Toddlers are infamously picky eaters. Their palate isn’t exactly developed, and as a result, they may not eat what you want them to. You may wonder if this is something you should try to change, or something you should let naturally happen.
Let’s talk about a toddler who doesn’t eat veggies and only eats fruit. Many toddlers will prefer fruit over anything else. Chances are, you raised them on applesauce and other fruity snacks, so it makes sense. Fruits are sweet, have a different texture than veggies, and that makes them preferable for a toddler.
The Good Of Fruit
Fruit is certainly good for you. It’s packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Bananas are packed with potassium, oranges have vitamin C, and so on. The natural sugars of fruit give your toddler some energy, which is always good when they have a long day of playing.
With that said, veggies have other nutrients that babies need to grow, and as a parent, you want your toddler to have all the nutrients possible to make sure they are growing well. If they aren’t getting all the nutrients, what should you do? Here are some options.
Multivitamins are always good for when your diet is missing some key vitamins and minerals, and you can find multivitamins specifically for a toddler’s needs. With that said, multivitamins aren’t a complete substitute for getting your nutrients through the natural way. However, it may be a good temporary solution as your baby’s tastes grow and they can eventually get their nutrients in naturally.
Should You Force Veggies?
You may feel like you have to get your toddler to eat veggies. You may do the old cliché of not offering any dessert until your toddler eats all the vegetables. However, this rarely works. A toddler is not exactly reasonable, and they may eat only what they want.
As your kid grows, giving them a more well-rounded diet is a good idea. However, if your toddler is at a normal weight and your doctor says they are good, then you may not need to worry about it as much. However, there are ways to introduce veggies in a toddler’s diet. Here are a few ways.
Try Sweeter Vegetables
There are some vegetables that are sweeter and may help your toddler develop a taste for veggies. Sweet potatoes are a good example. They’re a favorite. Same with sweet corn. Butternut squash is a good example. You may want to mix in some other veggies in these sweet veggies for best results. It’s a good way to act as a middle.
Introduce Veggies, But Don’t Push
Give your child a plate of a variety of veggies. Let them try each one and see if they like it. Your child may end up having a few favorites they don’t like. With that said, your baby won’t develop a taste for foods you make them eat. Give them the option and prepare them adequately. If you push them, your toddler will see veggies as this bad thing that is forced on them.
Prepare The Veggies In Different Ways
Another way you can try to give your toddler a say is to prepare the veggies in many different ways. Try sauteing the veggies, lightly buttering them, or giving them some spice. While you shouldn’t over butter or spice them, a little bit may help your baby quite a bit.
Putting a bit of peanut butter or cream cheese on the veggies is also a good way to introduce your kid to veggies.
The point is, if you’re preparing the veggies raw or barely cooked, you’re doing it wrong. Be creative, and you will be rewarded. Often, parents make no effort in preparing veggies and that’s why the kids hate them.
If you want your child to have their veggies, try juices. Your baby may end up liking vegetable juice. There are vegetable juices that have fruit in them and have a sweeter taste. This may be good for your baby if they’re picky and only like fruit. There are some toddler juices that can deliver the goods and make your baby forget they’re drinking veggies.
Don’t Give Them Too Much
If your baby doesn’t clean off their plate, don’t get mad. You have to remember that babies have a smaller stomach than us, and they may end up not needing too many veggies to feel full. So give them a little handful of veggies, and let them eat to their heart’s content. Chances are, they will feel full and ready to take on the world.
Sneak The Veggies In
Some parents like to sneak the veggies in. For example, they may put a little bit of lettuce in the pasta, or some shredded carrot on a burger. This can get your baby liking the taste of veggies without them even knowing. With that said, you should make sure that they are still willingly eating fruits and veggies, too. Let them eat veggies directly and let them eat stealthily too.
Remember, Their Tastes Will Grow
Think to when you were young. Chances are, you were picky too. If you grew out of it and can now eat a variety of food, then chances are, your toddler will as well. Introducing them to proper eating is important, but it’s not something you need to rush too much if your baby is very young. As your baby grows, they may learn to eat more and get out of their comfort zone.
Concentrate On Other Aspects of Health
If they are having a hard time eating vegetables, spend your time on other parts of their health. Give them lots of water. Make sure they’re playing and exercising a lot too. If one healthy habit is having a hard time, then you can try another one. Again, as long as your doctor is saying that everything is good, then you shouldn’t worry too much. Good luck.
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