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How can I get my toddler to eat vegetables?

My 2 year old son has become extremely picky lately. He used to eat anything I put infront of him, but recently he's become a really fussy eater and point blank refuses to eat any vegetables on his plate. He also doesn't want to eat fruit much either.

I'm also finding that one day he'll eat a certain food and the next day he won't, saying he doesn't like it, even though he really enjoyed it before, what's that about?

If anyone has any good advice on how to get my DS eating fruit and veg again please let me know.


eating food fussy son

Eating a nutritious balanced diet can sometimes be difficult. It is important that children (as well as the parents/guardians) eat well for healthy growth and development but some children simply will not eat fruit or vegetables. As you are finding with your LO. However, these foods provide micro nutrients (vitamins and minerals) essential for good health.

You may have found that as a baby he was happy to eat your pureed vegetables but as he started to grow and become aware of who he was, he taste buds changed and dinner time became a challenge. So why not try the following:

1.Hide foods within food! For example, add carrots or grated courgettes to bolognaise sauces. You can also easily puree fruits and add a small amount to yoghurts, fromage frais.

2.  Encourage him to cook with you. Make food fun. Sometimes the process of cooking and taking part can be very beneficial for children. Not only does it help them understand food and how we cook but the simple taking part can be very rewarding for them. They are more likely to want to try what they are baking.

3. Don’t force him to eat something he really doesn't like, but encourage him to try just a little. Do this with the same food he is rejecting a few times and you may find that after several meals he may adjust to it. This doesn’t always work so don’t be too frustrated with him. Sometimes, children just do not like certain foods. We do this as adults, so why should children be any different.

4. Compliment them when they do try a new food/meal.

5. Make fruit fun, chop it into small pieces and be artistic on the plate, you can even make funny faces with the food.

6.Try making fruit smoothies rather than chocolate ones.  Add some chilled bananas, milk, and a small handful of blueberries in a blender. The milkshake will turn purple/blue!!. Strawberry and raspberry smoothies are also delicious.

Hopefully some of my tips will work for you ! Good luck with it. wink
  • JoannaD92
  • @2014-02-13 23:27:03
  • United Kingdom
  • Age: 30
Thank you so much for that advice, I'll be trying all your ideas from tomorrow. I love the idea of making smoothies, and I know he'll love making them with me. The funny faces with food on the plate will make veggies more interesting as well.lol
  • FrannieP
  • @2014-02-13 23:33:21
  • United Kingdom
  • Age: 27
My daughter is just the same as your boy. She was great with her food until a few months ago. I'm having to keep giving her the food and trying not to get too cross when she refuses to eat it. If she doesn't eat her dinner she gets really hungry in the afternoon and wants biscuits, I did give them to her at first but now if she doesn't eat her dinner, she doesn't get anything else and goes hungry, which I don't like doing.

Another tactic I use is to say you can leave the table or have dessert if you eat 4 more mouthfuls of vegetables. She nearly always does if it means getting a sweet treat.

I am going to try some of Bakingqueens tips too and see if they help.

  • judybart
  • @2014-02-21 13:38:55
  • United Kingdom
  • Age: 66
Children love to press our buttons and get a response. It works very time! Put yourself in his shoes. When he makes a fuss you respond, concerned, anxious and wanting to provide other healthy options. Maybe he wants to see what you will produce next! At 2 he doesn't really get to decide not to eat fruit and veg, you do. I love BakingQueen's suggestions and making food a fun thing by cooking together, shopping together, picking recipes and anything like that is great but they won't starve so stick to your plans otherwise you'll be preparing separate meals for him when he should be eating the same as you and your hubbie. 
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