for 7 HOURS but not for you to take 5 minutes to blend something up? I don't think it is healthy for a child to be sitting in his house for that extended period of time after sitting at school all day. Does thins child exercise? Does he do other activities? Crafts? Does he play?

I think you have gotten way caught up in a power struggle here. You need to admit you have gotten carried away and ask yourself if this is really worth it. That's my advice.

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Food battles can't be won. You can't force a child to deficate or urinate and you can't force them to eat. There are many ways to disguise vegetable and make them more appealing. I would just set his plate out with a healthy variety of all foods in appropriate portions. There is no accounting for taste. It is individual. I agree children must be introduced and exposed frequently to new foods, but should not be forced to eat them. It may be helpful to take him to the grocery store or fruit/vegetable market and let him make choices about what he wants to try. I also would let my kids pick out and weigh food. For example, "Can you pick out 3 cucumbers that are really dark green" or "Do you want tangerines or oranges?", "Ok, please put 6 in the bag" I think by helping make choices, they are more likely to try them later. Also, going to an orchard or picking your own fruit or vegetables is fun for kids. And, of course this is very time consuming but if they can help you plant a garden and watch something grow, I think they might eat a veggie. Don't sweat the small stuff, there are supplements. L. R

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Wow! I am stunned at the fact that your son threw up his vegetables and was then punished!!
I don't understand why he is punished for throwing up.
Surely there are several foods you and your husband don't like and wouldn't ever dream of touching??
I know there are certain foods I look at that I am like gross!!!!!! I will never eat that!!
I guess I just don't understand why he's being punished.
Ok...so lets see if all us momma's can find you a solution.
I agree with everyone else that said don't make a big deal out of it. That just makes your kid want to continue to be stubborn.
Here are some things that work in our house.
My kids don't like veggies except corn as well.
So I make plates and put about a tablespoon of veggies on their plate. I say you don't have to eat it all but you have to takea "no thank you bite" if you don't like it fine you don't have to eat it but you have to try it. If anyones plate isn't cleared no snacks or desserts.
I also disguise stuff.
a half can of pureed pumpking (not pie filling) mixed in with a big box of pudding goes far. Vanilla and Chocolate are the best and you can't taste the pumpkin and it makes for more pudding to boot.
I keep grated finely grated carrots. I add them to everything. soups, meatloaf sloppy joes..etc..nobody knows they are even in there! You can also mash them and add them to mashed potatoes..no taste there either.
You could make carrot bread or zuchinni bread..
Have you tried cream of mushroom soup over beans or peas?
Just don't beg him and do a little disguising.
Maybe try some raw veggies dipped in ranch or a sauce he likes. Or celery and peanut butter for snacks.
Imagine how you feel when you look at a dish and think it's disgustin...like maybe liver or something..that is how your son sees veggies.
Hope you get lots of ideas and your little one gets away from the table.
S.

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Five years old is still really young... have you tried things like peas or broccoli in cheese sauce? It really doesn't matter how you get him to eat them,(cheese, blended in a casserole, etc)as long as you can get him to eat them somehow. After raising 4 boys, one thing I learned is that you have to choose your battles. I don't see how making him sit at the table hours upon hours, days upon days, will solve anything. I think a doctor would tell you the same thing. Good luck.

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My son was 4 and still not eating most foods. His situation was much worse. He would only eat about 10 different foods - saltines, gold fish, animal crackers, apple sauce, peas, pears, bananas, etc. We got into the habit of asking if he would eat what was served. When he inevitably refused, we gave him what he really wanted.

We were told by professionals (teachers, doctors, psychologists) that we could not continue to cater to his taste. He had to eat what was served. Period.

We started out simple - just one bite of each thing at that table. After he ate that, he could eat his favorite foods. Once that was less stressful, we moved to two bites, and so on.

We didn't make him sit until he ate it. We just said he couldn't eat anything else until he ate his dinner. That dinner would be his only option for desert, bedtime snack, breakfast, etc. until the next dinner.

Yes, he also threw up a few times. At first, I gave into that. After all, I remember throwing up when I disliked food. But, he seemed to gag on everything at every meal. So, as heartless as it seems, we cleaned him up and then asked him to try again.

It took a LONG time and we had to stick with it. But, it WAS WORTH IT! He's 5 1/2 and now eats everything we serve (without any gagging), and is more willing to try new foods. There are several foods that he hated - even threw up - and now LOVES. Yes, I said loves. He will actually request those meals and ask for seconds!

