Sunday, June 5, 2011

Making Vegetables Palatable?

I fully admit that I'm slacking on the veggie front. Little Man only eats peas. Frozen peas. Not fresh because I'm a lazy ass who hasn't bought fresh vegetables for my son. He used to eat vegetable purees and LOVED sweet potatoes. But since he started self-feeding, he has eschewed all vegetables for unhealthy alternatives like potato chips and french fries.

I know it's my fault for not offering him better meal choices and I want to change that. But how? And with what? How do I introduce new foods to my nearly-two-year-old? How do I undo what I have done? Will he ever eat well?

And don't even get me started on milk.  He LOVED milk when he first tried it and when it was in a bottle. But when we cold-turkeyed the bottle for sippy cups he refused to drink milk in it. I feel badly that he won't drink it. And it's not that he doesn't like the taste. I think it's the consistency. I'm going to have to try flavoring it again. I really want him to drink something besides water.  Not that he needs the empty calories of juice, but it would be nice if he'd try it.

Since he's growing and thriving, I shouldn't worry TOO much. I know of children who survived on pasta with butter for years and he eats better than that. Little Man likes chicken. Loves potato. Loves macaroni & cheese. But my goal is to expand his diet. I just need to come up with a menu and purchase the foods.


  1. It'll happen over time. You are NOT a lazy ass... frozen veggies are fine. My boys eat mostly frozen vegetables still. But they've branches out beyond peas and corn SOME. Just keep offering and he'll surprise you eventually! :-)
    The milk - maybe let him pick out a new cup just for milk? Something with a favorite character or a capped one with a straw? Throw some strawberry or chocolate in there if you must.
    It is amazing how all kids will eat nuggets and fries. You can try the sweet potato fries - I think Ore Ida makes some.
    Really overall you have NOT done wrong with him! Just give him what you eat and as he watches you and his dad eat it - he will copy. I think til they were 4, my kids didn't eat much outside of spaghetti, mac n cheese, grilled cheese and of course nuggets. And now at 12 and 13, they will mostly anything. The 12 year old is a little pickier than the 13 year old but they do eat MUCH more than those few basics.
    Don't be so hard on yourself. It's all a learning struggle!

  2. Thanks, Erin. Though I think he just won't drink milk since I've tried many different types of cups. Though I guess I can look for a more "big boy" type of cup with a swirly straw. As for foods, it's hard because of when hubby gets home (7:30) and I tend to feed Little Man earlier. And he won't eat nuggets yet. He loves fries, of course, but no chicken nuggets. But he loves rotisserie chicken or grilled chicken. I figure eventually he'll eat better but I'd hoped he'd have a more varied diet.

  3. We're in the same boat with veggies.. Emma will not touch them. She loved the purees but absolutely won't touch regular vegetables. I've tried sweet potatoes at thanksgiving. No luck. I tried carrots with brown sugar. Nope. The other day she took three bites of sweet corn on the cob and I about fell over in shock and though, omg, her first vegetable in a year. Literally. I asked her pedi about it and she said "what two year old eats vegetables?" So that made me feel better. She told me to hide it though. Puree fresh spinach in a blender or food processor and throw it in spaghetti. Cube squash, onions, tomatoes, whatever and throw that in spaghetti sauce. (thankfully, we do that already since we make our own sauce). She said to puree cauliflower and put it in mac and cheese. I haven't tried that yet.

    I give Emma a multi-vitamin though (flintstones) in lieu of the vegetables.

    The milk thing? Just keep trying. Flavor it if you must and then slowly wean off the flavors. Did you try mixing some smoothie or yogurt in it? I hear that works well for kids that won't drink milk from a sippy. Does he drink out of a regular cup? Maybe he'd feel cool and special drinking it out of a regular cup? I hardly use a sippy anymore unless we're going out. Emma will only drink out of a big girl cup lately.

    Keep in mind that the only thing toddlers can really control is what they eat, pee and poop and sleep. When you look at it that way, it doesn't seem so bad. He'll eat a more variety of foods eventually.

  4. Does he like ketchup? Would he dip green beans in ketchup at all? I got Emma to at least take a bite one time because it was ketchup.. :)