Jul 10, 2011

In a Nutshell: Veggie Desperation

See this handsome boy I have? He is ah.dor.able. For sure. He is sweet. He is silly. He gives the best hugs in the world. He is the cutest talker. He is adventurous. He thinks he is just as old as the bigger Little Men. He is literally our smallest Little Man...not just cause he is the youngest, but he is the smallest we have ever had before. He is stubborn. He hates vegetables...okay he hates most food...but veggies are the worst.

I am beginning to realize that the last three are completely related.

Stubborn+good for you food loathing=itty bitty Little Man

We have really just kept wishing and wishing that he would grow out of his picky phase. False. In fact, he has just gotten more stubborn. Seriously, it is ridiculous. Ridiculous and frustrating. He refuses to eat things he has tried before. He refuses to eat things we KNOW he would like if he would just try it...like watermelon...I mean really??  He absolutely refuses to eat any vegetable whatsoever. I am not exaggerating at all...I am a little ashamed that we cannot get vegetables into him, but I tell you what we have tried. Over and over again. We his worried Momma and Daddy have reached desperation.

Desperate times call for desperate measures.

We are now hiding his vegetables in things. Yes, we the sneaky parents are hiding vegetables...tricking him into eating the superhero of all foods. I wish he knew how great vegetables were for him and I wish he liked them...but for now I will settle for our vegetable undercover mission.

Did you know that you can hide pureed carrots...

in macaroni and cheese?

 I am aware that I am putting a vegetable in a highly processed meal in a box...I know I could make it from scratch...but I am sure something would keep him from eating that AND I know he likes the boxed stuff...

Another favorite around our house is the spinach smoothie. We start with spinach and throw in any fresh and frozen fruit, add a splash of fruit juice...sometimes some yogurt...and POOF...veggies this boy will drink.

I still am holding out for him to wake up one day and have a food epiphany. I mean he has gotta like food sometime. I just keep telling myself...patience and consistency. As long as I am not throwing french fries, fruit snacks, and cookie crisp cereal (all things he will eat) at him whenever he is hungry or pitches a fit, he eventually will like some broccoli.

How do you get your kids to eat vegetables? Do you share my pain?

I guess for know we will just keep hiding them...secretly smiling every time he gulps down a drink of vegetables.


Athena said...

I love that you are really focusing on giving your son proper nutrition, but just a caution at his age make sure the vegetables and fruits are washed really well. A few years ago a boy who was close to my heart passed away from having a smoothie with spinach in it. It had gotten salmonella poisoning. It was very hard so if you can go organic or go from private gardens.

Ali said...

I feel your pain! I have two little ones who are very strong willed and independent. They are so stubborn with what they will eat.

They ate great when they were babies, I made all of their baby food and they had lots and lots of veggies. Once they both hit 1 or 1 1/2 yrs old, nope, nada, nothing. My daughter is almost 4 and it is still a huge struggle.

Hang in there - I'm hoping we get through it :)

Oh and great tip on the carrots. I need to try that. I bought a juicer and have been adding spinach and carrots to their juice drinks. I need to buy a blender sometime soon as well for thicker drinks, but my juicer does well in a pinch.

Jessica said...

For a minute there I thought I was reading my own journal - my 2yo daughter is a carbon copy. Little, stubborn, refuses to eat anything except animal crackers and juice. Makes me want to scream. I better try that mac n' cheese idea - she loves noodles.

Brady & Kelsey said...

My 17 month old is the same way! We offer it to him, he puts it in his mouth and he spits it right out. He will eat baby food fruits and veggies - so frustrating! If you find something that works be sure to do a post on it!

Shanea said...

Oh, that stinks! My little boy is super stubborn but he likes veggies so this is not a fight that we have in our house. I say keep hiding them and you are doing what is best for him/his situation. Have you tried raw but with some dip? Sometimes that works. Good luck!

Cinderella, the A-Train and Our Little Caboose said...

Ahh, I have talked to you about this same problem with Noah. We love the smoothies too...but all I can say is do what works best for you and Case. Noah has just started liking carrots, he LOVES fruit and cheeses and crackers. If I know he is being fed then I am happy. And sometimes I do throw fruit snacks and french fries at him, just so he will eat. It happens, and I am sure it will happen again. But at least he is eating (and get him some gummie vitamins - they will always eat those!)

Love ya!

Anonymous said...

My daughter Cake was the same, she's only now just started to grow out of it and she's four and a half. Fun times. She also just recently tried watermelon and loved it. Good luck!

Kim said...

I think all kids go through this at some point. My boys are the same way and they are 5 and 6. One thing that I have gotten them to love is the Fruitables juice drinks. It has veggies and fruit in it. They drink one of them a day. It helps to keep them "regular". :)

Mama Blogger said...

We bought the cookbook Deceptively Delicious. It is FULL of ways to hide the good for the body nutrients in the good for the tastebuds foods you already like to eat!

Have you tried zucchini bread? Or carrot cake?

