Won't Eat Vegetables

Updated on June 04, 2011
M.G. asks from Vacaville, CA
67 answers

Hi All, m 5 year-old daughter will not, WILL NOT eat vegetables. We have to darn near pry her mouth open just to get in a few kernels of corn or a couple green beans. She will take her Flintstones multi's, but I know it's not enough. I've also mangaged to get her to eat stuffed shells with spinach hidden inside. And on top of that, she won't drink milk. I've tried chocolate milk and strawberry flavored milk. She won't drink it What else can we do? We're starting to get a bit concerned that she's not getting the nutrition she needs.

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T.T.

answers from Sacramento on

I have a son with Down's and getting him to eat nutritiously has always been a challenge. I recently came acrosst the relatively new product V8V-Fusion juice. One 8 oz cup is equivelant to 1/2 serving of fruits and vegetables. He LOVES slushies so with my Magic Bullet, I make him slushies with this juice and he loves them. Every slushie = 1/2 serving of each. So I am very pleased knowing that he is getting fruits besides applesauce and ketchup (if that counts). Also, there is a book out called Deceptively Delicious. Get that. The best to you, but skip the chocolate or strawberry flavored stuff, that's just junk. Also, try rice milk. Better for the body.

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R.L.

answers from San Francisco on

Have you tried V8 V-Fusion? It's juice that has a serving of vegetables and a serving of fruit per glass. My kids are teenagers and I still have a hard time getting them to eat vegetables, but they like this juice.

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B.R.

answers from Bakersfield on

Hi! There is a book out that helps you make foods that have veggies hidden in them. Jerry Seinfelds wife wrote it and I can't remember her name but I think the book is something like Deceptivley Delicious and she took his last name so it should be easy to find. Her kids wouldn't eat veggies either so she hides them. Worth a try. Hope this helps.

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H.H.

answers from San Francisco on

There are a couple of books that have good recipes for "hiding" veggies in your children's food - Deceptively Delicious and Sneaky Veggies. I would try it. My friend pureed carrots and put them in a quesadilla and her son loved it. Try other forms of calcium than milk. Yogurt and cheese, almonds, etc. I would avoid chocolate milk because the chocolate interferes with the absorbtion of calcium. Definitely do not force her to eat anything. This is just causing a power struggle and will work against you and she'll end up hating food and dinner time. Good luck!

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A.B.

answers from Sacramento on

We sell nutritional supplements that are completely balanced nutrition. Some flavors are designed for kids, and many times we have clients that have very remarkable health related improvements by getting proper nutrition. we offer a oney back gaurantee. If you want to talk, please call A. @ ###-###-####

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S.A.

answers from Bakersfield on

Get Jessica Seinfeld's book, Deceptively Delicious. It's a cook book for families and has lots of good recipes that sneak vegetables into your child's food so they don't even know it! It's brilliant! By the way, I stopped giving my daughter milk after she got an ear infection in her first year and I found out milk is often a culprit. My daughter grew up on soy milk and hates dairy milk. The idea that kids need to drink dairy milk to be healthy is a myth. In fact there are lots of reasons to avoid it. For one things, your child will have less colds, allergies, etc. if she doesn't drink milk or a lot of dairy products. There are other alternatives to try--soy milk, rice milk, almond milk, goat's milk. Keep trying until you find one she likes or disguise it as a smoothie with some blended berries, bananas or other yummy fresh fruit. Kids grow out of their dislikes if you keep eating, serving and enjoying different things. My daughter started out a bit picky, went through phases, and now at age 11, she loves healthy foods and will try anything. As a family therapist, I would say don't force her to eat anything--that creates other problems. Offer a variety and teach her that we try things before we decide we don't like them. But Deceptively Delicious offers lots of good ideas if you like to cook...

Good luck!
S. L.

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L.D.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi, I have the same problem... have you seen that cookbook by Jessica Seinfeld where she purees the veggies and adds them to things? That seems to work really well. You will have to peel your zucchini though because if your daughter is like mine if she sees anything green she will not eat it!

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A.B.

answers from San Francisco on

Start your children on Juice Plus - 17 fresh raw/whole fruits and veggies in a gummy form. My kids love them and it has helped them crave healthier foods and they haven't had a cold or flu in 3 years - it is the only nutritional supplement backed by solid research. Call or email me if you are interested - ###-###-#### or [email protected]____.com is inexpensive and easy!

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C.M.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi M.: I would be concerned that she's not getting the proper nutrients too. Thank goodness she's taking the vitamins. Two things I would do: 1) make sure her vitamin is the best. My kids drink Ola Loa which has the most comprehensive amount of vitamins, minerals, amino acids and herbs that I've found. There are different flavors and you can buy it by the packet and try it before you invest in a box (at Rainbow). 2) My daughter and I can't drink milk, so we drink yogurt and kefir. Aside from being a good source of healthy bacteria, yogurt has more calcium than milk. The Nancy's brand also uses agave nectar as a sweetener which is so much better for us than sugar. I've read from a couple of sources that chocolate (cocoa) cancels out the benefits of calcium. Since reading this, I've stopped buying chocolate milk for my son. What else; pumpkin pie, zucchini muffins, blueberries (all berries) carrot cake, pineapple. Go for the powerhouse fruits.

