Jamie Oliver

forum: Food & Drink

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#1 Wed 12 Mar 14 2:24am

Steffymay

Member
From Bendigo, VIC
Member since Wed 12 Mar 14

I can't get my 4 year old to eat his vegies.

I am a single mother with one little boy. He has a healthy appetite for a 4 year old. However we have a real battle when it comes to eating his vegetables. I have tried everything and the only thing that has worked is to turn the vegies to a pulp and mix it in a bolognaise sauce.

I don't want to continue to hide the vegies I would prefer for him to enjoy his vegetables and eat them on his own.

What can I do to make the vegetables taste great and keep all their goodness?

Please help, I am worried my son isn't getting what he needs from his current diet.

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#2 Wed 12 Mar 14 3:12am

Maree

Forum super champ
From Newcastle, Australia
Member since Sat 10 Mar 07

Re: I can't get my 4 year old to eat his vegies.

Hello again, Steffymay smile. He's getting the veg you're giving him when you're hiding them in his food so I wouldn't worry unduly. I think most of us with children (and "big" children) have resorted to playing hide the vegetables in one thing or another. Can understand why you're keen to give up playing that "game" though. Are you using a blender/ food processor to pulverise the food? If so, perhaps trying "pulsing" so the veg don't become puréed or chop more coarsely if using a knife.

Other foods that lend themselves to veg are meatballs (in all their variety- rissoles, meatloaf, burgers), and with the weather becoming cooler, soups and stews.

Do you have access to a garden, community garden or a balcony where he could "help" grow veg and therefore have an "investment"/ interest in them?

I'm sure someone else will be along with many more inspired ideas than this. In the meantime, don't worry too much smile.


"Cook with love and laughter ..."
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#3 Wed 12 Mar 14 4:27am

The White Rabbit

Forum super champ
From Sydney, Australia
Member since Tue 22 Jun 04

Re: I can't get my 4 year old to eat his vegies.

I'd continue to offer vegetables in addition to hiding them. And don't worry too much, they'll get what they need. I wouldn't step to multivitamins unless directed to by a paediatric specialist. There was some news recently about them being potentially harmful.

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#4 Wed 12 Mar 14 6:36am

Miss GlutenFree

Member
Occupation Admin Officer & Mum
From Queensland, Australia
Member since Sun 14 Mar 10

Re: I can't get my 4 year old to eat his vegies.

My sister has 2 kids and makes dinner fun so they eat all of their vegies. I often get pics of my nieces dinner which is a smiley face or something funny. The eyes on the plate are olives, the teeth corn, the ears capsicum etc etc. Maybe not something you do all the time but injects fun into healthy meals.

I just made meat & veg patties last night. Put finely diced onion, capsicum & grated carrot in with the mince, some mixed herbs, flour, egg & a little grated cheese just to see how it would turn out. Omg... So yum!

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#5 Wed 12 Mar 14 6:51am

JoyYamDaisy

Forum super champ
From Melbourne Australia
Member since Sun 12 Apr 09

Re: I can't get my 4 year old to eat his vegies.

Hi SteffyMay, here is an article about just this issue from a really good science based website (The Conversation): http://theconversation.com/health-check … e-it-12673

Young raw vegetables generally taste sweeter than cooked ones, so try fresh peas straight from the pod, baby carrots, fresh lettuce leaves: a great trick is to cut cheese into bars about 8 x 1 x 1 centimeters and wrap the lettuce around them, often I add a bit of finely grated carrot in them too. (When I was growing up we called these cigarettes, but that might just be too politically incorrect these days!) Anyway, the kids all love them!
The raw veggies are the best for them anyway so that is a bonus.

When my daughter was little, having a garden that she could pick things from any time worked beautifully, she was always grazing on peas, sorrel, mint, even baby nasturtium leaves - and strawberries! It was great to teach her about what was edible and what wasn't.

You are not alone with this problem, and I hope you find some solutions, and make sure you came back and tell us how it goes!

Last edited by JoyYamDaisy (Wed 12 Mar 14 6:59am)

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#6 Wed 12 Mar 14 10:36am

Steffymay

Member
From Bendigo, VIC
Member since Wed 12 Mar 14

Re: I can't get my 4 year old to eat his vegies.

Thank you to all for your sound advice. The vegie garden sounds like a fantastic idea. I think that will help.

I will give all your wonderful ideas and see if it ill encourage him to eat his vegetables.

Again thankyou very much  smile

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#7 Wed 12 Mar 14 10:49am

Maree

Forum super champ
From Newcastle, Australia
Member since Sat 10 Mar 07

Re: I can't get my 4 year old to eat his vegies.

You're welcome! Please let us know how it goes and keep contributing smile


"Cook with love and laughter ..."
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#8 Wed 12 Mar 14 12:12pm

SherylS

Member
Occupation Totally food obsessed bookkeeper
From Melbourne, Australia
Member since Wed 13 Aug 08

Re: I can't get my 4 year old to eat his vegies.

Your 4 year old is just like my now 15 year old!  I hate to tell you he still doesn't eat salad, at all! but he does eat vegetables.
I hid them like you in pasta sauces, sausage rolls (you can get heap of grated veg in sausage rolls), meatballs etc. but then I started roasting them because he has always loved roast potatoes.
Sweet Potato cut up like chips and roasted with a light coat of olive oil with a touch of sea salt is so sweet and tasty they can't resist.  Then i added pumpkin to the roasting tray, and then carrot...
Its the same with the pea family, he started liking sugar snaps (really expensive!!) so i added snow peas and then ordinary peas.
I could go on and on but I'll let others have their say and i'll be back.

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#9 Wed 12 Mar 14 12:33pm

Maree

Forum super champ
From Newcastle, Australia
Member since Sat 10 Mar 07

Re: I can't get my 4 year old to eat his vegies.

big_smile Sheryl. Didn't have your son in mind when I said about "big" children. Am sure some of us are still doing it (the "hide the veg game") for even bigger "children" than 15 year olds.

Just thought ... what about stir fries? Good way to get the veg in.


"Cook with love and laughter ..."
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#10 Wed 12 Mar 14 2:09pm

koukouvagia

Forum champ
From New York
Member since Fri 12 Dec 08

Re: I can't get my 4 year old to eat his vegies.

Continue to do as you're doing hiding them, but also continue to offer them on his plate.

One thing that contributes to children not eating their vegetables is sometimes they are offered other food instead of the veggies.  for example, if my son refuses dinner then he goes to bed hungry, I don't let him eat other snacks or stock up on more meat to make up for it.  It sounds a bit harsh but I find that however resistant he might be to a certain food he usually likes it once he gets to eating it.  There are however certain foods that I have to realize he just does not like, so I don't force them on him.  Asparagus for example!  I don't push it.

My son also loves to dip veggies in hummus, peanut butter, tzatziki, and other spreads.

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