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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!

1 mom found this helpful

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!

2 moms found this helpful

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.

2 moms found this helpful

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.

2 moms found this helpful

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!

1 mom found this helpful

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.

1 mom found this helpful

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

1 mom found this helpful

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.

1 mom found this helpful

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.

1 mom found this helpful

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