On Getting Toddlers to Eat Their Greens

We have no issues with getting our toddlers to eat carrots and occasionally broccoli and asparagus. Although one day those items could be the best foods on earth and the next? Disgusting POISON.

So things aren’t so far off the healthy eating mark, which I give credit due to the fact that we always have lots of vegetables included with our meals and we eat dinner together for the most part.

Things aren’t perfect, but we try.

For the life of me…I can’t get these darling little food monsters to eat anything green and leafy. I’m talking full-on gag reflex with the eldest. He’s actually puked up mouthfuls of food that contained a trace amount of spinach or kale. (Yep, lovely. And also dramatic, I know.) Brussel sprouts? Forget it. Even when I make them with bacon. BACON people. I know, he be crazy.

So I trick ’em. That’s right, aside from still occasionally trying to get them to eat greens out in the open, without any sort of trickery (because I’m not going to cater to THAT forever), I hide greens in their food. I like to pick and choose my battles and sometimes I’d rather have less melt-downs, food tossing and barfing at the dinner table. Ya feel me?

  • Greens in Smoothies 1 of 10
    Greens in Smoothies
    Fruit smoothies are a great way to sneak some in some greens. I always put spinach or kale into the blender when making smoothies, it's a guaranteed way of getting a healthy dose of greens into their bodies. I use almond milk or coconut water to blend whatever combo I'm making.
  • None the Wiser 2 of 10
    None the Wiser
    As you can see, things look berry-licious, not a hint of green. Don't forget one for yourself!
  • Smiles are Good 3 of 10
    Smiles are Good
    There's something just so satisfying about your kids thinking that vegetable fruit smoothies are a treat.
  • Every Last Drop 4 of 10
    Every Last Drop
    Having a good spill-proof vesel with a straw is essential. Dark smoothie mess is NOT something you want to get on your rugs!
  • Make it Fun 5 of 10
    Make it Fun
    My little ones love to go out and eat. It may take up nearly half the day to go out for lunch, but so what? We're having fun and they eat like royalty.
  • Creamed Spinach 6 of 10
    Creamed Spinach
    Since I can't put spinach into anything other than spaghetti anymore (without a gag reflex from my eldest), I cream some spinach in the blender with some almond milk. This goes quite nicely with curries and pasta sauces. We had butter chicken the other night and I used coconut water to cream the spinach instead and it was delicious. Add it in at the end, rather than cooking out all of the nutrients.
  • Like the Big Kids Do 7 of 10
    Like the Big Kids Do
    If you have older kids that your little ones idolize, they'll be more likely to eat their veggies, so as to be just like their heros.
  • Oatmeal Cakes 8 of 10
    Oatmeal Cakes
    I finely chop up spinach, kale or broccoli from the night before and set aside. In a mixing bowl add in some steel cut oats (cooked), 6 tablespoons per pattie cake you want to make with the greens. Beat in 1 egg (per pattie) and a generous handful of dried cranberries and finely chopped, smoked turkey bacon. (No need to pre-cook the bacon as it's smoked). Form your patties like you would hamburgers and fry them up. Serve with maple greek yogurt. That you can just make yourself, obviously. Breakfast for dinner? YES.
  • Scrambled Eggs 9 of 10
    Scrambled Eggs
    For some reason, they are both fine with chopped up spinach in their eggs, as long as lots of cheese is involved.
  • Spaghetti Hides Everything 10 of 10
    Spaghetti Hides Everything
    This is the one dish that I don't have to blend in the greens with, aside from scrambled eggs. For some reason they are down with a chunky sauce, full of local ground bison, peppers, carrots and spinach. All is good. We have it with TruRoots ancient grains pasta (quinoa, amaranth and brown rice), topped with plenty of grated asiago or parmesan. Must be the cheese.

If any of y’all have some magical way that you get your toddlers to eat salad…please, let me know. I’m all ears.


More Babbles From Selena…

Selena is a crafty, culinary mom. Creative Director. Social Media & Branding Consultant. Regular writer on Disney Baby. Part-time mischief maker, all the time geek. Proud of her Anishinaabe roots.

Elsewhere on the internets…

Via my humble beginnings, mastering in general mayhem: le petit rêve.

Article Posted 3 years Ago
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