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M.S.

answers from San Francisco on

Try making her eat five veggies one for every year she is old...and only make them green like brocolli and green bean. Let her dip her brocolli in mayonaise, if she likes it. You might also try raw spinich with ranch. My son was the same way and we made the rule he had to eat five because he was five. Every year we add one, and now he is 8 1/2 and I can sneak in more sometimes. I only make him eat the top off the brocolli. Also try cooking your green beans with butter if you dont already. For milk my son was the same way and we found out he was lactose intolerant. We now buy lactaid milk and add vanilla syrup...like at star bucks:)

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D.H.

answers from San Francisco on

Try mixing vegetables in her food. My kids don't like a lot of vegetables, but you can cook and puree and freeze small 1/4 or 1/2 cups of vegetables. An example could be sweet potato in oatmeal or cream of wheat. My kids eat this. Also don't give up and continue to introduce the vegetables at mealtime, even if she won't eat it. Eventually she may try. Just yesterday I told my son he had to eat some of his brocolli before I would give him fruit and he ate one broccoli chopped up and I didn't have to force feed him and then he got the grapes. There are also a few recipe books you can buy that give you ideas. I also put a little fresh spinach in eggs and my kids have actually eaten this, just start with a little at a time. D. H.

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L.S.

answers from Sacramento on

M. - recently Jessica Seinfeld wrote a fab cookbook entitled Deceptively Delicious. My daughter bought it and has been using the recipes from it for her 5 and almost 2 year old. They don't know the difference! Essentially, fresh veggies are steamed and pureed and used in different foods like pancakes with sweet potato puree, french toast with butternut squash puree....the list goes on and on. Sometimes the taste is a little bland so you have to adjust them for the taste buds of your family since the recipes are mostly geared for children. She uses these recipes for her entire family, though. Hope this helps! You can find the cookbook at Walmart and on [email protected]____.com, of course can get it at Borders and Barnes and Noble but it's a little bit pricey there.

A little about me:

I am a retired, fun loving grandma who owns her own jewelry business.

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M.A.

answers from San Francisco on

For milk - try vanilla soy milk. It is very sweet and kids tend to like it. You can also cook more with dairy. For instance, cook oatmeal in boiled milk instead of boiled water.
Also, sometimes the packaging counts. My kids love, love, love the Horizon Organic Vanilla Milks that come in little juice boxes. Starbucks sells them and my kids beg for them all the time. Unfortunatley the Vanillas are hard to find. Safeway sometimes sells them individually in the coold beverage area, but finding them in bulk is hard. They sell chocolate in bulk (Costco) and also Strawberry and regular (grocery stores and Babys'r'us). Haven't found Vanilla yet except for one time at Costco.

AS far as veggies go I have been using the Sneaky Chef Cookbook. It is similar to the Jessica Seinfeld book - but it was written first. I think there are a lot of similarities, but I may get the Seinfeld book too just to get some more ideas. The story that the author of the Sneaky Chef tells about trying to get her kids to eat veggies would probably be very easy for you to relate to. Good luck!

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G.B.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi,
Kids are so funny about food sometimes aren't they! My son (now 4 years old) ate almost nothing but eggs for a month - I got very nervous. He goes through phases of eating all veggies and then won't touch them.
Don't worry, my Mom told me about a study they did in England. Apparently, they had a large number of children from about 2 to 10 years old. They put out a huge range of foods available to the children and recorded everything they ate. If they looked the foods eaten over a week, it wasn't a balanced diet at all, but if they looked at the foods eaten over a 6 month period, every child had picked out a perfectly balanced diet.
These food fads are transitory and I bet, by next month, she'll be eating nothing but broccoli!
Try organic, English cucumbers - the ones which have to lovely green skin you can eat. My son and I make "cucumber moons" by biting out different size pieces and making crescent shapes - it's a fun game and they're eating a vegetable without even knowing it!
Good luck and be patient - it'll all work out in the end.
G.

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R.D.

answers from San Francisco on

On an encouraging note, I've heard that kids often know the kinds of nutrition they need and while it's frustrating as a parent, hopefully some of this is true in your daughter's case?

That said, I understand needing your kids to eat stuff they don't want to. My girls are younger but I also have a problem with milk. On the milk front I just try to make sure they eat lots of yogurt and cheese for the calcium and then drink lots of water for fluid. That has worked so far - as far as I know! And as far as getting them to eat produce, I’ve found fruit and veggie waffles to be our magic bullet for wholesome easy feeding that my girls get into. I posted 3 of the recipes I created for this purpose in case it's helpful to you:

http://twinsite.blogspot.com/2008/02/waffles-baby.html

They're also loaded with buttermilk and yogurt to help address the calcium needs.
Good luck!

