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3 yr old says no fruit and veg

(16 Posts)
megg Tue 07-Jan-03 13:21:33

I've resorted to giving my ds vitamin supplements (the Thomas the Tank ones) as he refuses all fruit and veg. I had been able to mush up the veg in a tomato based sauce for pasta but he's now started saying no to that. I've tried mushing up fruit into smoothies or milkshakes but that doesn't work. He'll eat most meat and all fish, cheese, yogurt (and ff) and pasta and thats it. If he even suspects there is fruit or veg then he'll refuse it. He'll even starve rather than eat it. Help, I just want reassurance that he'll survive this phase with no ill effects. He's always been healthy, he was breastfed and until a few months ago would always eat everything. He was weaned the Annabel Karmel way and look what good its done him. Please tell me its just a phase.

ANGELMOTHER Tue 07-Jan-03 13:23:37

Not even Bananas ??? Mine would get no fruit if it weren't for them....she get's them for breakfast when I'm not up to much else

grommit Tue 07-Jan-03 13:31:46

Megg - I suppose you have tried dried fruit? My dd loves raisins. What about grapes? You could also try mixing pureed fruit through his yoghurt..

Catt Tue 07-Jan-03 13:43:08

Tinned fruit maybe? Sometimes they seem to prefer it to the fresh stuff (tinned peaches, pears etc). But it looks like your ds has quite a good diet apart from the fruit & veg problem. If you supplement with vitamins, I would bet that he'll be fine and eventually begin to be more adventurous about what he'll try. If it's any comfort, my ds is now 2.5 and since he was one he's been the pickiest eater imaginable - but he's healthy and full of energy. Yeah, I did the Annable Karmel thing too - didn't bother second time around with dd

I'm sure you've been told this loads of times by people, but whatever you do don't make too big an issue of it - he will just get more stubborn. As long as he's healthy and happy, he's probably fine.

Marina Tue 07-Jan-03 13:55:52

I think you are wise to give vitamins for now, but heaps of children his age will barely touch fruit and veg. It's very normal, if heartbreaking for the parents. Our ds went from eating all veg as finger food or puree to now only consenting to eat broccoli, carrots and spinach (provided it's in a cheese sauce, he's as bad as Meg Ryan with her apple pie a la mode).
I have two suggestions...does he eat meals with grown-ups, where he will see people he loves eating a good mixed diet? We make a big effort to eat as many family meals as poss, and what we're having goes on his plate too, even though we know he won't eat peas/cabbage/salad etc. We never give up hoping he'll try it some day. So keep offering what you want him to eat - I know how it hurts to be tipping it in the bin afterwards.
Also, could you try getting him to help with meal preparation, if he's 3? Just setting the table, grating cheese or something like that. We are making a conscious effort to show ds that meals are made from interesting raw ingredients in the hope that we can gradually expand his current silly toddler diet.

elliott Tue 07-Jan-03 13:58:26

well, to add the long view - I was an extremely picky eater and ate NO vegetables at all as a child. I did like bananas, pears and apples however. My mum took the pragmatic view and dosed me with vitamin supplements, and didn't cook special stuff for me (I had the same as everyone else minus the veg).
It WAS a phase, but a long one - I finally started trying to eat veg when I was about 14 and the social embarrassment was starting to get to me - I did WANT to be polite when we ate out!! Now I eat (and enjoy!) most veg and I think I am acceptably socialised.... Certainly I am and was pretty healthy.
Potatoes have vit C in them if he will eat them - and does he still eat tomato sauce? What about fruit juice? I would advise trying to be very low key - keep offering but make no fuss if not eaten, don't go to loads of trouble making special things. From the child's point of view, I can remember that I didn't feel like I was doing it deliberately - the taste simply made me feel sick.

megg Tue 07-Jan-03 14:04:36

Sorry folks but we've tried tinned fruit and dried fruit. Sometimes at nursery he'll eat raisins but not at home. Tried pureeing fruit and putting it on ice cream and it just doesn't work. Bananas he used to like but now not a hope. He does drink pure fruit juice though so maybe there is hope.

EmmaTMG Tue 07-Jan-03 14:05:06

What about trying corn on the cob? My DS is 3 and is exactly the same. DS2 (18 months) is marginally better but is picking up on DS1 habits so it's getting abit more difficult
When we tried corn on the cobs they loved them! I think to a 3year old and 18 month old they look quite odd and of course they aren't green so to a little ones eyes are appealing. Both my DS's finish off a whole mini cob easily.
I hope this helps.

megg Tue 07-Jan-03 14:06:55

Yes Marina we generally do eat as a family at night and weekends and I do get him to help with the cooking. Hopefully he'll soon grow out of.

