Kids & Veggies – Winning The War

February 12th, 2013 posted by Cathy Matresse

Everyone knows that children need to eat their vegetables, from grandmothers to research scientists. There’s plenty of data out there with all the reasons. But how do we as parents accomplish that? Go with the “anything’s fair” approach. Be sure to document your results in writing for future reference.

Start early!

When baby is getting ready to go to solid foods, begin with vegies. Once we taste fruits, we seem to develop that good old sweet tooth and there’s no going back! Puree vegetables from the family meals with a little water. Pour into ice-cube trays and freeze, then transfer to plastic freezer bags. Re-heat in microwave and serve a cube of two or three varieties to baby (be careful, food can get very hot in microwave!) Document which are “hits” and which are not. If you’re past the baby stage, don’t despair:

Try sauces!

Green beans in spaghetti sauce, peas in cream sauce, cheese on steamed broccoli or cauliflower. Some of these can end up being hits with toddlers and older children. Continue to experiment! Document if steamed is better than raw or vice versa.

Serve an hor’douerve tray

About a half an hour to 45 minutes before dinner is ready is good timing. Cut bite-sized servings of raw vegetables and serve with a favorite dip. Children are most hungry at this time and the hungrier we are, the more acceptable some vegetables might be. Document your results! Keep serving what they do like and add a little of what they don’t like, just to keep your options open.


At meals, serve a helping of a favorite veggie and a less favorite one as well. Institute the “two bites” rule. Everyone has to take two bites of each item on their plates before dinner is over. Especially if there’s a dessert involved.


We have to tell our children why some foods are good for them while others are not. They have to understand the reasons why. The Dole Food Company has an excellent animated CD game called “5 a Day”. They will send it to you or to your school if you request it. Dole Food Company, Inc. Nutrition Program 155 Bovet, Suite # 476 San Mateo, CA 94402 (FAX) 415-570-5250 As good nutritional insurance, supplement your children’s diets with a good multi-vitamin. Not all vitamins are created equal. Find out how your child’s vitamins are made and what ingredients are used to sweeten them. I use Shaklee’s children’s chewables which come in the child’s choice of tropical fruit and orange. For infants and toddlers, there is a powdered vitamin which can be mixed in with juice, cereal, etc. Keep your sense of humor if you find vegies which your child has “stored” in the closet, under the table, or on the window sill! Keep documenting your results and track your successes as well as your failures. Remember that their tastes will change as they grow so re-introduce vegies that they’ve turned down before.

Cathy Matresse (1 Posts)

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Cindy Rowe (7 Posts)

Cindy Rowe is the owner/editor of Crazylou Creations blog. On the blog, you will find a little bit of crazy, and a whole lot of fun! As a FT working mother, she still finds time to create crafts, play around in the kitchen, plan parties and exercise. You'll find all of this and more on her blog!

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