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M.S.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi M.,
It sounds like a power struggle going on here and she thinks she's winning. I would suggest simply placing a couple of veggies on her plate at each meal and not saying a word about them. While you are eating yours, you and your son could make a game out of it. I started green bean races with my kids to see who could eat all of one green bean first (and show their mouth empty when it's gone) She may decide after awhile that sounds like fun. We also do this game with broccoli (which is one of the 2 veggies one of my boys will eat) I also make a zuchini potato soup. (boil chicken broth, 2 potatoes, dill weed, and 6 zuchini and then blend in blender when all soft) If your daughter likes soup, she might like it if you don't tell her what it is and she doesn't see you making it. I've heard that steaming carrots and then blending them in a smoothie (with milk,low fat ice cream or yogurt) also works well. My step daughter's 18 and actually told my boys that carrots will make you strong and now they won't stop eating them. (because mom didn't say it and I was gone at the time)
Good luck!
M.

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H.C.

answers from Sacramento on

There is a salad topping in the produce section that are freeze dried snap peas. My daughter loves these and won't eat any other veggies either.

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C.S.

answers from Sacramento on

Hi M. - I'm a grandmother of 5 and I say NEVER force a child to eat anything. Keep trying with different veggies & just relax if she won't eat them. It might happen in a while. Also, talk with your doc about calcium supplements since she won't drink milk. It's not the end of the world if she doesn't as long as she gets calcium in some manner. Relax and enjoy her... all will work out 'cuz it always does. Good luck. C. S.

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G.C.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi M.,
I understand the vegetable dilema! I have found a solution to making sure that our kids get their RDA of fruits and vegetables. It is called Monavie and is a fruit juice with 19 fruits. It has no sugar added, no water added and no chemicals added. It is just berry juice. Monavie is IMO organic certified and tastes great! It also has the ORAC (antioxidant capacity) of 4,027. Which exceeds the governments daily amount. The ORAC units are what make fruits/veggies so important for us to eat.
Call me with any questions,
G.
###-###-####.

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K.V.

answers from Sacramento on

try the book Deceptively Delicious by Jessica Seinfeld. Very creative ways to get vegetables in food, disguised. Just by using vegetable purees, etc. Great book with great recipes.

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A.W.

answers from Sacramento on

I have heard several nutritionist say that fruits and veggies are equal in nutritional value--have her eat more fruit! Will she eat cheese or yogurt instead of milk?

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S.R.

answers from San Francisco on

Have you ever read Don't Drink Your Milk by Frank Oski?
http://www.amazon.com/Dont-Drink-Your-Milk-Frightening/dp...
Maybe your daughter's body is telling you something that you're conditioned not to hear.
I wouldn't sweat the vegetables. You clearly have come up with some clever means to get them into her. Keep going with that.
Try not to make food into an issue or a battle. Keep going with the stealth strategies.

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D.G.

answers from San Francisco on

For my girls I would put out a vege tray with ranch dressing - all of us could munch before dinner. Also, we made soups - my chicken soup had tons of veges, but I put the liquid in a blender and you could not pick out a single vege :-). You can make almost any vege into a "cream" soup (I cut way back on dairy so it really wasn't cream). We took the celery or broccoli or ?? and cooked it in water with salt, onions and garlic, then put it in the blender. We made a "rue" by browning some flour in oil with onions and garlic, then added it to the blender to make our "cream" soup look. DELICIOUS! Our girls would eat three and four bowls.

Oh, and I was one of "those" moms, that would put out cut up Broco-Flower (broccoli grown with cauliflower), bell peppers, kohlrobi, radishes, etc and the girls' friends would grab and try, so guess what, so did my girls... amazing what they liked!

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D.D.

answers from San Francisco on

A few months ago.. i am thinking as far back as before Thanksgiving i was watching the oprah show and Jerry Sienfeld's wife was on and she wrote a cookbook called Deceptively Delicious... and of course since then the discovery of many other cook books offering the same such as
check out these books: Confessions of a Sneaky Organic Cook (Or, How to Make Your Family Healthy When They're Not Looking!) (1972); The Art of Hiding Vegetables: Sneaky Ways to Feed Your Children Healthy Foods (2005); Sneaky Veggies: How to Get Vegetables Under the Radar & Into Your Family (2006); The Sneaky Chef: Simple Strategies for Hiding Healthy Foods in Kids' Favorite Meals (2007).

I hope these help you.. in getting vegetables into your little girl...

D.
Mom & Grammie

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J.K.

answers from San Francisco on

Take a look at Monavie.com. This has been a life saver for us.
We have two picky eaters and one who won't eat vegetables.
Children can take the regular mona vie but not the Active mona vie ( Active has glucosamine- only for adults)

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M.F.

answers from Sacramento on

Hi M.-I'm a stay at hom mom with a 2 year old and my prior profession was child nutrition. My daughter is about as picky as they come. There are sometimes when I wonder how she grows at all. The one thing I've figured out is not to worry about it. As long as the doctor says she's growing fine I just take it one day at a time.

