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“Why are my toddlers not eating fruits/vegetables? Why are they only eating snacks (cereal, popcorn, Lunchables, grrrrrr)?”
In March of 2016 I made the whole month about food – how to handle picky eaters, how to prepare food without going bankrupt or spending hours in the kitchen – I even created a Guide to Food and Family, with recipes and food hacks, which you’ll find in the sidebar at weturnedoutokay.com!
Go to weturnedoutokay.com/171 to listen and to read about my responses to Tim’s questions (and thank you, Tim, for asking : )
The short answer to the question “why doesn’t my child eat fruits and vegetables, but only snacks?” is this:
Because we parents allow it.
However, Tim, and you if you are not Tim, we know that the answer is far more complicated than that, don’t we?
Here are some things to try, to get your child to eat fruits and vegetables, and fewer snacks:
– simply do not have the snacks on hand
– serve a variety of foods at meals; this doesn’t have to be complicated. What it means in our home is raw, sliced fruits and/or vegetables on the table along with whatever else we are eating – often we actually cut them up at the table, and just offer them around.
– Involve your child in the preparations; often times, kids are more interested in trying something new if they have helped get it ready for the table
– model instead of pressuring; if they see us eating and enjoying good, healthy food, they are far more likely to try that food then if we make it a control issue and say “just eat this little bite…” or “you can’t leave the table until you have tried this.”
Above all, try to remember that food consumption is a long game. Kids’ preferences constantly evolve, and the more exposure they have two unfamiliar foods, the more likely they are to try them, and even enjoy them!
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