My Toddler Hates Vegetables. What Can I Do?enparentshttps://kidshealth.org/EN/images/headers/P-QA-enHD-AR1.gifDo your toddler's veggies end up on the floor or cold on the plate? Try these tips.toddler, baby, 1 year old, 2 year old, 3 year old, food, veggies, vegetables, healthy eating, healthy diet, food, tips, good nutrition, carrots, broccoli, green leafy, fruit, power struggle, won't eat, finicky eater05/12/201107/09/201807/09/2018Mary L. Gavin, MD07/04/20181b28fe87-2762-4ca3-a69a-d89fda2cfc06https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/more-veggies.html/<p><em>My 2-year-old used to be a pretty good eater. But now she's going through a phase where she won't even try the vegetables I serve. How can I get more veggies into her mouth and off the floor?</em><br /> &ndash; <em>Mila</em></p> <p>As most parents know, there are two things you can't force a child to do: eat and sleep. This is especially true of toddlers, who often assert their independence through eating &mdash; or not eating &mdash; the foods you put on their plates.</p> <p>Many toddlers turn their noses up at vegetables. But don't give up &mdash; with time and patience, even the pickiest eaters can find several veggies they like (and a few they even love!).</p> <p>Here are some tips that might help:</p> <ul class="kh_longline_list"> <li><strong>Don't give in to a food jag.</strong> Most young children go through phases where they want to eat the same thing day after day. But that doesn't mean you have to go along with it. Serving a variety of foods, including vegetables, will encourage your daughter to be more flexible when she's hungry.</li> <li><strong>If at first you don't succeed, try and try again.</strong> Studies have shown it may take 10 or more tries before a child accepts a new food. Try serving a small portion so it's less overwhelming or consider pairing veggies with something you know she likes.</li> <li><strong>Avoid nagging, forcing, bargaining, or bribing.</strong> All of these tactics create power struggles and are doomed to fail in the long run. Just continue offering veggie choices and encourage her to give them a try. Keep mealtime moods upbeat.</li> <li><strong>Set a good example.</strong> Have family meals together and let your child see you eating a variety of nutritious foods yourself. Also, toddlers are also more likely to eat what their peers eat, so look for opportunities where she can eat healthfully with friends.</li> <li><strong>Involve her in choosing the vegetables you serve. </strong>For example, she could decide whether you'll have green beans or broccoli tonight, or whether you'll bake zucchini or carrot muffins. Simple choices will help her feel a sense of control.</li> <li><strong>Make it fun. </strong>Try making a veggie face (like cucumber eyes, tomato nose, green bean mouth, and shredded carrot hair). Try serving veggies with yogurt dip or sprinkled with cheese.</li> </ul> <p>One thing to keep in mind when serving fresh fruit and veggies: Raw vegetables and hard fruits can be a choking hazard for young children. Be sure to cook them well, and thinly slice or cut them into small enough pieces so that they're not a <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/safety-choking.html/">choking</a> risk.</p>
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Handling Picky Eating in Toddlers (Video)Make mealtimes more pleasant and less stressful for everyone by learning how to handle a picky eater. https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/pickyeatingtoddlers-video.html/b71dd2b3-bd44-45e8-86bf-83a363cc386e
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Snacks for ToddlersSome toddlers may seem too busy exploring to slow down and eat. Others may be fickle about food or refuse to eat at mealtime. That's where healthy, well-timed snacks come in.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/toddler-snacks.html/80d7a0b7-8d30-432c-aee6-4098ef0b6d98
Toddlers at the Table: Avoiding Power StrugglesBy anticipating problems and offering choices, you can teach your toddler healthy eating habits and avoid power struggles about food.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/toddler-meals.html/856d0183-3599-492f-a9f8-d11f8c463af2
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