As a nutrition professional there are a few other tricks I have. You are on the right track by hiding her veggies in other things. There are a few really good books about how to sneak veggies into family meals. One I know of them is by Jessica Seinfeld.

It is best not to make a big deal about what she won't eat. Forcing her will probably just make it worse. Best to just offer healthy foods and let her decide what to eat and how much. Eventually most kids learn to eat well if offered healthy variety and they see the rest of the family enjoying it too.

You could also try involving her in some of the planning, purchasing & preparation of meals. Kids also love being involved in growing a garden. My daughter won't eat tomatoes if I put them on her plate but she will eat them if she picks them off the vine in the garden, go figure. You can even plant a lot of things in a pot on a patio if you don't have space or inclination for something bigger.

There's also good news in the meantime, lots of food products are enriched these days. You can even get fruit juice with calcium:) If she doesn't like milk other diary products yogurt and cheese work too.

Sorry this is so long, hope it helps. Jewelry was my first passion, I envy and admire you for being able to stay at home and have the business.

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K.S.

answers from San Francisco on

If empathisizing will help, then read on. My 15 year old still won't eat vegetables or drink milk. (I have 3 boys, 17, 15 and almost 13. My youngest and oldest eat anything--always have.)
So, since he's been a toddler, I've asked his doctor to give me a list of optimal nutritional foods I can give him to make up for it--like fortified fruit smoothies and home-made refried beans...
He's very bright and strong and doin' okay without broccoli (and just YESTERDAY I saw him nibble on a few bits of raw onion I'd chopped for dinner. Go figure.)
We're all wired differently I guess. It wouldn't be reasonable to expect that everyone should like everything that's good for us...although it'd be easier for us moms...
so I'll share my encouraging example:
I have a 59-year old uncle--a very successful, vibrant, happy and HEALTHY man who STILL doesn't eat vegetables.
K.

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L.L.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi M.,
My daughter was the same way. I talked to her pediatrician about it and she made me feel at ease saying as long as she gets a little something green and a little something yellow she'll be okay. I've seen a book out - can't remember the name - that helps mom's hide veggies in other foods. You may want to search for it on the internet. As for the milk, try other dairy products like cheese and yogart. Also my daughter takes a calcium chew called L'il Critters Gummy Bears (can't remember if we got them at Costco or Safeway). Good luck!

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C.W.

answers from Merced on

I used to have a daycare and had kids who would not eat certain foods. I know it sounds disgusting, but have you thought of putting ketchup on her veggies? Or ranch dressing (if she thoroughly likes either one)? The kids I watched sometimes wouldn't eat i.e. corn but if I put ketchup on it they would inhale it. It doesn't work for every kid but it is worth a try. After a while you just tell her to try it without ("because you forgot to buy some") and she may like it. Another thought is to sweeten her carrots with butter and brown sugar...but that is only with cooked carrots. As for the milk, have you tried to get her to drink Soy milk? It is sweeter than regular milk. Another thought is get some food coloring and a clear pitcher. On St. Patrick's Day (without her watching) put a couple drops of green food coloring in the bottom of the pitcher. Then leave the pitcher on a counter where she can't see the bottom of it. Then ask her to try some magic milk. When she asks what magic milk is, pour some milk into the pitcher and stir. As you pour the milk in it will begin to turn green and will fully turn green as you stir it (or she can stir). It doesn't change the taste of the milk but may excite her enough to drink it. You can do the same at Easter only put a couple drops of blue and a couple of red and make purple. Anyway, just a thought. Trick is though, she can't see the food coloring in the bottom of the pitcher or it will lose the "magic".

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P.M.

answers from Bakersfield on

hi, my son is the same, i try to sneak them into smoothies and puree them into soups,etc, like the cauliflower potato soup last night i made. What is great now, is the carrot juice blends that are mixed with fruit and are good-he does drink them tho they are still not his preference-also, we garden and i let him pick what to plant and have him help so he is involved, he also likes to help me cook.you can also try fun shapes from kid cookbooks with healthy snacks-hope it helps, i am trying everything too!

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R.B.

answers from San Francisco on

My son didn't like milk when he was little so our pediatricitan had him take a Tums each day. He's 13 now and it was only a year ago that he finally told me milk would give him a stomach ache! I've switched him to soy milk and he's much happier and no more stomach aches! He still takes a calium supplement or Tums each day.

My sister had trouble with getting her kids to eat veggies and she resorted to the dip method. She made everything finger food / bite size and served with a different type of dip until she hit upon a winner. The kids were much happier to eat their vegetables when dipped into Ranch dressing.

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T.C.

answers from Sacramento on

as for the milk issue, its not good for her anyway, we are not meant to drink cows milk,but we give our son Almond and rice milk which has lots of nutrients. they make flavored and plain, sweetened and not.. You can always try a little ranch dressing with the vegies to intise her to eat them.

