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Eat Your Greens

Hunky hubby asked me a really good question last night: When was the last time Fussypants ate a full serving of vegetables?

I don’t know, and I really don’t. He is three and he doesn’t like veggies. Not a surprise but he still needs to eat them, right?

Last night’s meal delight consisted of blackened fish with wild rice and steamed broccoli and cauliflower. All wonderful for the mature palette of an adult, not so much for the underdeveloped palette of a toddler. As soon as he saw the plate in front of him he pointed to the fish and said, I don’t like that, then to the rice and said, I don’t like that, then to the veggies and said, that is yucky. Then he asked for something else.

Well, we don’t do something else in our family, especially when daddy takes the time to cook a nice meal so he was stuck with I don’t like it and yucky for dinner. I got him to eat all the fish, which when dipped in ranch dressing (can we consider that a vegetable?) turned out to not be so yucky and half the rice. But the broccoli that went in his mouth came back out three times, unchewed, before I gave up.

A week ago, I tried to hide a cooked carrot under a spoonful of rice and chicken. I swear you could not see the carrot yet he immediately and scornfully announced !carrot! like he had burned himself as soon as the bite hit his tongue and proceeded to make gagging noises and kinda barfed the food out of his mouth. He really is the Prince and the Pea.

And before anyone tells me to get these cookbooks, I already own Deceptively Delicious and The Sneaky Chef and only have myself to blame for not trying any of the recipes yet.

But I am going to because when we go back to the original question of when was the last time he ate a full serving of veggies…my answer goes from I don’t know to not recently enough. A toddler serving size is 1 cup. That is a good amount of food for a tiny tummy that is mentally refusing to acknowledge that veggies are food but it’s 1 cup per day so you can split it up through three meals and snack time.

1 cup of Vegetables can come in the form of:

  • 1 cup broccoli (raw or cooked)
  • 1 cup cooked greens (like collards or spinach)
  • 2 cups raw spinach
  • 2 cups raw lettuces like Romaine and escarole
  • 1 cup of sliced or chopped carrots (raw or cooked)
  • 2 medium carrots (raw or cooked)
  • 1 cup cooked, mashed pumpkin
  • 1 large baked sweet potato
  • 1 cup cooked squash
  • 1 cup cooked beans
  • 1 cup tofu
  • 1 cup or 1 8-inch ear of corn
  • 1 cup green peas
  • 1 cup mashed potatoes (yum)
  • 20 french fries (yum)
  • 1 medium baked potato
  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • 1 cup chopped cabbage (raw or cooked)
  • 1 cup cauliflower (raw or cooked)
  • 1 cup chopped or 2 large stalks celery (raw or cooked)
  • 1 cup cucumbers (raw)
  • 1 cup green or wax beans
  • 1 large or 1 cup chopped red or green pepper (raw or cooked)
  • 2 cups chopped iceberg or head lettuce
  • 1 cup raw or cooked mushrooms
  • 1 cup chopped onions (raw or cooked)
  • 1 large whole or 1 cup chopped tomatoes, (raw, cooked or canned)
  • 1 cup tomato or vegetable juice

And back to underdeveloped palettes: I read an interesting article on 50-Exposure Rule (read it here).

The gist is that kids have to be exposed to vegetables 10-50 times before they develop a taste for them and fortunately you can expose your kids to vegetables without even getting the kids to taste them and part of the process is letting kids reject the vegetables first! Seriously, read the article here! So it seems I’m not the worst veggie-neglecting mom ever.

And because I feel like it, here are 17 feeding tips from Dr. Sears, too long to repost, so read it here.

Happy eating, I now need to go figure out what I’m feeding Fussypants for dinner.



  1. oh dear, my son is the same way, he eats green beans and that is all…we can get fruit down him but veggies are hard, like your son he barfs then out…even before they hit his tongue, all you can do it keep trying and give them their vitamins! :)

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