For what it's worth, I hated fruits and vegetables as a child. I would gag whenever I ate them. That's why I was so lenient with my son at first. But, now, I really regret that my parents hadn't been more insistent. At my age, it's a lot harder to learn good eating habits!

Good luck with whatever you choose!
P.

1 mom found this helpful

Only read a couple of other responses, but have to put mine in as well. Making him sit like that is ABSOLUTELY CRAZY!!!! There are hardly any kids who eat veggies at that age!!! He will eat them when he gets older, you're only making it worse. There are plenty of books out there on how to "hide" them in food also the V-8 fruit juice (not the tomato juice) has one serving of veggies in each serving, they have strawberry/banana and other ones that you're sure to find one he'll like. Take the advice you've been given and stop what you're doing now!!!

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I think it's very disrespectful to force a child to eat something they truly do not like. How would you feel if someone forced you to eat a big pile of something you hated? It may look like a small pile to you, but huge to your son. We have a "no thank you bite" rule in our house - the kids need to eat at least one bite of everything before asking for seconds on anything or leaving the table. Even the 18 month old understands this now - although she doesn't say the words yet. They take a bite and if they don't like they say "no thank you" and move on. Simple. We used to have big battles at getting them to try and eat something. Now half the time they say "I don't like it" but take the 1 bite and then continue to eat (but only if we don't say anything). Once we're talking about sports or school or whatever they focus on the conversation and end up eating.

Take the focus off of the food. You can't actually force a child to eat but you can wear them down until they hate mealtime, see veggies as evil and develop food issues.

It's the parents' responsibility to provide a variety of healthy food and present it to the child. It's the child's responsibility to eat it (or not). A child will not starve or lack nutrients if healthy food is offered. Many adults have foods they simply do not like and would hate to eat so why expect kids to be any different?

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Hide them any chance you get. Luckily, my son loves his veggies, but if there is a meal that does not call for vegetables, I put them in anyway so he gets the nutrition. Spaghetti is a great way to hide the veggies in the sauce - tomatoes are in the sauce already and you may put in small bits of broccoli, carrots, spinach, etc. My sister makes a great squash spaghetti (without noodles) but it takes just like the real thing. Mac & cheese, another kid favorite, I will add frozen vegetables to the boiling water. Get creative with the veggies: maybe he would be amused if you make a smiley face out of them or something. There are recipe books written especially for kids who won't eat veggies that has easy recipes. Check them out at the library. If all fails, talk to your doctor if there are any alternative solutions. DON'T FORGET A DAILY VITAMIN!

You ABSOLUTELY CANNOT make a battle out of this! He will struggle w/ eating vegetables the rest of his life! You can to find creative ways to hide them (get Jessica Seinfeld's book- I've tried some and they're good!) AND....do you season them at all? Vegetables alone are pretty bland. I steam or cook baby carrots just until tender. Put a little butter or light butter on them, sprinkle a little cinnamon and drizzle some maple syrup. Abbie can eat 3-4 servings of carrots like this. Yes, it's a little more in terms of calories and sugar, but very little compared to the cost of her not eating them at all. Let him try dips with raw veggies. Try McCormick's Vegetable Supreme seasoning. This stuff is AWESOME! Not cheap, but it DOES make a huge difference in the taste of vegetables. Sometimes I use Italian seasoning in green beans with just a very small amount of butter......all the difference in the world! You HAVE to make them appealing. Just because I said so ISN'T going to cut it!

After you get past this, start asking him if he wants peas or green beans for dinner, broccoli or mixed vegetables?
Start letting them be a part of the meal planning and making food choices. I taught preschool and taught meal planning and nutrition to 3 & 4 year olds. THEY GOT IT! You just have to present it in a way they understand and is appealing. If you don't know WHY your body needs certain food and/or nutrients, might want to find out. You need to relay this info to children. They, like adults, are MUCH more apt to do something when there is a REASON than the "because I said so" gig. I've TOTALLY changed kids eating habits and nose holding just by doing these types of things.

Jeannie I certainly understand your problem. We had our oldest son who refused to eat meat and vegetables of any kind but when we went out would gobble up a hamburger happy meal. He would not eat a hamburger or even fries at home. All he evber wanted was mac and cheese oe cheese by it's self or canned pastas. So I created Michael's special dinner. It was before hamburger helper. And I told him it was only for him and he must eat all of it. It did take a little bit of time but woorked. I made mac and cheese, browned some ground beef and finely chopped tomato and mixed it together without him knowning what was in it. He would eat every think because he was special. I would suggest chopping things up and not putting as much together wth what he will eat and see how that goes. One of my friends would prepare new foods for her kids and tell them they must try it. They did not have to eat all of it but she said she found if they tried it usually the third time they would eat all of it. What about a cream or chesse sauce if he likes cheese. Just a few thoughts.