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M.G.

answers from San Francisco on

Try making fruit smoothies with her... if she helps cook sometimes there is an "ownership" feeling and it makes them more interested in trying things. Making her own pizza could be fun too... with only veggie toppings available.

Also, raw vegetables were the first ones my kids started to actually like. Try taking a bunch of pre-washed baby carrots to a horse farm. While you're feeding the horses maybe you could eat some together. Make a game out of it.

It could be that she is not eating veggies because she knows that it frustrates you. Five year olds are known to like to exercise their control. If you lay off for a month and then provide non-threatening environments where she might miss out on something maybe she'll give them a try.

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V.K.

answers from Sacramento on

Stop fighting with her. I know this sounds harsh, but put a resonable amount of veggies on her plate along with a resonable amount of other things to eat. Let her know that she does not have to eat her dinner, however after dinner those that eat thier dinner get to have....treat, movie, stay up 30 minutes later, whatever is the reward(make sure you offer the reward to all your children) and then do not talk about it again. After dinner, clear the table and everyone who ate dinner gets the reward. DO NOT BACK DOWN! It may take a few nights. The key and the hardest part is to not respond to tantrums. If she starts to cry just walk away. If she has a tantrum, ignore it or in a very calm voice send her to her room and tell her she can come out when she is done.
This is very hard to do, be strong.
We did this with my daughter and now we almost never have a problem. We make sure we put veggies on the plate we know she will eat, we make sure we do not feed her too soon before dinner so she comes to the table hungry or sometimes we will put out a plate of raw veggies for dipping before dinner as a snack. Once we got her eating we were able to see what she would eat more of such as raw veggies or cooked.

good luck.

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M.E.

answers from San Francisco on

My 6 year old does not eat many vegetables either. She hasn't for a couple years. She does eat Ketchup, Spaghetti sauce, and mashed potatoes and I do sometimes try to sneak veggies into the spaghetti sauce or meatloaf. She also loves pumpkin pie, which I consider a vegetable. The only fruit my daughter eats is watermelon, which is OK when it's in season. The doctor has not been too concerned because obviously she's growing, etc. You really can't force a child to eat. My daughter does drink milk, for which I am thankful. I also keep GoGurts in the freezer because when they're frozen they are sort of like popsicles. I have also discovered Ian's Supertots which are like tater tots made from veggies as well as potatoes - you'll find them at a store such as Whole Foods. Try not to worry too much about this...I was quite upset and concerned but you simply can't force kids to eat. My doctor told me that some kids just do not like the texture of veggies. Michele

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A.L.

answers from San Francisco on

We make nutritious smoothies for our 2 year old. We've been doing it for the last year and he LOVES them. Actually they tastes really good - especially the way my husband makes it because he goes heavier on fruit and I go heavier on green vegies that could be overwhelming. We have a Vitamix blender which is really expensive (the best deal can be had by getting it at Costco when they are having a demo) but we really feel the mixer is life/health altering and worth every penny. Some things we put in the smoothie - carrots, cooked egg, whole grain bread, peanut / almond butter, orange, home made yogurt / milk, flax seed, sesame oil, cinnamon, green veggies, etc. My husband will throw more than a dozen ingredients in depending on what's in the garden and fresh at the store. When I saw everything going in, I thought it was gross but it really tastes good! We always get the huge 10lb bag organic carrots at Costco which lends a lot of sweetness to the smoothies - it's a must! And the Vitamix grinds it up so fine you can't tell at all. It's an expensive machine but I don't know of any other blender that will grind things up fine enough that it tastes like a liquid smoothie. We also use frozen fruits (and veggies) to make sorbets which our son devours. Good luck!

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M.P.

answers from San Francisco on

my daughter doesn't eat veges either. I buy the V8 fruit/vegetable juice and she drinks it up. I don't push the veges only offer them and show her how I eat them and love them so much. I think half the time it's a control thing (if I push too hard on her.) I know she'll come around to liking them soon.

As for milk, she can get calcium through cheese, ice cream, etc. I am sure you're doing a great job. Good luck and best wishes.

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N.O.

answers from Sacramento on

I have had the same problem, and I came across this book "Deceptively Delicious" by Jessica Seinfeld (Jerry Seinfeld's Wife). It has great recipes using vegetable puree's, we love the hamburgers with cauliflower. About the milk, I had the same problem with my son, we now have "hot chocolate" were I just heat the milk up and add some Nesquik. If needed, I sweeten the deal with marshmallows. Good Luck!

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M.E.

answers from Sacramento on

We buy the frozen organic mixed veggies at Costco-best frozen veggies I have ever had. My boys who will also not voluntarily eat any other kind of vegetable love to eat them (well they pick out the green beans)still frozen.
As to the milk, while we do drink it sometimes, my husband is a doctor and a firm believer that humans absolutely do not need cows milk. There are people who go a step further to say we should NOT drink it. There are other ways to get calcium, maybe her body knows it does not react well to milk-kids are a lot better at listening to their bodies than grown-ups are.

