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vegetable phobia: HELP

(10 Posts)
quesadilla Fri 22-Feb-13 12:25:32

My 2-year old dd has basically stopped eating any vegetables. At all. She used to be fine with potatoes and peas, OK with broccoli, butternut squash. Now she won't touch anything at all. I try to compensate with fruit but its not really the same. I'm making a point of preparing veg even though I know she won't eat it and suggesting (but not ramming home) that she try it but its not working. Childminder (with whom she is three days a week) says its OK there, although I know they do less veg sideplates, veg tends to be more integrated into the meal so it may be she doesn't know they are vegetables there. Is this just a phase? Anyone got any tips for getting them to eat greens?

MrsFrisbyMouse Fri 22-Feb-13 12:47:36

It is just a phase and it will pass. Toddlers can become very funny about veg round about the time they become very mobile. Some stuff about it protecting them fom eating something they shouldn't when roaming in the wild! It's also about being able to exercise the power of notice and no. I find it best to choose my battles carefully and this is one I just wasn't going to fight.

I would just keep offering the veg and just take it away again if it doesn't get eaten. Honestly in the grand scheme of things missing a few veg won't make all that much different overall.

If they have fav foods, you can hide veg if you want to... Chopped carrots in cottage pies etc. or blended veg sauces for pasta etc. Grate carrot into hummus, or vegtable fritters etc. Little egg tortillas with peppers etc are great finger food.

Just breath, and remember this too will pass!

For what it's worth, followed this with DD1 who aged 2 just stopped eating veg! She is now 7 and will eat pretty much whatever I give her. And is particularly good at eating her veg.

Oh, and also remember that kids have 3 times as many taste buds as we do. So flavours are really strong for them, especially green veg like broccoli.

quesadilla Fri 22-Feb-13 12:57:15

Thanks, MrsFrisby. That's very interesting about the taste buds! I try "hiding" veg all the time but she's no fool and can spot it a mile off. I guess I just have to get used to eating lots of leftover potato/broccoli mash smile

notcitrus Fri 22-Feb-13 12:58:50

If she's eating fruit and a balanced ish diet I really wouldn't worry. Ds stopped eating everything around 16mo and restricted his diet severely, acquiring big constitution problem.
He also got fruit/veg phobia to the point of curling up in a ball and rocking in terror if a piece came onto his plate. So we avoided them, kept him drinking lots of water and smoothie and juice, and once he was 3.5 he started to be willing to touch and play with veg and tell me which ones I should buy and eat.

Now 4, he will say he likes veg, but that's to play with, not eat! We enforce table manners and sometimes get him to try new food, but the fact that he hates every fruit/veg he tries doesn't encourage him so I don't bother pushing it.

JollyRedGiant Fri 22-Feb-13 13:03:31

My 22mo occasionally eats carrots or sweetcorn but otherwise will not touch veg. He's been like this about 6months. He eats plenty of fruit, dairy and meat so I don't worry about his diet. I figure he'll start again when he's ready. So I always put some on his plate to give him the option smile

Cupcakemummy85 Fri 22-Feb-13 13:52:16

When I feel my dd who is 19 months needs more veg, I do a secret veg sauce. So I fry up onions, courgettes, peppers, sweet tasting veg and chuck some tinned tomatoes in then blitz it up in the blender and sometimes add mascarpone and there is a sauce packed with veg for anything like pasta or on top of chicken with rice. Or even as a sort of ketchup type dipping sauce. Hope that helps smile

Cupcakemummy85 Fri 22-Feb-13 13:53:27

Oh and u can juice carrots and add it to apple juice and sometimes they can enjoy eating corn on the cob smile

Goldmandra Fri 22-Feb-13 15:01:44

Raw cauliflower, cabbage and other veg seem to have a more attractive texture than they do once cooked and can make nice snacks, especially with a dip.

I cook lots of veg in lasagne, shepherds pie, pasta bakes and soups. These seem to go down better with children than a pile of veg on a plate.

quesadilla Fri 22-Feb-13 15:04:49

Cupcake good idea. I try to do things like this at weekends. The difficulty is that I work full time (though only three days of this from an office) and often don't have a ton of preparation time. Golmandra to be honest I just assumed that as she won't touch cooked veg that raw veg would be a total no-no but maybe I should try that....thanks all!

Goldmandra Fri 22-Feb-13 15:12:49

I just assumed that as she won't touch cooked veg that raw veg would be a total no-no but maybe I should try that

As you haven't tried it yet perhaps use a bit of reverse psychology. If it were me I might have a bowl of cabbage or cauliflower pieces to chomp on, leaving them where she can see the but not offering them to her. If she shows an interest tell her it's your treat but again don't offer any. Then you can make a bit of a game of her pinching bits when you're not looking or just wait for her to ask and let her have some making a show of slight reluctance.

That approach can work very well with two year olds if you don't try to use it too often.

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