Wow, you got some pretty strong responses. I'm so sorry about some of them. In my family, my husband and all of the kids have issues w/the texture of vegies rather than the taste. So, I have been "hiding" vegies in our meals for a long time. What you are doing: blending the vegies, is really good. And I totally understand your frustration that you have done this now for years. Maybe your son will grow out of it... my hubby never did and neither did any of the kids (our 2 year old is sensitive to texture in food also). In fact, my 18 year old stepson and I just had a conversation abt vegies and he explained to me what it is abt vegies that bothers him: the texture. He did say that he doesn't mind eating them when they are blended b/c he generally likes the taste. All this to say, your little one may be sensitive to the texture and until he can explain to you what bothers him abt vegies, you may have to continue to blend them.

Thankfully my daughter loves veggies, but I remember my sister telling me about an easy recipe to get her kids to eat them. Put them into a chicken pot pie, or some sort of other casserole dish. It worked for her!

Jeannie,
I know that it's hard but don't punish him by making him sit for 4 hours for not eating a veggie, you are turning it into a power struggle over food and ususally the kids win this battle. Instead set down some guidelines that he needs to try everything on his plate, at least 2 bites. Involve him in choosing the veggies at the grocery store; when the weather turns to Spring and there is room, involve him in growing some veggies. Try dips with carrotts and celery. Try some different receipes but don't overcook (I didn't like brussel sprouts or asperagus [which my husband adores] primarily because my mom overcooked them when I was a child and so I thought that I disliked them- long story short I fixed them for my husband and daughter and found they weren't bad at all but I use to almost gag on them. Most of all lead by example (which I'm sure you are) and eat your veggies and comment on how good they are.

I had this same problem with my son from about the age of 2 (He is now 31) he refused to eat alot of things, but that is a different story, but especially vegetables, and he would eat only corn. I tried all the things you have tried I finally got fed up and asked his doctor. The doctor told me it didn't matter as long as he ate something and he was healthy and growing. Let it go, he'll try things eventually..He did finally when he was in his teens. He ate this age he still likes pretty much only corn but he eats a little (I stress the little) of the other vegetables when he goes out or when his wife cajoles him. Eating his vegetables not eating his vegetables should not be a big issue as long as he is healthy, gets his vitamins in another way and is growing. My son is testimony that it is not a big deal.
On the other hand my grandson, eats every vegetable imaginable that normal kids would think of eating at his age, He's 9, including raw mushrooms and broccoli. He thinks they are his own personal treats when he stays at my house, he eats them instead of usual snack foods. I have to hide them if I am planning on using them for a specific purpose otherwise tthey maybe gone when it comes time to utilize them.

IT sounds gross - but my mom got my brother to eat veggies by letting him put whatever he wanted all over them - katsup, chocolate whatever! He pretended he was the giant of the forest with broccoli and ate the trees whatever you can do to make it fun - the more they're punished the more they'll hate them.

I am a firm believer that picky eaters are made and not born. Stop what you are doing. If you are worried about him not getting the right nutrients try supplements or try hiding the veggies in other things. My son hates tomatoes but only if he can see them. He doesn't know that ketchup and pizza sauce are made from tomatoes. He will also throw up if he even sees sauted onions, so in order to add onions to things I cut them up REALLY small and he has no idea they are there. However, he will eat oysters (I don't understand that either). Do your research I guarantee that every reputable source will tell you that turning dinner time into a battle will only make things worse not better.

Hello J.,
I was told when a child becomes a picky eater there's not much you can do. You can keep offering it to them and hope one day they will give in. But that can be forever...I used to be a very finicky eather. I would never eat vegetables, mashed potatoes were horrifying when I was little, because they get cold and got that nasty starch taste. Gravy would make it worse.
When my middle child would never eat her veggies, we'd tell her that potatoes were a heavy cloud...broccoli was trees and you can take the trees and dip them into the cheese or ranch sauce to make them taste a little better. Salad was salad and that was always a plus, carrots were what cute little rabbits would eat, so at times we'd pretend that we were rabbits. ALot of times if you pretend your an animal of some sort or monsters even sometimes, than they will do the things you do..or try. That's how we got our kids to eat certain foods. I'm not a fish eater, but their dad is, and as long as they didn't see me, when they were eating it for lunch or dinner, than it was alright. They to this day still eat it. And I don't stop them. They are 12, 11 and 2 years of age. And I can say we don't have picky children when it comes to food..I mean there are some things they won't eat, like Ketchup (my middle child will not touch it). But its the small, unimportant things. One thing you don't want to do is force them to eat it. Just offer, and keep offering it. If they say they won't, you can say just one bite, than I'll leave you alone. Sometimes that works. Good Luck!