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L.S.

answers from San Francisco on

There is a cookbook out by Jessica Seinfeld that has all sorts of recipes where you puree veggies and hide it in all sorts of kid friendly foods. If she does not want to drink milk there are all sorts of chewable calcium supplements available for kids.

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C.H.

answers from San Francisco on

Again on the good cookbooks with sneaky veggie ideas.

My daughter is a very light eater, and has been under weight a few times...

The Dr. has also recommended Pedisure for her. She loves it, in fact, she thinks that is a milk shake. She has one a day during those seasons where her appitite seems extra light. I have even sent one to school with her in her lunch bag.

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T.S.

answers from Salinas on

I read about Juice plus and asked my dr about it. This seems the perfect situation to use it in. I am sure others will be responding to you who sell it. That is what I would recommend.

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L.T.

answers from Fresno on

Hi M.,

You might want to check out the books "Deceptively Delicious" or "The Sneaky Chef." Both suggest ways to "hide" vegetable in foods that picky kids will eat. One thing I like about Deceptively Delicious is that along with the hidden veggies, she always serves regular vegetables to try and encourage kids to eat those too. Good luck!

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J.M.

answers from Redding on

Okay first of all you need to relax and take a deep breath your daughter will be fine. Milk is a sources of calcium, does she eat cheese,yogurt etc. that is a good start. Also I saw on a talk show once where this woman pureed all the veggies she wanted her kids to eat and slipped them in the regular foods. She put the pureed veggies in the foods with same colors. You don't need very much. She would spend a clouple of hours on sunday pureeing the veggies and freezing them in portion size containers enough fo rthe week or and pulled them out as needed. She still put some on the plate and encouraged them to try it but didn't stress because she knew they were already eating un beknownst to them! Try it and let me know how it works.
J.

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E.T.

answers from Sacramento on

jerry sienfelds wife wrote a cookbook because her children had the same problem. She gets very creative I cant remember the name but i am sure you can google it and she was on oprah talking about it oprah.com

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T.M.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi,
maybe try to let her help prepare food. My son is much more likely to try something he helped prepare.

Good Luck
T.

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A.R.

answers from San Francisco on

M.,
My seven year old doesn't drink milk either, once she stopped breastfeeding at 13 months she tried cows milk once and that was it. Her dr has been a great with helping make sure that she gets enough calcium, she will eat cheese, and yogurt, but no other dairy products such as ice cream (only sherbert), and no milk shakes. i have tried to do the flavored milk, but since she is allegic to chocolate, the only options were strawberry and bananna, and she didn't like either one. If we tried to force her to drink it she would throw up and not eat for atleast 24 hrs. So her dr said to just let it go since she does eat cheese, and yogurt, as well as fruit and nuts which both contian calcuim, just to be sure I have bought her vitamins at costco that have extra calcuim.
Good Luck
Amanda

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K.M.

answers from Sacramento on

Hi. It is not a good idea to pry her mouth open. It will sour her eating experience and make things worse. You have to keep trying by putting different types of veggies on her plate every day, even if she doesnt eat them, they have to continue to be a part of her meal. Try raw veggies with ranch dip on the side. Kids also love edamame with a little bit of salt sprinkled on them. How about fruit? Fruit is just as healthy as veggies. If she won't eat fruit try to make smoothies. If she won't drink milk, tha's fine, they have orange juice with calcium in it and she can eat yogurt and cheese. Don't give up, get creative. She can not have d diet consisting of only carbs and protien.

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K.R.

answers from Chico on

My son was the same way, I used the V8 splash (juice) made with veggies and fruit, some kids have texture issues. I didn't use it to replace veggies I still put them on his plate maybe something to dip it in like ranch or catsup, but for my comfort I gave him the V8 in his cup a couple times a day. If she eats cheese or eggs or yogurt or anything else dairy and protene, I wouldn't worry about the milk thing, I just put water in his cup at meals, so he wouldn't expect juice all the time. I also tried the Rice and Soy dream, my son really liked it , gradulally I would mix the regular milk with the Rice milk and now he drinks regular milk fine, lots of it now that he's 10 Hope this was helpful. K.

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M.G.

answers from San Francisco on

try Jessica Seinfeld's book, "Deceptively Delicious." It has recipes, but also creative ways to pack in the necessary nutrients into everyday meals. I use mainly for inspiration and luckily my son eats a varied diet. But it can't hurt to have new recipes to make every now and then. For exaample, she puts avocado in her brownies.
Ideally, you want your children to come to the table and consume what is in front of them and make it tasty for them. But that doesn't always work. Also, DS is 4.5 years old and one of his "chores" is to set the table, and since he has a part in "making dinner" he tends to at least try something before saying, "Uh, I'm not eating that, its too crunchy/salty/sour/you name it."
Things that I hide in food are:
1. wheat germ in - just about anything
2. applesauce in - mac& cheese, tuna noodle casserole
3. purees of cauliflower in - scrambled eggs (Seinfeld does a version of that as well; in pasta, topping for baked potatoes
4. letting him grate parmesan cheese over his veggies such as squash, broccoli
5. pesto - my son loves it, I make it from scratch, pretty simple. It freezes, so thats good
6. soups (homemade,if you have the time) are packed with nutrition and veggies! You can puree any soup and the kids like the creamy texture.
7. baking - we bake together a lot, like banana bread, and I always throw in healthy items such as nuts, wheatgerm. We also bake treats such as choc chip cookies, because I don't give him store-bought cookies/treats, just sweets baked at home.
These are a few things that have worked for me. Good luck with your children. I was a picky eater as a child and it was probalby hard on mom and dad to deal. What goes around .....
cheers!