Christy Franklin said...

My nephew is the same. Pureed cauliflower can go in ANYTHING savoury and you can't taste it at all. Also, he doesn't mind eating raw carrots because they're kinda juicy and crunch. So to get him to eat carrot, we cut up cheese too which he LOVES. He has to alternate the carrot and cheese until they're all gone, and then he gets some chocolate milk or something he loves.

Adrienne said...

my 2 year old son is the exact same way...ate great with baby food as a baby and now no way, ha-ha. both my kids get 2 gummy vitamins a day so that's always a good idea. i need to try the smoothie idea...i'm sure my daughter would drink that, but my son is even picky with different drinks too, ha-ha. i bet he would even notice if his mac and cheese had carrots in it, but that is a good idea. at least he eats hot dogs and mac and cheese which are things my daughter never liked. he does not like cheese though which i wish he would someday actually try, ha-ha. he loves peanut butter which gets him some iron/protein and when it comes to veggies...at this point i hope he gets what he needs from his vitamins. my kids drink whole milk with a little chocolate syrup and one cup of juice at the most, but most days it is just milk. anyway, kids are challenging, ha-ha, but my daughter has become a much better eater as she's gotten older...took 4 years, but she's gotten better.

Heather said...

I am no expert but here are a few tips I have learned from working with kids with severe eating disorders (no your little cutie doesn't have an eating disorder but these might help!)
little ones need exposure to the same food in the EXACT same form about 15 times before it becomes familiar! So steamed carrots and raw carrots with dip are TWO different foods to your little man!
Portion size can be VERY overwhelming! Use a special plate for him that only has one or two bites worth of each food on it! If he eats it all reward him with something small, like an M&M, one M&M is plenty! You don't need to give him a ton!
Again I am no expert but these have helped the kids I have worked with! I hope they can help you too! Don't give up! He will come around!!

Larissa@Just Another Day in Paradise said...

Oh my goodness. THANK YOU everyone sooo much for your suggestions and for your sympathy.

We Mommas gotta stick together.

I am definitely going to try many of your suggestions. Thanks again for all the advice.

Tanya said...

My boys were the same, but now like/tolerate their veggies and fruits (most of the time!). Even so, I still hide extras. Here are some of my favourite tricks:

Roasted and pureed sweet potatoes and squash can be hidden in most things: oatmeal, muffins, peanut butter cookies, pasta, meatloaf, stews and gravy (good thickener!), mac-n-cheese, etc.

Grated carrots go in oatmeal, pasta sauce, meatballs, cake, etc.

Pureed spinach or kale goes in smoothies, popsicles, lasagna, hamburger patties, brownies...anything dark in colour really.

Cooked and pureed cauliflower can be hidden in homemade ice cream, mashed potatoes, cake, most of the stuff above and even milkshakes.

We also do trades such as, you can have one crouton for every bite of spinach/lettuce you take.

ddglenn said...

My kids are older now (12 and 7). Here are some of my fod tricks.
-Take them to the grocery store/farmers mkt, and ask them to pick out the veggies/fruit for the whole family (talk about power-everyone has to eat what you choose!)
-limit before dinner snacks
-when preparing meals, get the veggies finished first, so when they are whining "I'm hungry!", you reply " I know (very sympathetically) the broccoli (or what ever he choose to have that day) is ready, can I get you some?".
-I also limit meal drinks to water only! (my son would love a liquid meal, so I made sure he couldn't fill up on milk or juice)
-make snack trays for the family to pick at through the day filled with brightly colored veggies, fruits, whole grain crackers and hummus.
Stay strong, and hope this helps!

The Gibson's said...

Oh my kids are picky too! When I was a child and my mom hid everything in our bread. I love bread and I would eat it down. I think it does not matter how they are getting it as long as they get it! There is a cookbook Deceptively Delicious by Jessica Seinfeld that has recipes for hidding veggies in food for kids. My mom got it for me for Christmas and it's wonderful.

Krystle... said...

My 18 month old won't eat any veggies either so we started the smoothies and a few of the "deceptively delicious" recipes. So far, so good.
So no, you're not alone.

Unknown said...

I don't want to sound like the negative nancy in the group but I have truly tried all those things. My child eats about 20 foods and nothing he eats allows for ways to hide things in it. Its all pure foods as in nothing mixed together (by me at least). He also knows when anything is tampered with or not exactly the kind he wants, ie. He will only eat round ritz crackers. DO NOT give him townhouse or he will refuse it. Just like if its not papa johns orginal crust, cheese pizza, well its not going in his mouth. I am only telling this to hopefully make you feel better because it could be worse. :) You could be me.

But I also know that it could be worse for me also. My son is healthy, he at least eats 3 veggies - canned peas, canned green beans and the occasional broccoli. He will probably never be a big kid but at least he is healthy. I am just trying very hard to be patient and hope it will get better.

Larissa@Just Another Day in Paradise said...

Thanks Becca for sharing. We can all use all the support we can get!


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