The kids need em’, but they don’t want em’.
THEY DON’T WANT THEM.
So, what do you do? Give up and let your kid never consume anything green?
No. You fight back and you win!
I once was in your shoes… my son would spit out every vegetable I ever got into his mouth and tried to convince me that anything green was not good for his well being (for about 87 different reasons, he’ll eat boogers, though). Fast forward a year later and now both of my kids love vegetables!
I am no magical veggie wizard, but maybe, just maybe some of the things I did with my kids will work for your own toddler beasts!
So, say a prayer and get your debit card ready because you’re about to go buy some veggies, girl.
1.Decide before you start that you are no longer going to give up.
If you’ve been letting your kids run your life by not eating vegetables, then I need you to go look in a mirror and then slap your face.
I did this step, so you need to do it too. You’re ready now. You got this.
If your kids go into full-on freak-out mode the minute something green shows up on their plate, then don’t expect anything different after you read this. They will still freak-out and it can be so mentally exhausting, fighting over broccoli. Who knew? Here is the way I look at it; I serve vegetables at lunch and dinner every day. Of course, there are some exceptions: parties, some restaurants, friends’ houses, etc, and I give them a pass on breakfast because who wants to eat green beans with their sausage or pancakes? I don’t.
So, about fourteen meals a week I am serving my kids these plant products. I’ll level with you here… some days you aren’t mentally stable enough to argue for forty-five minutes over taking one bite of freaking peas… I hear you. So if you need a night where you toss in the towel and aren’t up for the battle, I won’t dare judge you for that, but consistently try to get something green into their stomachs.
And NEVER stop serving vegetables. This is by far the most important tip, which brings me to my next point…
2.Show your kids that these damn vegetables are here to stay.
Just like that creepy uncle at Christmas dinner, he’s here to stay and so are the peas.
Serve them at every lunch and dinner, even if you are in the beginning stages where your child will scream and cry when they see the color green on their plate. Even when my two-year-old son went through his anti-veggie phase I never stopped putting them on his plate. I started getting sick of wasting money and time preparing these vegetables that my son wasn’t touching, so I would only cook two broccoli heads. TWO. And he had to take one bite every time. It was the rule.
Even if they are refusing you still keep those vegetables on the plate! (Just don’t make very much and maybe buy frozen veggies for a while so you aren’t wasting too much food!)
If they can eat dirt, boogers, and bugs, then they can stomach a vegetable. I mean, come on.
3.Don’t dismiss the sauces and seasonings!
Now if you’re a health fanatic, you’ve been taught that pre-made sauces, like Ranch dressing, isn’t the healthiest choice. And they usually aren’t. BUT if you need a dollop of Ranch on that plate for your child to dip their veggies into, then you do it! Do what works! I see veggies with a little bit a Ranch as a complete win!
There are some awesome organic dressings out there as well as homemade Ranch recipes online! My kids like mustard and sometimes they dip their veggies in it. Is it gross? Yeah, to me that crap looks disgusting, but I would never dare put that negativity into my kids’ heads.
Here is the organic ranch dressing we love-
Sugar snap peas and mustard, it’s what’s for dinner. And that’s fine.
My little Ranch-Queen.
4.Use “snack time” in your favor.
Isn’t it crazy how our kids could pass up meals but they are down for a good snacking any time in the day? The overuse of the word snack just might do me in. To the mental hospital I go all because of the work “SNACK”. I hear it non-stop.
But then I got smart and started using snack time to benefit me and my goals with these
toddler beats, animals, tyrants, sweet toddlers. My kids love pretzels, cheese, apple, and granola bars for a snack. At first, when my son was in vegetable denial, I’d serve him carrots or sugar snap peas with a little ranch for a snack. I’m sure you can guess that he was 76 shades of pissed off. But that is what I offered him until he finally started eating them. Then I put back a little of something he likes back into snack time.
Our snacks usually look something like this…
Half veggie, half kid pleasers. When you show them that this is their only option, I promise that they will eventually be more open to the idea.
5.Try cooking the veggies multiple ways in order to find your child’s texture preference.
When my kids first started eating broccoli, it was in result of an accident. I burnt the broccoli. Like, straight up charred it to where it was solid brown and unrecognizable as a vegetable. I’d touch it and it would instantly flake apart and crumble into poop-colored dust.
“What’s dat?” my two-year-old asked.
“Uh…. broccoli….chips.” I hesitantly replied.
I had intended on throwing these #dinnerfails in the garbage, but since he was interested I served both kids the burnt plant.
And they ate it all.
AND ASKED FOR MORE.
I started burning all of the veggies. All of them were so crunchy and they were literally eating them up! I will say now I have learned that they don’t need to be burned to a crisp, but definitely well done!
So, find your kid’s preference. My kids like crunchy, so I bake things in the oven or serve them raw and it works every time.
Mushy veggies?- they won’t touch them.
Below are some ways I prepare all things green!
MIND-BLOWINGLY SIMPLE RECIPES:
- Raw Veggie Medley: Broccoli, Carrots, Cucumbers, Sugar snap peas tossed in just a teeny bit of olive oil, salt, and pepper.
- Baked Kale chips: Toss Kale in a little olive oil, salt and pepper then scatter on down on a cookie sheet. Bake a 300 until they start to turn brown.
- Baked Broccoli chips: Cut into very small little “trees”, toss in a little olive oil, salt and pepper then scatter on down on a cookie sheet. Bake a 300 until they start to turn brown.
- Fresh Crunchy Green Beans: Put a little butter in a skillet then throw in fresh green beans with salt and pepper. They will still remain crunchy, which is how my kids like it!
- Baked cauliflower with cheese: Throw some cauliflower on a cookie sheet, sprinkle with cheese, salt, and pepper, and throw it in the oven. Heat until cheese is melted. You can also steam the cauliflower first if you’d like.
- Arugula: My kids eat this stuff straight from the bag dipped in a little ranch dressing. I usually sprinkle with salt and pepper if I’m putting it in a salad.
- Zucchini and yellow squash: Eat in half moons, sauteed in olive oil and salt and pepper or mince it up really small and throw in pasta sauces!
- Toss Kale into a berry smoothie! They’ll never know. I love this Vega Protein Powder and add it to the kids’ smoothies as well. It is 100% plant based, check out the ingredients!
I wish you the best! This will take some time but with dedication, a will to survive, and a good selection of wine in your pantry, you too can have your kids eating vegetables like a champ! Stand firm and I promise that once you figure out how they like the veggies cooked, they will start eating them!
(Instead of spitting it out for all to see or immediately crying when faced with something green.)
Good Heavens. *insert eye roll
-Until the next time this Redhead rambles.
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