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P.S.

answers from San Francisco on

I haven't read it myself, but Jessica Seinfeld has a cookbook out that has a solution for kids who don't "like" veggies. There's a lot of controversy surrounding this book --- some people think it's dishonest to "lie" to your kids when feeding them.

It reminds me of when my niece was very young; she "hated" tomatoes, tomato sauce, etc. but LOVED the "pink soup" her grandmother made her every day for lunch (cream of tomato). She didn't know until she was a teenager that she had eaten tomato soup almost every day of her young life!!

My twin granchildren LOVE some veggies, but not others. I've created a meatloaf (which they love) that is loaded with veggies --- shredded carrots, spinach, chopped brocolli. Sometimes kids are convinced they don't like something, but when it's "included" in something else, they don't mind. Then they're getting their nutrients without the fuss.

Regarding her milk consumption, try yogurt and yogurt drinks. Our babies still drink one bottle of warmed milk in the morning, but are VERY reluctant to take milk from a cup during the day. I hate to warm it. . . then have it sitting out in their cups. So, we load up on yogurt --- they think it's a treat, but they're getting their calcium.

Your doctor should have some suggestions about getting around her dislike of milk, too.

D.M.

answers from Rochester on

M.,
I had the same problem with my son. Forcing him to eat the vegetables only made him gag and cry. Since I am a healthcare and parenting freelance writer, I asked several dietitians what to do. They all said to try "make the vegetables fun." That was the inspiration behind my web site, www.artfulveggie.com. Check it out and see if there is something your daughter might enjoy. It takes a little extra effort to make vegetables fun, but I think the pay-off is definitely worth the extra effort.

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A.B.

answers from San Francisco on

Hello M.,

I have the same problem you do with my almost 12 year old son. I have tried to sneak in vegetables, force him to eat them and get him involved in the cooking but nothing works. Some kids are picky eaters no matter what you do. You did get alot of great ideas on how to supplement with other things which I think is worth a try. As long as your child is growing and developing appropriately, I wouldn't fight too much over food.

As far as the milk issue, I also think that milk is not the issue but rather calcium. Have you tried string cheese? Some kids like it because its fun to play with as you are eating it. I also think that the frozen Gogurts is a good idea, my kids like that when the weather gets warm. If She won't eat dairy, make sure that she gets a good calcium supplement that has vitamin D. Also make sure she gets plenty of sun when the weather is nice so she can make the vitamin D she needs to absorb the calcium. Use sun screen but not sunblock since that actually prevents the skin from making vitamin D.

Hope this helps.

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T.M.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi M.,
You're not alone. I was in the same boat with my daughter 2 and 1/2 years ago. My family and I now take Juice Plus which is 17 different fruits and vegetatables that either come in a capsule, chewable or gummie. Juice Plus is absolutely safe for everyone and is approved by the FDA as "food" not a "supplement". Our cells have a memory and in many cases, people begin to crave fruits and vegetables after taking Juice Plus. I know it sounds impossible, but it's true. When we get our nutrition from whole food, we're getting all of the vitamins, minerals and nutrients (including calcium!) Mother Nature intended. If you would like more information and would like to review the published research on Juice Plus see my website at www.chooseprevention.net.

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J.C.

answers from San Francisco on

Try Jessica Seinfeld's recipe book "Deceptively Delicious". She was featured in Oprah and she had great ideas on how to include vegetables in a lot of foods that your child eats.

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D.D.

answers from Fresno on

Hi M., Last year our twins club had a nutritionist as our guest speaker, and she addressed this very issue that most of us face with our kids. She shared that it takes AT LEAST 15 exposures to a food before kids will eat them. According to the nutritionist, an "exposure" is having the food (veges in most cases) on the child's plate -not just in a serving dish at the table. They may or may not taste it, they might move it around with their fork, play with it with their hands, put it in their mouth and spit it out...etc. All of those things are fine and normal. Eventually they will start eating them! So I put this to test with my kids - my oldest is now 4 1/2, & it worked! He loves green beans, corn, and carrots. The twins are getting there too - their 3. The key though was to not make a big deal of the item it is that you are wanting them to eat. Still my kids say, "I don't like carrots" My response is "fine but it still has to be on your plate". I've "caught" them eating the veges after a while! It might be only one bite, but I'll take it! By the way, as a general rule when they do finally eat that vege - the nutritionist said to not make a big deal of it. Making a big deal of eating or not eating a particular food places control of the situation into the child's hands. And I have to say that I have experienced it. The bottom line, continue to offer veges to your child and sooner or later she'll give in. Its not too late! Good luck...