SoupDragon Tue 07-Jan-03 14:12:39

My DSs would get no fruit if it weren't for the amount of pure fruit smoothies I give them to drink. Look out for those with no added sugar - PJs are good. I sometimes add water to make them more like juice as they can be a bit thick.

Vegetables have to be hidden. I spread carrot puree over pizzas and then add lots of extra cheese. Ditto for cheese on toast. Tescos do macaroni cheese with hidden cauliflower in it which mine will eat - they would NOT touch the version I made them though.

Both my niece and nephew were the same and they are eating limited fruit and veg now they're 12 and 9 so yes, they do grow out of it. I know I ate very little fruit and veg as a child but certainly eat more now. Like Elliott, I can remember being force fed certain foods which made me gag.

Don't let it stress you out. Sorry, that should be "try not to let it stress you out"

bells2 Tue 07-Jan-03 15:31:54

My DS (3 1/2) is the same unfortunately but mainly with anything green. We just try and eat as many meals together as we can and every single meal time, I continue to put veg on his plate although it is rarely touched. Have you tried roasted parsnips or sweet potatoes so they look like chips?. Vegetable lasagne also works for us and the biggest success of all is vegetable tempura.

jessi Tue 07-Jan-03 16:16:29

Funny these non-veggie eating toddlers all seem to be boys!
My 3 yr old ds would eat literally anything up until 6 months ago. Now he dosen't do potato unless its crispy, no veg apart from peas and I kid you not : just one solitary runner bean per meal. No fruit apart from apple/pear and raisins. Ho Hum. He is a total carnivore though and could polish off half a chicken in one sitting,followed by steak for pudding. I hadn't really considered giving him vitamins until I read this. I read that a carton of pure fruit juice counted as a portion of fruit, does anyone know if that is true?

clary Tue 07-Jan-03 16:37:49

Jessi, yes, a fruit juice counts as a fruit portion, tho it's perhaps best not to give four and count them as four IYKWIM - variety is the key! Anyway, another long view - my brother as a child refused to eat tomatoes, any salad, any green veg - cauli, brussels, brocolli, (sorry can't spell it) nor onions, mushrooms, leeks, peas or any other "horrid things" as he called them. He wasn't very keen on eggs either. In fact all round very picky. Now he's a vegetarian! Hah! does he live on spaghetti and potatoes you ask - well, no, last time I saw him he polished off a veggie lasagne with toms, mushrooms, onions peppers etc. Seems fairly healthy too. So there is hope, it is a phase that will pass (not sure how long it took with bro tho...)

Bugsy Tue 07-Jan-03 16:39:40

DS is another non-veg eater to add to the list. Any "nude" vegetable on his plate is a cause of great distress unless it is a chip. He eats vast amounts of meat, cheese and eggs but veg has to be very cunningly disguised in a sauce for his sausage or in meat stew. The ratio of veg in these sauces/stews has to remain very low otherwise he will not eat it.
Not too bad on fruit. I got really tough about the mid afternoon snack. Basically, the deal is that he only gets a biscuit after he has eaten a piece of fruit. I started this when I had a few afternoons with nothing planned so that any bad behaviour as a result of being hungry through refusal to eat the fruit could be contained at home and it has worked. He knows now that it is fruit first or nothing and he will usually eat most if not all of a piece of fruit.
Maybe at a certain stage of their development children require a high protein diet!

megg Wed 08-Jan-03 09:31:31

What a fantastic idea SoupDragon I would never have thought of putting carrot puree on pizza. I'm going to try that this weekend. Thanks. Glad to see I'm not alone with this problem and that they can still grow to be big strapping lads.

iota Wed 08-Jan-03 21:59:53

spooky isn't it - my 3.5 DS is yet another boy who eats hardly any fruit or veg. It's the same sad story as others - used to eat all sorts, but has gradually refused more and more, whilst remaining a complete carnivore. I also hate the way he prefers junk food like chicken nuggets and spurns anything home-made.
Meanwhile his little bro at 16 months is still demolishing everything and anything we give him - and then usually has a go at DS1's leftovers as well.

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