Dr. Jay Gordon is a vegetarian that encourages a vegan/vegetarian lifestyle. I am more of an omnivore, but I’ve learned so much from him about child nutrition and getting kids excited about eating healthy foods that I want to share some of it with you.
Teach her that fruit is the sweet.
A berry tastes incredibly sweet unless you have just eaten an Oreo cookie. Help your child appreciate the sweetness of fruit by limiting artificial sweets including cakes, cookies, and most any of your favorite guilty pleasures. They don’t have to be her guilty pleasures!
Offer two bites of each vegetable until your child acquires a taste for it, but don’t force him to eat any certain food.
Two bites are manageable for a toddler. If he wants more, he can always ask for it. Forcing a child to eat his peas will, at best, be a power struggle between parent and child. At worst, it will cause an aversion to the green vegetables that instigated the fight.
Make a Bargain.
Try this: ‘You’d like more fruit? Okay! Eat one bite of your asparagus and then I’ll cut up some strawberries!’ We don’t encourage taking this method too far, but if he doesn’t want to try his asparagus before getting seconds on strawberries, he might just not be hungry. Self control when it comes to food is going to be an important lesson for our children to learn.
Present fresh and healthy vegetables in delicious and fun ways.
Whether you steam your green beans with onions or shape kiwis into palm trees, children are simply more likely to eat vegetables that are tasty, cooked well, and look appetizing.
Don a disguise.
Hide vegetables within the foods they love (i.e. a small amount of green beans blended in the tomato sauce for pasta; spinach in a strawberry mango smoothie). We only recommend this idea when offering vegetables on the plate in addition to the vegetable purees. Just think of it as added nutrients, but not the only way they should be consuming vegetables.