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If your child doesn't like vegetables do you insist that they eat them anyway?

(39 Posts)
Podrick Sun 06-Sep-09 06:31:13

What are your rules about it if they don't want to eat vegetables?

mumblechum Sun 06-Sep-09 07:31:03

Luckily mine have always eaten everything put in front of them, with the exception of aubergines and courgettes.

If they don't like eating veg. knowingly I'd cook stuff like tomatoes, red peppers, red onions then whiz them into a sauce for over pasta.

There are various other ways of disguising veg, but in a way it's best to just explain that if they don't eat veg, they won't stay healthy, and ask which veg they would like. Even if it's only one or two (sweetcorn's a good one), eventually you should be able to persuade them to try a variety, one at a time.

LoveBeingAMummy Sun 06-Sep-09 07:36:37

Agree with mumble would depend on how many they were refusing to eat for example i will not eat sprouts for anyone but love all other veg, my mum will still (at 33) put one on the top of my mash at xmas (grr)

Podrick Sun 06-Sep-09 10:05:22

My dd (9) eats no veg at all and has hysterics when asked to try - she will not eat disguised veg either.

serenity Sun 06-Sep-09 10:10:50

DS2 only likes cucumber, tomatoes, sweetcorn and lettuce. I hide veg in food, but apart from that always make sure I have at least one of those on offer. DS1 and DD will eat anything luckily. I can't really be too hard about it because I'm not keen on cooked veg myself, I eat salad all year round instead.

Podrick Sun 06-Sep-09 15:16:59

DOes anyone threaten no pudding if you don't eat your vegetables?

MayorNaze Sun 06-Sep-09 15:20:05

tough. they eat them or have no pudding. i am v mean but if i'm not then they would not eat anything healthy at all.

MayorNaze Sun 06-Sep-09 15:21:06

plus i don't think they actually hate the, its more a case of they would prefer not to eat them.

mumblechum Sun 06-Sep-09 15:28:00

They definitely wouldn't have pud if no veg. My ds is older now, but when he was 9 I got bowel cancer and used that as an opportunity to remind him about the importance of eating lots of fruit and veg.

The hysterics would not work here, I'm afraid, they'd go to bed hungry if they were making a fuss.

MayorNaze Sun 06-Sep-09 15:29:48

def no tolerance for hysterics here either

if you are hungry, then you will eat your dinner. if you refuse it, you can't have been that hungry and therefore don't need to have anything else.

gosh i am harsh grin

dogofpoints Sun 06-Sep-09 15:30:44

I don't think my kidds have never eaten any vegetables.

They ate a more limited selsction when they were little so I would serve up the same veg more often.

They would have tomato based sauce with pasta so I could chuck in lots of other finely chopped veg.

hmmm. I would probably say they had to tell me three vegetables they liked (offer a tasting session) and would then expect them to eat those veg at least.

dogofpoints Sun 06-Sep-09 15:31:45

No, I'd never threaten no pudding. I wouldn't have a pudding, only yoghurt and fruit which I'd be happy for them to have regardless.

juuule Sun 06-Sep-09 15:31:45

If they don't want to eat vegetables then they don't have to. We try to encourage them but don't make a huge issue of it.
As they've got older they tend to try things anyway and our older children now eat a variety of veg.

millenniumfalcon Sun 06-Sep-09 15:35:37

check out slubber's mealtime nightmares thread, i think that has the definitive answer to all these questions.

i had the dubious benefit of a (genuinely) low milk supply, combined with a headstrong desire to get them to 6 months before weaning. consequently they ate anything and everything i put before them grin and certainly never distinguished between these-things-we-call-vegetables-which-are-Good-For-You-and-therefore-undesirable and any other kinds of foods, they just liked eating.

since then 6 yr old is becoming more suspicious of new foods, but the dishes-in-the-middle-serve-yourselves strategy (see aformentioned thread) seems to be working a treat for us, so far at least.

millenniumfalcon Sun 06-Sep-09 15:37:50

thread here

Podrick Sun 06-Sep-09 21:30:04

Thanks milleniumfalcon for this link!

kreecherlivesupstairs Mon 07-Sep-09 07:27:26

My girl would eat anything (with the exception of avocado) when she was weaned. Now she eats virtually no veg or fruit. She did eat a tablespoon of baked beans on Saturday night and was astonished to find she liked them. She is well aware of how poor her diet is, at school they did a unit about healthy eating. One of the conclusions she drew was scurvy was a danger, the funny thing was, scurvy had never been mentioned in the class so she does listen to me.

neversaydie Mon 07-Sep-09 08:30:28

I will respect genuine dislikes - after all, I don't like everything either. So ds doesn't have to eat tomatoes or mushrooms. He is expected to eat a decent helping of stuff he likes (which includes sprouts and cabbage) and a small helping if not too keen (spinach). With anything new, I expect him to try it, but will not insist on it being finished. It then moves into the spinach category!

He, too went from omnivorous at weaning to completely neophobic at three. Very frustrating!

Sugarmagnolia Mon 07-Sep-09 09:10:59

I would never force a child to eat something they genuinely don't like. Having said that I have always encouraged them to at least try things and try to offer someting I know they like. I'm not averse to adding a bit of butter or even honey to veg to make it taste nicer. (string beans or carrots cooked with a little butter & honey get gobbled up before anything else on the plate!).

The one thing I definitely don't do is use pudding as a bribe because I feel it sets up really, really bad habits! For one thing it leads them to expect pudding every night - who needs pudding every single night? I'd rather they had an unhealthy snack (ie biscuits or crisps or sometimes a bar of chocolate) after school then just ate dinner based on it's own merits followed by fruit or yoghurt if they are still hungry. I tried doing it the other way around for a while - healthy snack after school followed by dinner then dessert but it just lead to endless negotiations about how much dinner they HAD to eat before being allowed dessert. It was nonsense and drove me crazy. Now they either eat dinner or they don't and when they say they're done, they're done. Period.

(BTW, not saying I NEVER allow pudding. Of course if we are out or having a special family meal they know there will be something, just don't make a day to day habit of it)

Podrick Mon 07-Sep-09 18:35:57

Ok so the advice seems to be:

Don't make puddings contingent on eating your main course and in fact don't have puddings at all other than occaisionally

If they refuse supper they go to bed hungry

What about if they eat supper but not the vegetables and if they never ever eat any vegetables at all?

idobelieveinfairies Mon 07-Sep-09 18:39:02

One of my ds refuses and has never eaten vegetables even from weaning (he is like me :{)...we eat tons of fruit instead...i hope this makes up for it :/

Podrick Mon 07-Sep-09 18:53:14

My dd ate all fruits and veg when weaned but it suddenly stopped and she eats no fruit either -apples grudgingly

Also won't use mint flavour toothpaste which is a pain.

Under my new regime change (influence of economy gastronomy) she is being forced to eat family meals.

juuule Mon 07-Sep-09 19:21:18

One of mine ate everything until he started nursery when he became a bit faddy. Once he started school he became very faddy. Never really ate any veg. or much else until around 14 ish. Not much he wouldn't eat once he reached 16-18. Made me much more relaxed about the diets of our other children.

Podrick Mon 07-Sep-09 19:23:15

Wow juuule! So he just sorted himself out then?

dogofpoints Mon 07-Sep-09 19:45:46

Re your question: "What about if they eat supper but not the vegetables and if they never ever eat any vegetables at all?"

This was my earlier sugegsstion:
"I would probably say they had to tell me three vegetables they liked (offer a tasting session) and would then expect them to eat those veg at least."

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