How I Got My Toddler to Eat Vegetables

So, I’ve had the hardest time trying to get Heidi to eat her veggies. I’ve done my best to offer them to her at every meal, providing a wide array of options over the last few months. I’ve tried not to make a big deal about them, and tried especially hard to avoid any negative associations with them – no scolding, pressuring, etc if she didn’t eat them.

But she just wasn’t interested.

Now, I’ve seen lots of ideas and suggestions floating around on the interwebs about how to do it: offer it at every meal (no takers), slip it into other foods (too much effort, not practical for us), mix it with other foods (like broccoli in the mac ‘n’ cheese – she just picks it out), etc.

Nothing helped.

But today, as I was chopping away at stacks of veggies for tonight’s dinner, she wandered into the kitchen, looking for a snack. I was too busy (read: too lazy) to grab something from the cupboard, so I threw a few red bell pepper sticks into a small plastic bowl and put it on the coffee table in the living room where she was playing (a spot I can see from the kitchen).

Went back to chopping in the kitchen. Didn’t say a word to Heidi. Did my best to not even pay attention.

Next thing I know, she wanders back into the kitchen – CHOMPING. ON. A. RED. BELL. PEPPER.

What??!

After she FINISHED the bowl of bell pepper sticks, and came asking for more, I thought I’d push the envelope just a tiny bit. Putting on my best poker face, I put a scoop of the Black Bean & Couscous Salad that I’d just prepared in the little bowl on the coffee table.

In addition to black beans and couscous (and those yummy red bells), this particular dish also features corn, green onions, and cilantro. With cumin, rice vinegar, and olive oil for a delicious kick.

Not exactly chicken nuggets or mac ‘n’ cheese.

But – no lie – as I sit here typing this, she is devouring the stuff. She just came to show off a bit of green onion she discovered. Then she popped it in her mouth!

GREEN ONION.

This is mind-blowing stuff folks. This girl won’t even touch corn. Even if it’s slathered in butter.

I should write a book.

^Super sarcastic. This whole situation is a completely fluke-based discovery. I really hope it works for you. If it doesn’t, no worries. Just keep trying! Maybe one day they’ll just give up and eat some vegetables.

2013-02-12 18.23.39

(Maybe that’s the real reason behind this “development”?)

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