Go for the Green…and Red and Orange.
A colourful plate is the healthiest way to serve up the veggies.
If your child sees red at the suggestion of eating greens, try expanding his repertoire to include milder-tasting vegetables like carrots, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, and winter squash. Not only might these options slide down the hatch, they’ll provide an alphabet of vitamins and tons of fibre too.
Get a daily dose. Try to give your child at least three (and preferably five) servings of vegetables and two servings of fruit each day. Keep in mind that toddler servings are pretty small (about one tablespoon for each year of age for most cooked veggies), so a little goes a long way!
It takes a garden. To encourage eating a wide variety of veggies, make them available at every meal. Cooked asparagus, broccoli, and peas are all good “green” options to add to the spread. For additional variety (and colour), serve mashed sweet potatoes, carrots, red bell peppers, and unsweetened pumpkin puree.
Be a good role model. Your own (positive) attitude about vegetables will go a long way toward getting your toddler to eat them up. If he sees you (or an older sib) snacking on carrots, chances are he’ll want some too.
Factor in fruit for toddlers. Great news for mothers of veggie-hating tots: Fruits offer many of the same nutritional benefits, but often don’t evoke the same yuck factor. Fruits also come in a rainbow of colours: Think of green kiwis (a good source of vitamin C), yellow bananas (potassium), and orange cantaloupe (fibre-rich and vitamin C–filled) and apricots (vitamin A). And don’t forget about smoothies — just throw some fruit in the blender with milk or yogurt and serve (preferably with a silly straw!)