Veggies for Toddlers

Updated on February 18, 2011
S.S. asks from Los Angeles, CA
13 answers

How do you serve veggies to toddlers? I only ever just mix it into his food (i.e. in pasta, in fried rice). Do you steam it and give a dip? What kind of dip? Do they eat it?? Any tips would be great. Thanks!

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answers from Denver on

Just try and keep trying. Some of my kids favorites (some days...)
Artichokes - steamed w/ butter for dipping
Asparagus - with butter for dipping
Broccoli - we call them "little trees"
Sweet potato "french fries" - just peel, cut and bake (ketchup/ranch dip)
Avocado - sliced - or on sushi (YES they love eel rolls at 3 and 5) - who would have thought?
Guacamole - with chips to dip
Carrots (cooked) and ranch (mine aren't too into raw either)

I let them eat them with their hands - but at least they eat them. They enjoy dipping too. Just keep trying and give them what you eat - you might just be suprised!

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answers from Baton Rouge on

Some vegetables my daughter liked cooked in various ways (steamed broccoli, fried okra), some she liked raw and naked (green onions, grape tomatoes), some she liked raw with Newman's Own salad dressing (cucumbers, carrots, celery). I let her eat them in whatever way she liked them.



answers from Austin on

I sneak it in! For example, one of our favorite is spaghetti squash for spaghetti instead of noodles. Then I also cook shredded zucchini, mushrooms, red onion, garlic, bell peppers into the sauce. A load of veg for everyone!

My son loves to dip stuff, so we give him honey mustard, non-corn syrup ketchup, ranch dressing. I also make 7 layer dip a lot and you can make it healthier with black beans and sour cream subs like toffuti. You get avocado, tomatoes, onion in that.

I buy the really small carrot sticks cause they are easier to crunch, just getting him used to that. Mix the steamed spinach into his meat when I cook that with a meal, so he'll eat it in one bite. Put cheese sauce on broccoli. You just have to get creative and I find, at least for mine that having something to dip it in or presenting it in a fun way helps A LOT!



answers from Washington DC on

My kids (7,6,3 &2) will eat any vegetable, basically- if served with ranch dip. A new thing I'm trying is serving it with hummus as a dip. They seem to like that too. Cooked veggies, I put a little parmesan cheese on them. And with one of my children in particular- I had to introduce the veggies OVER AND OVER to get her to eat it- but she eats most veggies now:)



answers from Minneapolis on

I would chop it up into bite-sized pieces and either steam it and just put it on their plates, steam it and mix it with pasta or rice, or steam it and give it to them with ranch dressing or ketchup. I also make soup regularly and just give them the "solid" parts of the soup with a small amount of broth at the bottom. They get mostly veggies and meat that way, and it's an easy supper for us to have.

Some of the veggies that my kids eat: broccoli (love!), carrots (love!), potatoes (either mashed or roasted), winter squash (sliced thin and roasted), etc. I have also used cauliflower instead of potatoes to make "mashed potatoes", and we use onions and garlic quite a bit to flavor things so they are used to those flavors, too.

In the summer they like sauteed zucchini and summer squash as well as roasted asparagas.

I also make muffins with veggies in them: zucchini applesauce, pumpkin, etc. And they eat hummus, which is pretty much all veggies in one form or another. They eat hummus on crackers or as a dip for other veggies.

Good luck!



answers from Dallas on


When my girls were little I started them on veggies and dip. I would give them green, red or yellow peppers cut up, carrots, broccoli, grape or cherry tomatoes. The dip was usually a fresh made spinach dip. this was obviously when they had enough teeth to chew the raw veggies. I would do this once a day (usually about 3pm when they wanted a snack). I have to say to this day they LOVE veggies! I think it is because of starting them so young.

I hope this helps!


answers from Richmond on

My kids didn't know dip or salad dressing for FOREVER. I just gave them raw or cooked veggies, and since that's all they ever knew, they just ate them ;) Ditto for juice... I ALWAYS cut their juice so they were drinking 1/2 juice, 1/2 water... they thought that was normal, and never knew the difference :) My MIL was SHOCKED when my kids ASKED for a grilled chicken salad at a resturaunt... when the waitress asked what kind of dressing they'd like, they said 'we don't even know what that is'... I just smiled at the look on my MIL's face! My point is, if you never introduce things like dip, condiments, dressings, your child will never know they're missing out :)


answers from Bloomington on

Depends on the veggie. My 3 1/2 year old likes some only cooked (not mixed with anything) and some only raw with dip. I just use lowfat ranch dressing for dip. When we go to a restaurant with paper dipping cups I grab a few extras.
cherry tomatoes
lettuce salad
He is a veggie-tray-aholic!

green beans
sweet potatoes with marshmallows (veggie?)



answers from Cincinnati on

as an infant my son would eat green beans like they were going out of style now as a toddler he wouldnt touch them with a 10ft pole. I sneak them in his food. spinach in his scrambled eggs, pureed pumpkin in his pancakes ect. Though he does like veggies if they are in soup (we just drain out most of the broth)


answers from Lafayette on

my daughter still has issues chewing a lot of hte raw veggies. but she loves tomatoes and cucumbers raw and cut up. she would eat them for a meal anytime i'd let her. cooked she loves carrots, corn, peas, and broccoli and cauliflower. the cooked veggies are frozen packages, and then when they're cooked i just put a little bit of butter on it and she will eat more of the veggies than anything else. last night i introduced spinnach for the first time. she didn't like it, but i'm going to keep trying it. lol



answers from Pittsburgh on

Artichokes - with butter to dip (he loves scraping the leaves)
Asparagus - steamed with a little olive oil and sea salt
Carrots - steamed (tried roasted - doesn't like them) or raw carrot sticks
Avocado - in the shell with a little soy sauce, vinegar and sesame oil (use a spoon for scooping) or as guacamole or in sushi (cooked fish)
Green beans - steamed and tossed with goat cheese and pine nuts or walnuts
broccoli - stir fried, steamed, raw
Corn - on the cob in season
Green peppers - raw strips
Cauliflower - steamed or raw
Cucumbers - cut into strips or with plain yogurt and cumin seeds
Squash (he used to like this more than he does now) - roasted with cinnamon and chicken stock or mashed
Potatoes - doesn't matter what you do to them he will eat them (baked, roasted, mashed, fried)

We serve them however we would be making them without a toddler present.



answers from Las Vegas on

I think it's also a good idea to introduce raw veggies... this way kids acquire a taste for them. e.g, I always gave my child raw red bell peppers and to this day, he loves them. Additionally. I think raw veggies retain more of their vitamins when not cooked. they aren't for everyone, but in our house, we do eat a lot of raw veggies or al dente... which leads me to green beans... those are good raw or lightly steamed.. When my son was younger and even now, I didn't try and cover up veggies with dips or sauce because I didn't want him to only eat veggies that way, I wanted him to eat as clean as possible w/o doctoring up foods.. also, cherry tomatoes are a big hit ... now with Summer fast approaching, there will be a lot of good selections around.. this includes fruits. don't be afraid to have them try new things like mango and guava.. if you haven't already..

best of luck



answers from Columbus on

We do all the above.

Usually lunch is canned veggies and snacks are fresh cold veggies and dinner is usually steamed veggies.

Serve or give an option of variety. Maybe more appeasing when they get to choose (even let pick out at the grocery store).

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