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How do I get my 4 year old to eat vegetables?

I saw those cute books about putting cauliflower in eggs and spinach in brownies but get real, who has time for that? I'm a working mom and I need to put food together. I make myself a salad or vegetables with whatever I eat but my 4 year old says, nooooo mommy, I don't want that. Any tricks?

Tue. Nov 20, 10:47am

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soups and stews with lots of veggies - mashed veggies hidden in normal foods - cut up carrots with a good tasting dip - my kids love raw veggies dipped in sour cream and chives - good luck!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007, 11:23 AM

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For me, it's just something that I insisted on. My children were required to take some of the vegetables I was serving each meal and they were required to eat them first, before eating the other things. Many meals were skipped all together due to rebellion - but over time, they realized that if they didn't want to go to bed with a rumbling tummy, they'd better choked it down somehow. Thankfully, they are much less resistant even though, admitedly, they don't "love" vegetables even to this day. But, hey, neither did I at their ages. Now as an adult, I DO love vegetables and eat them for all the right reasons. Best you can hope for it that it will happen for your daughter too. Be consistant and don't back down.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007, 4:18 PM

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Serve vegetables to her. If she doesn't eat them, she'll be hungry. At the next meal, she'll eat them. You can even save them as a snack for if she's hungry after the meal b/c she didn't eat much.

Kids are highly trainable. Sure, they may be hungry for a couple days and throw a couple of fits, but as soon as they realize that they're not going to win, they will settle down and eat what they're served.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007, 4:25 PM

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I read recently that the puree technique is really more detrimental than helpful. It teaches kids that its ok to eat brownies and cookies instead of vegetables. They aren't raised to eat their veggies, since they are already baked into the junk food. Apparently, a big reason kids become adults that like veggies is becuase they were raised to eat them. A child that is never made to eat their veggies and is allowed to have brownies instead will turn into an adult that would prefer a brownie to spinach.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007, 4:35 PM

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if you have a really difficult eater, try mixing veg with fruit to give it a sweet taste which makes them more likly to eat it.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007, 4:53 PM

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I made the comment before about fruit and veg however I highly agree with the advice of 4.25pm, the problem with mixing the fruit and veg is changing the child's habit as they get older; especially as they start school.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007, 4:55 PM

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i think insisting that your kids eat something is traumatic to them and they will later rebel on their own. my mom MADE me eat these.. now that I can make my own decision I will eat something else instead. i know this from my own childhood. my kids eat and love their veggies, I just have them around all the time and I teach them how good they are for them and how much greater it is for their body to eat fresh foods gorwon from the earth and I let them choose themselves - even when they were young they ate them - rather raw than cooked but also cooked.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007, 5:08 PM

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When my son was growing up I jalways had fresh fruits and veggies ready and on hand for him to just grap and go. celery or applies I would put natural peanut butter in a small container so he could dip that with it I never had cookies or sweets in the house and the only time he ate them was if we were at the mall shopping and it was a treat. I would make sauces not pureed but chopped up veggies so he ate them with the sauces. I would put veggies in scrambled eggs. if we actually had a meal with veggies as a side he ate what everyone else ate and if it was something he told me he didn't like i would place a small spoonful on his plate and he would have to eat at least the small spoonful.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007, 5:39 PM

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4:35p - I think the ideal scenario with the hidden foods is that you serve them in foods you're already giving the kids - not giving the kid a brownie in lieu of a vegetable. The most recent hidden food cookbook out there advises continuing to serve your kids vegetables to send the message eating good foods is important and that you're not going to stop serving them b/c they don't like them. The technique itself isn't a bad idea, it's all about execution.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007, 10:26 PM

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At 4 my daughter was doing the same thing. I stopped giving her treats. One day she came and asked me why she couldn't have a treat and I said that she has to eat her veggies and fruit everyday if she wants a treat. So we made a deal, she has to eat 2 veggies and fruits everyday or the next day there is no treat. So far it is working. I limit her treat to once a day after dinner that way if she didn't eat she doesn't get treats for that day or the next.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007, 6:22 AM

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