Introducing new foods to your toddler can be tough. Really almost everything is new to a toddler palette-new and dangerous. Toddlers, while changing their mind almost constantly about what they like, how much, and when they want it, can be absurdly conservative when it comes to food. This is particularly true when it comes to vegetables, which are the culinary nemesis of all children.
It's not really a surprise; after all, children's taste buds are calibrated differently than those of adults. They are more sensitive to poisons, so their tastes reject bitter flavors that can signal poison in the wild. They need more energy to live and grow and so their tongues favor simple sugars and fats. Despite this, you need to feed your child somewhere between five and six servings of vegetables a day in order to provide them with appropriate nutrients. How can you get them to eat their veggies without a fuss?
It's not as bad as you think. Toddlers in general do not hate all vegetables and neither does yours. You just need to find vegetables that they like. Remember that your toddler's tastes are a moving target, a mystery to both of you, and keep trying. The good news is that a toddler serving of vegetables is tiny. A child under five only needs a tablespoon of veggies per year to make up one serving. So all you need to do is convince your child to eat a few tablespoons of vegetables at each meal.
If you know the limits of your job when it comes to feeding your toddler right, you will be much happier and more relaxed about their eating habits. How do you convince your child to eat even those few tablespoons? You make them available and you make them a hot commodity.
In order to encourage your child to eat vegetables, you need to capture their attention and engage them in the process of eating the right foods. This can be done simply by making a wide variety of food available to your child in small, but attractive, quantities. Choose your veggies at each meal for their differences in taste, texture, and color. Then let your child choose what to eat and in what quantities. Don't be discouraged when something is snubbed either, you may have to introduce a new food to your toddler as many as ten times before they accept it. It may sound like a futile endeavor, but remember that there is always hope that to day will be the day your toddler likes broccoli.
You can make vegetables even more attractive to your child by making them attractive. Use cookie cutters to turn the food into something more interesting or make plate art with it. Finally, demonstrate how good veggies really are by enjoying them yourself. Chances are that if you want it, your toddler might discover they do, too.