Toddlers Eating Vegetables

BB's Breakfast.
When Baby Buckshot (Toddler Buckshot now?) first started eating solids, he ate everything and loved it. New textures, new flavors, something that isn't breastmilk! And when I was pregnant, and now that I'm breastfeeding, I make sure to eat lots of vegetables so that BB would get familiar with vegetable flavors. Now that's he toddling, it seems those efforts were less than effective!

After coming back from MommyCon Newport Beach, and learning that toddlers need to be exposed to a vegetable at least 7 times before acquiring a taste for it, I came up with some ways to help this along.

1. Bake into muffins or bread. More fibrous vegetables do very well in baked goods when shredded. Think carrots, zucchini, beets, even celery. If going for a sweet bread, try adding in fruit along with the veggie to make it more pleasant. If going for a savory bread, adding in some shredded cheese often helps the item be a little more kid friendly.

2. Infuse water. I have this really awesome FlavFusion Infuser Water Bottle that I put various things to spruce up my water with and BB LOVES the thing. When he sees it, he immediately wants some to drink. So, one day, I added in spinach and apple slices to the infuser. I've also done cucumber and mint, which I personally enjoy anyway. Just don't add a sour fruit along with a vegetable in the infuser because the combination of sour from fruit and slight bitterness from vegetables did not go over well with BB.

3. Make "ice cream." BB, early on, found a love of eating cold and frozen items. A way that I've used this to my advantage is by taking frozen fruits, a handful of greens and blending them with hemp or coconut milk and creating a frozen treat. He doesn't get as excited about it as he does real ice cream, but like Dr. Alan Greene said, it only takes one bite, multiple times.

4. Blend into soup/dip. BB recently learned that he loves dipping. When given a soup he doesn't like to eat, he will, however, consume the entire soup with a carrot used as a dipping mechanism. I saw him do it with tomato soup. Naturally, it's easy to blend steamed vegetables into a hummus dip or just simply make a soup out of it when blended with chicken broth, which goes a long way with getting BB to like it.

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5. Put into a sausage patty. Turns out, toddlers love sausage. I spoke with a number of moms and they all said the same thing. Likely because they are nugget-like in shape and easy to hold. Making sausage at home is easy and adding a new vegetable into the mix is relatively easy.

6. Mix in a salad. Sometimes, I'll steam a vegetable and mix it in with a fresh fruit salad for BB. I cut everything around the same size and make it really colorful and inevitably, he'll eat a few bites of the vegetable. I am one sneaky mommy.

7.  Eat together. For some reason, toddlers assume whatever their caregivers are eating is delicious. BB is no exception. If I am obviously enjoying something, he immediately wants to try it. This is a good way to show kids what the vegetable actually looks and feels like without adding in to something else. Sure, sometimes BB will spit out a vegetable, but the fact that he's had a bite is one step in the right direction.

One day soon, my goal of having a vegetable loving child will be achieved.

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