I'd go with the "eat your age in pieces" rule. He's 6, so he eats 6 lima beans, 6 green beans, 6 carrots, whatever it is. Then he knows that there is an end in site and he can either have that take 4 hours or 4 minutes. He doesn't get any other part of the meal until he's eaten them. He won't starve himself to death and he'll probably eat them quickly to get his hotdog or whatever dinner is.

Hi J.,

I have a 6 year old who has always been a good eater and will try most anything including lots of vegetables. Then I have a very picky 4 year old who has always been a challenge to feed. I finally realized she had a yeast overgrowth issue in her gut due to overuse (not by traditional medical standards) of antibiotics and then feeding the yeast with white foods. We dont have or eat much sugar or cracker snack foods but she seemed to only want rice, potatoes, noodles, bread (anything white basically). I don't like making food a battle either so over time here is what worked for us. Our snack mantra (response to "i'm hungry" between meals) is: "would you like a fruit or vegetable" and we have choices on hand at all times. If they don't want a fruit or veg then I assume they aren't really that hungry (for food, anyway). Sometimes I think they ask for food to get my attention or bc they are bored. If it's not in the house then "no, we don't have any" works well; in fact, if they don't see it they don't ask for it in most cases. I will not make a separate meal but I will serve the same thing we are having separated (bc she seems to have an aversion to anything mixed together). She loves bread so if we serve bread with the meal then she must eat her veggies before receiving her bread (this works surprisingly well for us).
I like to keep things positive so my focus is on nutrients (protein, carbohydrates (veg/fruit) and fat (healthy kind) going in. If they don't get the bread, pasta or the occasional (non produce) snack food I really don't feel bad or care bc their are essentially no nutrients there any way. My kids love their vitamins (I think they use them as treats bc they don't get much candy) including probiotics, multi, fish oil, vit c.
My picky eater does well by being able to choose her fruits/veg in the grocery store. When she picks cherries or blackberries I know she will eat them.
Kids love to copy their parents so the more they see you eating something the more likely they are to try it sometime. My daughter (the picky) one likes chia seed (fiber, antioxidants,omega 3 and other nutrients) mixed with water.
Finally and probably most important. Nourishment is often not found on our plates. Loving relationships, fun activity, career (for adults) and a spiritual connection is what I call primary food and no vegetable in the world can replace this kind of nourishment, so be sure than these things don't get lost in your effort to be sure he eats his vegetables.
I hope this helps.

P.

My daughter is a somewhat picky eater. If it's sweet or junky, no problem, but dinner time has been a battle for months. She will eat only raw carrots, not cooked. And the only way she'll eat broccoli or cauliflower is cooked with cheese. It's take me all this time to figure out what she likes and dislikes. I will make her take one bite of each new food (or different preparation) but If she says she doesn't like it, I don't force her to eat any more. Hey, a bite is better than nothing.

But trust me, you've already lost the battle of the dinning room table. I, too, would suggest if nothing else works, that Deceptively Delicious book by Jessica Seinfeld or The Sneaky Chef: Simple Strategies for Hiding Healthy Foods in Kids' Favorite Meals by Missy Lapine. You can get them off Amazon.com new or used for less than $10. And truly, you'd never know there were healthy food items in brownies, but there can be! And they don't taste healthy - that's the best part.

Maybe after he's eaten healthier for a while tell him, you know that broccoli you didn't like - well, you've been eating in the brownies all along and didn't know it. He'll either never eat another brownie or be curious to try the broccoli, LOL.

All you can do is give him the chance to try different foods, but you really can't force a child to eat anything. I would suggest making casseroles or soups that have veggies in them, and yes you could try pureeing them and adding them to meatloaf, etc. But aside from that, it's just not worth having a battle over. Make sure he gets a good multi-vitamin to help cover his nutritional needs, and then just let go of the battle. Many people grow up quite healthy without eating many vegetables as children. Food shouldn't be used as a punishment.