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D.W.

answers from Sacramento on

Hi M.- I'd agree with most of your responses, and add that taking my (still vegetable-disliking but healthy 6'2" 14 year-old) son to the grocery aisle and asking him to select the evening's vegetables always worked. His typical choice? Brussels sprouts, which he loved steamed then sauteed in butter and lemon sauce. Go figure.

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C.W.

answers from Sacramento on

Try Deceptively Delicious: Simple Secrets to Get Your Kids Eating Good Food by Jessica Seinfeld. It tells how to sneak pureed veggies into everything.

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C.L.

answers from San Francisco on

Try baking pumpkin muffins. Zucchini and carrot muffins. Sneaking mashed up veggies into lasagna. These are small steps for adding nutrition, but they make veggies fun so that you take the "should" factor out of them.
Does she eat yoghurt? I mix in different things into Strauss or Trader Joe's whole milk yoghurt: nuts, honey, frozen fruit, jam, etc. If your daughter eats yoghurt, you don't have to worry about her not drinking milk.
And if she eats lots of fruit, you are doing great, fruit has soooo much nutrition.
Good luck!
C.

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J.M.

answers from Sacramento on

Hello - My daughter is the same way, at 7 yrs old. She will eat corn on the cob and potatoes, but that's it. I heard about Jessica Seinfeld's cookbook, "Deceptively Delicious" and I love it! It shows you how to "hide" vegetables in recipes and the kids never know. The recipes are incredibley tasty and it's not that hard to prepare the purees used; you get used to it after while. My daughter's favorite recipe is cream of potatoe soup which is made with purees of cauliflower and butternut squash. She now knows what goes in it because she loves to help, but in the beginning she never knew. Now that she knows it tastes so good, she doesn't mind (but only if made with the purees, not seperately).

You can hide purees of cauliflower, squash, sweet potatoes, etc in sphaghetti/alfredo sauces and lots of other things. You must try it! Eventually they will have to learn to eat them without us "hiding" it, but for now I know my daughter is getting the nutrition she needs.

Good luck!

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J.B.

answers from Sacramento on

M.,

I can totally relate my nearly 5 yr old is the same way. I have found he is opt to atleast try stuff when he is at preschool because all the other kids are eatting it. They do family style meals. I have some friends who require their kids to eat a no thank you helping of one bite. I don't do that. I just offer it and I also hide it in foods. Jessica's cookbook does give great ideas but basically you just puree the veggie and hide it in the food you cook. I always puree sweet potato and carrots and add it to my pasta sauce.

I think many 2 yr olds don't eat meat yet. It is a tuff texture to chew. If it is protein you are worried about just offer a variety of protein foods like eggs and yogurt, etc...

best wishes. I know there were tons of great replies.
J.

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J.M.

answers from San Francisco on

I suggest buying the cookbook "Deceptively Delicious" by Jessica Seinfeld. Easy recipes with unseen veggies. My kids love the french toast with pureed pineapple, banana, OR pumpkin. Also the Oatmeal Raisin Cookies with zucchini and banana.

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S.R.

answers from Salinas on

Hi M.:
Would love for you to look into Ocean Wonders, Kids Mealshakes and Chewable CalMag by Shaklee. Had Great Results with my two girls!
Good Luck!
www.shaklee.net/natural_family_products/getclean

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C.M.

answers from San Francisco on

You are not alone! And believe it or not it is natural for children to not like bitter foods such as vegetables. It is an innate characteristic that goes back to our hunting/gathering days. Bitter foods could be poisonous, so children don't like bitter as a survival mechanism.

Not to worry, a book called Deceptively Delicious will save the day. Written by Jerry Seinfeld's wife, Jessica Seinfeld, and mother of 3 young ones she shows you how to puree vegetables and hide them in spaghetti sauce, brownies, you name it! Good luck!

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J.M.

answers from San Francisco on

With my kids, it's all in the delivery.

They won't eat corn, but they will eat corn on the cob.Veggies with a toothpick are much tastier than with a fork.They still both eat way more fruits than veggies. I've seen some recipes than let you "hide" veggies like carrots by blending them into in pasta sauce.

As far as the milk goes, maybe your daughter will eat cottage cheese, yogurt or cheese. All are sources of calcium. I like cottage cheese mixed with pears. My daughter prefers blueberries with her cottage cheese.

Good luck!

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C.F.

answers from San Francisco on

Luckily she's not a calf, so she doesn't need milk. It's not good for her anyway. I think you have to hide the veggies in stuff, like the spinach in the shells. Maybe cook them, puree them and hide them wherever you can. She'll come around eventually. I think they go through phases.

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S.H.

answers from Stockton on

I have the same problem with my 5 year-old son. I have my kids take Juice Plus+ Gummies...packed with whole fruits and veggies.

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