How do you get a four year old to eat veg, ?
All ideas welcome ?
Mini pizzas with tomatoes, onions, courgettes etc chopped up finely.
Muffins made with grated courgettes or grated beetroot.
Roasted parsnip "french fries"
Shop bought carrot juice, beetroot juice, tomato juice.
Do the adults at the table like veg? It makes a difference if other people seem to be enjoying something and play act "pinching" food from someone else's plate because it tastes so yummy.
Soup, with everything blended together. We used to call it Surprise Soup and the children would choose and prepare some vegetables to go in it and Daddy would have to guess what was in the soup. Surprise Soup was different every time we made it.
Also I found with my children (and since then with many others) that they eat far more veg if they are on the table in serving dishes and they can see others helping themselves and are allowed to do the same - with absolutely no comment being made!
Also try Vegetable tempura http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/2840/vegetable-tempura-with-soy-and-dipping-sauce (you might like to buy a dipping sauce rather than use the one with sherry in it)
and as Pauline says, if the child helps to grow the fruit and veg it usually helps. Pulling carrots straight from the garden, giving them a rinse under the tap or a rub on your sleeve and eating them straight away is much more fun than eating something parents have cooked. Also picking pods of peas and popping them open and gobbling the lot! Works for me every time!
Raw veg with something to dip them into - cream cheese etc are usually a big hit too. Anything crispy and crunchy rather than soft and mushy.
And most important of all - don't worry about it, don't talk about it, don't let them see that you want them to eat vegetables. Just behave as if it's the most normal thing in the world. If they know it's important to you and gets attention there's no way in the world that children will eat vegetables!
Just make sure they're getting vitamin drops in their milk or whatever while they're going through the fussy phase .... as long as the rest of the family eat vegetables without a fuss they will too eventually and it will be just a phase.
And above all else, if they dont eat their veg, dont offer anything else, especially no pudding, or sweets later, if they dont eat dinner, they are not hungry. If they know there is sonething else forthcoming they will probably just wait for that.
Dont make them eat it all, just make the effort with some of each. Then reward with pud. We have always been strict with ours, me with mine, daughter with hers, they only ever had mixed veg right from weening, first mashed then chunks, they just get on with it now they are 5 and 11.
I am not sure about the ignoring and they will come round later. My DIL never bothered if hers didnt eat it and at 28 and 29, they still dont and never will, both 6'4" and strong as ox, never get anything wrong with them, so I wonder if it really matters.
My daughter reckons colon cancer will be the biggest killer in the future because of all the junk food kids eat these days. She is a childminder and has done her food and nutrution courses, the one thing that really annoys her when she takes on a new child is when mother says dont worrg about food, she/he is just a grazer, that means just some sweets and crisps while they run around and play!
As above - it really is 'starting as you mean to go on' and also the adults really need to set the right example.
Also maybe have a couple of days a week of vegetarian meals so that there really is no option.
A really popular one with most children is stir-fried veg using things that don't look like the veg they normally see - mini corn and bean shoots etc.
My boys were weaned on pureed veg with homemade cheese sauce where it mixed well eg, cauliflower or broccoli. Sweet potato and tomato was another good one too. They then went off them apart from potatoes, and are now just getting back into them, the younger one particularly. I just put a small amount of each cut into cubes and they eat it or not, I don't make a fuss as it just puts them off more. The younger one is really getting into eating carrots, especially after leaving some for Santa's reindeer. I also do smoothies as the older one isn't keen on fruit but he hasn't twigged yet that is what he's drinking.
My OH only eats about half a dozen different vegatables, so its difficult when daddy doesn't eat them, but I eat all apart from peas, parsnip, turnip and swede as I don't like the taste.
My daughter was weaned on carrot purée, mashed bananas and mashed avocados after she spat out baby rice. Now coming up to 20 she won't touch bananas or avocadoes but likes raw or roast carrots. We have a rule, she has to eat a good spoonful of any veg I prepare for any meal. Now she's a student she's away weekdays and cooking for herself. She loves Thai, Japanese and Indian food so does get plenty of veggies.
When she was at kindergarten and primary school, I gave her healthy packed lunches or sandwiches and hid carrots in little chocolate carrot cake buns. She never had crisps or bought biscuits and cakes from me but I rather think she bought them at secondary school.
I have a new spiraliser which turns veggies into slices or spaghetti and we all loved Tom Kerridge's hard core cole slaw with great long spirals of carrot and beetroot. They only cost about 30 quid and would probably be great fun for kids to use to prepare fun veggies.
So much of food fads can be overcome if the motto "what the eye doesn't see, the heart doesn't grieve over" is kept in mind.
One of my dearest friends, a man in his 70s, refuses, point blank, to eat onions. Every time he comes for a meal I cook the onions as I would normally then liquidise them and add them to the dish. He never sees them and he always says how tasty the food is. He also loathes mayonnaise and his wife and I have vowed never to tell him that his favourite dish of Coronation chicken is based on mayonnaise.
When asked why he doesn't like onions and mayonnaise he says that they don't agree with him. Only if he can see them though
Yes it's true, if they don't see it they don't know what they are eating. I already mash parsnips in with mashed potato I puree carrot to mix with tinned spaghetti . We have in our house yellow potato which is a good proportion of squash mixed with a bit of potato.
He asked mummy if he could have yellow potato next day!
So it' is working . I will try some more of your ideas . I was just a bit stuck for ringing the changes . .
Having asked others and given the answer s I couldn't agree with, I decided to ask here. Quite a few people said they do a different meal ie beans on toast and jelly to follow because there child doesn't eat fruit either ,th en they have crisps and sweets while watching tv if they are hungry. Thanks everyone
Thanks for that link Edd some good ideas there
Dried bananas are popular with our tiny people. In fact anything such as stoned dates, if you say that they are "cockroaches" they eat them up (providing you lead the way!)
Chocolate raisins are "rabbit doddles"