I would give him his vegetables first and tell him he can have the rest of his dinner when he is done. If he doesn't eat them, he doesn't eat dinner. He won't starve. He'll eventually be hungry and eat them. I wouldn't make a big deal out of it or even sit and have a talk with him about it before hand. At dinnertime or lunch time, just hand him a plate with veggies and say "when this is gone you can have the rest of dinner."

If you get upset or start to try to convince him to do it, it is a power struggle. If you stay calm and don't react if he doesn't eat, then it's all on his shoulders. I would do this at lunch too when he is home. He'll eventually want to eat, and if he hasn't eaten his veggies then do just what you were doing and hand them back to him. Good luck!

Hi Jeanniene,

My friend is 32 years old and the only Veggie he will eat is corn also and doesn't really like fruit either! He is a very healthy guy so I wouldn't worry to much about it! I think by 6 years old they know what they like and what they don't!

Good luck!

it kind of sounds to me like he has already won (or he will in the end) but you really don't want to put something as daily as eating into a contest of wills do you? I would lay off, put a normal serving on his plate and require him to keep trying, try including him in the selection and the serving and cooking style, but I would stop having a dialy stand off with him sitting at the table for hours on end. I will tell you why I think that...

I used to hate veggies as a kid, they made me gag too. But now, I like them and I eat them all, except brussel sprouts. My Dad had a little fit when I refused to eat them, and declaired that I could not have anything else to eat for a week until I had eaten a serving of them at every meal. I tried with sugar, maple syrup, catchup, mustard, and I still gagged and almost threw up at every bite. Then, he said that I could not have any new ones until I ate the old ones. How I remember that plate of nasty, soggy, sugar and cinamon sprinkled brussle sprouts sitting in front of me while everyone else ate and went about the bussle of our kitchen. I will never be able to look at a brussle sprout without remembering this stand off with Daddy dearest. That was about 40 years ago. I bet you are making a similar impression now.

Food for thought...

M.

Sorry this is short, but do you ever watch the food network? Some of the shows have great meal ideas and great inovative ways on preparing veggies, especially Racheal Ray.

Try serving casseroles with the veggies chopped in small pieces and mixed in. Did you have problems getting him to eat veggies as a baby? We started veggies right after cereal, not fruit. Fruit came in the form of juices for a long time.
Try serving a chef salad for a meal with everything mixed together. We used to mash things like carrots, cauliflower etc., and let them use cheese, oleo, gravy, catsup or whatever they wanted to put on it.
I think you have gone a little to far making him sit a table for 4 hours over a veggie. We tried the if you don't eat it at dinner you will see it for breakfast. After a couple of times serving the same thing over for 3 or 4 meals we decided we were causing a bigger problem for the child than we were helping so we moved on. If you didn't clear your dinner plate you didn't get any dessert or after dinner snacks. Eat a tablespoon of whatever and eat it before the rest of your meal it gets the nasty part over with and the good stuff will wash away the taste from your mouth. We finally settled on a thing my husband did with his veggies that almost made me gag when we first started dating. He mixed his peas, etc., into his mashed potatos and ate them that way. I have a child who puts grated cheese on every veggie he sees (that is cooked) and dips every raw veggie he gets into a veggie dip or salad dressing, but he eats them.
In final advise my old time family physician offered me the following advise: A child will eat what it's body craves. If you are giving balanced meals and they are picking out only one food group to eat their body isn't craving it.
Do you give him vitamins? If not you might start doing it.
Corn is a starch, not really a veggie.

Get Jessica Seinfelds book called something like Delectibly Delicious (or something like that). You should find it at a book store in the cook book section. Its a GREAT book with awsome recipes, your son wont even know hes eating veggies!! It shows you how to sneak veggies into their food.

I suggest a wonderful cookbook Deceptively Delicious, I've hidden veggies in muffins and cookies and you'd never know they were there. Its by Jessica Seinfeld. I have this problem occasionally with my own daughter who is nearly 5 and she knows she has to eat some of everything on her plate or no snack that night. Luckily, she likes most veggies.

