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When cooking for picky toddlers do you leave out the things they don't like or ask them to pick them out?

(12 Posts)
weeblueberry Mon 08-Feb-16 11:08:23

Just that really. I'm finding I'm telling our nearly three year old to pick the bits of mushroom, pepper, tomato, spinach, peas, beans, kale are you seeing a pattern here? out of anything we make, like pasta or shepherds pie. Reason being that myself, my partner and the baby all enjoy these things.

But when I mentioned it to my mother she said she'd just stop using these things in the cooking and then she'd eat more. Part of me thinks this might be true (she spends a LOT of time picking things out...) but then I wonder if that's just pandering to her. I do think it's a phase and she'll come back in ti the veggie thing in time but right now I think including these things in the meal shows that a balanced plate needs to have vegetables in it.

Overthinking it?

SpanielFace Mon 08-Feb-16 12:08:38

I do exactly the sane as you. I think that if DS (3.5) never sees anyone eating these things (in our house, that includes all veg except carrots and sweetcorn hmm) and never has the opportunity to try them, he never will. So he is served them, but told that if he doesn't want them he can leave them, no pressure, no big deal. I'm hoping that in time he will come round to eating them!

Iggly Mon 08-Feb-16 13:25:23

we tend to put veggies on the side or in the middle of the table. I certainly had a thing about textures and lumps in my food even as an adult (e.g. raisins in curries, bits of fruit in yoghurts) but happily eat the veg.

My DS was the same until he went to school - he is now much happier about things being mixed in. My DD is currently at the picking out stage so we cook stuff with the veg on the side and I expect she will eat it mixed up as she gets older. She is gradually getting less fussy which is a relief

Highlove Mon 08-Feb-16 13:39:33

I think your approach is absolutely right, OP. Can't really see how your mum's approach will help at all, other than encourage your 3YO that veg is bad or a chore or whatever. Then again, I'm pretty strongly of the view that you shouldn't really pander to toddlers and their food foibles - that way madness lies!

NickyEds Mon 08-Feb-16 14:45:05

You're right. My MIL still makes a separate lasagne/pasta bake etc without peppers/mushrooms/courgettes/million other things he won't eat in for BIL and he's almost 40-utterly ridiculous. I have a picky two year old and it's the picky one who has to do the picking out in our house!

Jw35 Mon 08-Feb-16 16:15:22

I wouldn't change anything op. Just continue serving up nice healthy meals and allow your toddler to decide what to eat for themselves. Well done on being so chilled about things!

weeblueberry Mon 08-Feb-16 23:21:23

Thanks all. I was so unbothered by it all until mum suggested making it differently and then you know how you get the 'hmm crap maybe I'm making life more difficult than it has to be' feeling?

She gets the veg (often on the side, just depends what we're eating) and if she doesn't want it, doesn't have to eat it. We're fairly relaxed about it all. Suspect the bigger deal we make the less likely she is to eat it haha. But I do want her seeing everyone else eat it and that being normalised. smile

Topsy34 Tue 09-Feb-16 01:25:35

Leave them in and ask him to try it at each meal. Ds eats pretty much anything except cauliflower, courgette and curry. We asked him to try it everytime we had it, just a nibble and not make a big deal of it, just let him try it, swallow or take it out and then thank him for trying.

He will now eat courgette if its on his plate, cauliflower is still a no, and chicken korma is among his favourites!

Topsy34 Tue 09-Feb-16 01:26:17

put he not she....sorry!

EmbroideryQueen Tue 09-Feb-16 02:13:26

I'd go as far as, continue to serve nice healthy stuff and get toddler to try 1 mouthful of the hated vegetables each time.

ThumbWitchesAbroad Tue 09-Feb-16 02:30:50

Half and half.
Both my DSs profess to dislike cooked mushrooms and onions, but they both eat them more than 3 times a week, because I mince them up so fine that they can't see them. It's more of a textural thing for both of them rather than flavour, so I get away with that.

Olives, otoh, DS2 doesn't like and they have quite a strong flavour, so I leave them out of things if he's having some. Ditto capers and other pickles (although he does like tartare sauce).

So, in a nutshell, if I can hide it successfully and have them eat it without realising, then they still get to eat it; if it affects the flavour to a point where they won't eat it, then I don't use those ingredients.

weeblueberry Fri 12-Feb-16 12:28:48

Thanks all. I definitely blitz veggies into things so she's getting what she needs. It means pasta sauce is often a bit claggy but I'd rather put up with that than her eat no veg!!

I do try and suggest she eats at least one spoon of 'obvious' veg a meal but it's a fine line between suggesting to a toddler and making a big deal about it in her head

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