Help! My baby won’t eat veggies!

May 26, 2009 at 11:32 pm 2 comments


This is a pretty common scenario:  fruit… no problem, vegetables… a struggle.

Don’t you want to ask your baby…“How can you not like vegetables already?!?!” We expect it from 2 year olds and even ten year olds, but not from babies.  But babies are quickly developing their personalities and sometimes those tightly pursed lips will not budge for a veg.

Well take heart… research has shown that a baby can try something 10 times before liking it! (I always wonder who tested this?!)

It is important to get your baby to eat vegetables.  Not only does it offer vitamins and minerals that are not always available in fruit, grains, legumes or meat; but most importantly we want our children to develop a love of vegetables for life.

There are a lot of conflicting ideas on how to get your kids to eat vegetables, and one of them is hiding the vegetables.  I am not a proponent of hiding veggies in brownies or cake, but I do think you can chop them up fine and offer them in soups and casseroles and savoury muffins and pancakes (like my veggie pancakes). If your baby is too young for the cheese & egg, try this Vegetable Pancake recipe from weelicious.com and substitute the egg with 1/2 C applesauce.

But what about babies?

Babies are a little different.  It is important to continue to introduce veggies to your babies and sometimes you need to combine them with other foods to get them to try the veggies.  Here are some ideas.  If you have any other ideas, please pass them my way so I can share them!

  • When does your baby eat the most?  lunch? dinner? breakfast?  Get the veggies into that bigger meal.  For example my little guy doesn’t eat much in the morning, but eats a lot after his nap.  That is when I make sure he has the most veggies, because he is more likely to eat more at that meal.
  • Use avocado as a ‘base’.  Chop the broccoli really, really fine & mash it into some avocado.  The smoother texture of the avocado may make the broccoli more palatable.  I have done a pasta, avocado & broccoli combo dish with success.
  • Use sweet potato or carrots instead of avocado, because they are a little sweeter.
  • Try the alternate scoop.  One scoop of carrots, one scoop of peas.
  • Mix lots of vegetables together so the different flavours complement each other, rather than having one strong flavour (sweet potato + broccoli + red pepper + peas + corn)
  • Offer thawed frozen peas with blueberries as a finger food snack.  Let your little one pick at them.
  • Feed your baby off of your plate.  Already they are picking up cues that your food is different.  If you have some peas on your plate, pierce them with your fork and feed them to baby.  What a treat to eat from Mommy’s plate!
  • Add herbs and spices to add more flavour to your baby’s food.

Here are some combos to try…

  • sweet potato & broccoli
  • butternut squash & apple
  • cauliflower & carrot
  • white potato & zucchini
  • peas & white potato
  • carrot & peas
  • mini omelet: scrambled egg yolk with chopped veggetables

The most important tip is to keep trying.  Babies are learning new things everyday.  One day they may not like a certain food, but they might very well eat it the next.  When feeding your child, regardless of age remember this…

You control what your child eats, your child controls how much

I am not advocating starving your child, but sometimes we do get caught up in how much our child eats.  For the first year, babies are getting what they need from breastmilk (or formula), the food is supplementary.  After that, your toddler’s need for food really fluctuates.  One day your child will eat tons and the next day… nearly nothing.  THIS IS NORMAL.

Keep trying to introduce the veggies and eat them yourself!   You want your child to think that just like brushing your teeth every day, in your house you eat your veggies, because they are delicious!


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Entry filed under: 8 months, Tips for Picky Eaters, Toddlers, Vegetables. Tags: , , , , .

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Elle  |  May 28, 2009 at 2:43 pm

    Thank you. This is very helpful. I will give your combinations a try and will report back.

    Reply
    • 2. lkmnut  |  June 1, 2009 at 1:31 pm

      Hi There Elle,
      I finally found out who connected us! Melissa! How cool. I can’t wait to see her this summer and the new baby!
      Anyways I thought of another few things for picky eaters that I can’t believe I forgot to write down…
      The double-spoon technique – every time I feed THompson (my little guy) he must have his own spoon. If not, he doesn’t eat. He plays with the spoon, tries to feed himself, sometimes slings food across the room. The mess is worth it because when he is trying to get his spoon in the bowl, he automatically opens his mouth when I bring my spoon near. He doesn’t even seem to notice that I am feeding him becasue he is engrossed in his own spooning technique.
      The Blueberry Appetizer. He LOVES blueberries. So I often give him a few (like 5 or 6) and put them on the tray. As he is picking them up and eating them I sneak in my spoonful of veggies between blueberry bites. Once he has had a taste of the veggie dish I have made he eats it, but initially he refuses it, so Ioften go with the Blueberry Appetizer.

      If these suggestions are useless for twins I apologize. I can only imagine the complexity that adds to everything.

      Take care,
      Laurie

      Reply

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