I would suggest thinking of this as a long process instead of something that will happen immediately. There was a famous food author that did a personal study based on a scientific study's results that it takes a MINIMUM of TEN tries of certain foods before your palatte gets adjusted to them and begins to "like" them when they aren't things that are easily liked by the palatte (like corn, or sugar). He tried this with a list of something like a dozen foods he really, really hated and purposely over the course of several months set out to eat each one of them a minimum of 10 times in various preparations. At the end of the experiment, which I think took about a year to get all the foods, he really, genuinely liked them all. I think that many mothers give up way too soon because they don't know about the 10 times (plus it can be frustrating with experiences like yours). JMO, but don't make eating the vegetables (or anything else) a punishment. Food and eating should be pleasurable. 4 hours at the table is way too long. Making him eat them the next day after such a negative experience is mean and will just make him hate the veg. I would just wait a couple of weeks, prepare them slightly differently and then just serve them along with whatever you are having. Demonstrate they are good to you and the others and continue to serve them. If he doesn't eat them, just take them away, don't get into a contest about it. I think the *less* of a big deal you make about it, the better off you'll be. Demonstrate eating them yourself and/or with the rest of your family while he's eating them and just keep presenting them.

Hope that helps.

We make our children eat one bite of everything at dinner. We don't make a big fuss out of it -- sometimes they do, but we just say "one bite, that's it" and they can't get up from the table until they do. If they truly don't like what they are eating, we do make them pb&j or something that they will eat & that's reasonbly healthy. But most of the time, they end up eating more and/or liking it!! :) Remember, they say after repeated attempts children can start liking a food. I'd have to agree!

I watch a program on channel three I think The Doctors, any way they said you should set the food out on there plate and ignore them, eat like you dont care what they eat or anything ,,,,,becasue they said the more you make a fuss the less they well eat ,sometimes if they wont eat at all if they are forced. I fortually am lucky casue my son eat anything always has he is four but he is now starting to get a little picky... anyway try something like ignoreing him and see what happens they said just talk between your husband and your self with something like this ....hmmmmmmmm these carrots are really good honey dont say anything to your sonat all about his food , make a big deal about how good they are, how great they taste is totally ignore him . but again do not say anything to you son ...mind over matter try this for a few different times and see what happens if he just wants to eat corn for right now just allow it .. keep making a big deal of the veggie you are eating over and over and see what happens .he may just surprise you and pick up his fork and try it ..... Good luck

Only give him vegetables, with no other choice he will eventually eat them.A child will not starve them selves.My parents were lucky I guess I ate everything they gave me except Homony, I still won't eat it.But I did try it.Did not like the taste.Dad tried to get me to finish it by sitting at the table for hours. I ate it and barfed it all over.I ate beets, spinache and any other mostly undesirable vegtable other kids refuse but never Homoney.I could live on Veggy's alone. You should have been feeding him vegtables long before now.It is a rebellon thing you may have to bribe him into it. Sad but sometimes that is what it takes.
My younger sister refused to eat peas, still does , now we found out she is allergic to most of the things she ate willingly.Wheat bread, corn, milk, strawberry,etc.

Since he's old enough to reason with, you could try something like this: Have a chat with him about nutrition and that you are concerned with his eating habits because he's not eating enough veggies. Take him to the grocery with you - someplace with a lot of selection - and let him choose 1 or 2 new veggies that he wants to try. This helps him have some of the control over his situation. You can also let him help prepare the veggies if he likes that (for ex, let him wash them or cut them up). If he doesn't like the ones he picked, try again. Hopefully you can find something he likes!
Another thing - my kids love their veggies frozen! I buy those frozen mixed veggies and give them a little bowl and they eat them up! I guess they are like little veggie Popsicles! When my daughter first asked for it (she's 6), I thought it was the weirdest thing, but when my 3 yo son wanted some too (he's not a big veggie fan either), I was so happy! Kids are funny :)
Good luck,
J.

have you tried giving him the option of raw vs. cooked, sprinkling with parmesan cheese, or offering "dipping sauce" like ranch dressing or BBQ. i know my boys would much rather eat a raw carrot dipped in ranch than a cooked veggie. both broccoli and green beans are also good raw. good luck!

wow...obviously if he isn't eating vegetables after SEVEN hrs....he's not going to. If you keep going this route he will definitely dread lunch/supper time at home and act out...
okay, i'm not here to judge your decisions so have you ever read the book deceptively delicous? It's got all kinds of recipes that have vegetables hidden in them...Just make it easier for your son. Some people really don't like veggies so if you want him to eat it you gotta try a new approach. Good luck!

Our son will eat just about anything if he can dip it in Ranch dressing. Would something like that, or cheese sauce, work? Also, if there's any way you could get him to eat broccoli, our doctor said that's all the nutrition you need, vegetable-wise. If he would eat that, you wouldn't have to worry about him eating (or not) anything else. From another picky eater's mom, good luck!!!

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