5 Helpful Ways to Get Your Toddler to Finally Eat Their Vegetables

Image adapted via Flickr/ CarbonNYC [in SF!]

So, let's talk about mealtime and toddlers. It can be a really frustrating part of parenting to combine the fierce independence a toddler craves and a parent's desire to get their kid to just try that piece of broccoli.

It's a struggle I know all too well, and I know other parents of toddlers that can relate. Mealtime and getting our kids set up to eat in a healthy way is not always simple, especially because they just seem to want to eat the same thing. (And it's probably macaroni and cheese or something similar.)

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If this is an all-too-real struggle for you right now — getting your toddler to finally eat their vegetables — here are 5 tips I found to be helpful for my own kids.

Image via Flickr/ CarbonNYC [in SF!]

Put in a “one bite” rule.

At our house, we have this rule I call the “one bite” rule. I encourage my kids to try just one bite of the weird-looking vegetable or the food they're not too keen on. It allows them the choice to eat more, or not, and gives them a slight push to at least try it. I don't ever force them to eat it all because it's one of those parenting battles I just won't win.

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Image via Flickr/ Shyn Darkly

Take them to the store to pick out foods.

Take your toddler to the grocery store with you and learn about the vegetables. Teach them the names, how you cook them, and allow your child to pick out a few to try. You can even choose a recipe together and learn to cook a new meal. With them being involved in the whole process, they're more likely to want to taste the final product.

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Image via Flickr/ CarbonNYC [in SF!]

Hide them.

I don't really think this is the best idea, because you want your toddler to know what they're eating, but sometimes it's just best to hide the vegetables in their food and hope they don't notice. Grating up carrots, zucchini, or other vegetables and using them in pasta, meat dishes, or soup allows them to get the benefits of the vegetable without the fight.

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Image via Flickr/ Shyn Darkly

Just give it time.

While it may seem like your child is never going to eat well, keep trying gentle techniques to encourage them to try new foods, and eventually, they'll be more open to trying it. If you force too hard or make it a real battle, the struggle may become harder and more drawn out.

Image via Flickr/ beltz6

Lead by example.

Don't forget: if you're asking your toddler to eat their vegetables, you have to eat yours, too!

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Do you have any tried-and-true methods for getting your toddler to eat their vegetables? Share in the comments!

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5 Helpful Ways to Get Your Toddler to Finally Eat Their Vegetables

Devan McGuinness is the founder of the online resource Unspoken Grief, which is dedicated to breaking the silence of perinatal grief for those directly and indirectly affected by miscarriage, stillbirth and neonatal death. Using her own experience of surviving 12 miscarriages, Devan has been actively supporting and encouraging others who are wading through the challenges associated with perinatal and neonatal loss. Winner of the 2012 Bloganthropy Award and named one of Babble's “25 bloggers wh ... More

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