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What vegetables do your kids love?
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Posted 07 January 2013 - 11:04 AM
I was toying with where I should do this, I hope no-one mind that I have gone for maximum exposure rather than popping it into recipes, special needs or childrens forums.
My little boy is 5 and has autism. We have had a very rough road with his eating, he has self restricted to the point of only eating about 5 different foods but now we have had a breakthrough where he will put a new food in his mouth to try. This has taken us 2 years mind you of persistence and not giving up.
So I am at a loss what to give him. He gags on casseroles and mixed dishes still so I am looking at what other kids like to eat. How do you prepare and present vegies so they will eat them? I grew up on a farm with meat and 3 veg which is not all that appealing so I am after some different ideas.
At the moment he will eat a homemade potato wedge and will put some corn kernels, beans and carrots in his mouth, although the carrots do make him gag still.
Posted 07 January 2013 - 11:09 AM
I'm not going to be much help as my daughter has a restricted diet too.
However, she will eat broccoli. Strange. We always pretended they were trees and were were dinosaurs eating them, roaring as we did it. She has retained her love for broccoli.
Maybe you could try sweet potato or pumpkin cut into wedges as well. Perhaps with a dipping sauce he already loves.
Texture may be more of a big deal for him than taste. For my daughter it is as she has oral sensory issues.
Posted 07 January 2013 - 11:11 AM
My older two will eat
Broccoli- raw not cooked
onion- raw not cooked
peas-raw and in the pod, not cooked
celery only if dipped in sour cream for the oldest, any way for DD
turnips, again only raw
sweet potato if in chip form
plain potatoes mashed or in chip form.
They will NOT eat any of those foods if put on a plate with other things, they have to be served a single piece at a time. They also prefer to eat standing up. Drives me spare, I can only imagine how much worse it would be with a child with actual sensory issues and not just normal childhood fussiness.
Posted 07 January 2013 - 11:13 AM
The only thing DD13 will not eat is plain tomato. She will eat all other fruits and veges.
DD8 only has a problem with plain boiled potato. She will eat anything else, including mashed potato.
Posted 07 January 2013 - 11:17 AM
Will he eat hot chips if so make your own and also do sweet potato and carrot cut like fries in the oven!
If he likes spaghetti pasta use a peeler and do some long strips of carrot and sweet potato to cook with it and tell him it's orange pasta.
Posted 07 January 2013 - 11:21 AM
My pair both like carrot sticks, just raw, or cooked with honey over them.
DS likes his broccoli and his cauliflower.
They both love the way my mum cooks pumpkin, boiled down until it is very soft and then mashed. Jap ones work best.
Frozen peas is another hit.
Posted 07 January 2013 - 11:47 AM
My kids love frozen corn and raw carrot. They will eat most veg but those two they actually love.
Posted 07 January 2013 - 11:48 AM
Oven roasted tomatoes ( has gone off raw ones but loves them roasted)
Sweet potato wedges/ chips
Raw or cooked carrot sticks
Posted 07 January 2013 - 11:54 AM
She can't stand tomato, loves cucumber and carrot and mushrooms
Will eat broccoli on occasion
Her favourite lunch is rice and vegetables
- one of those 90sec rice packets mixed with the frozen steam single serve vegetable packets I try and at least add tuna, but she turns her nose up lol
Posted 07 January 2013 - 12:06 PM
Stir fried veggies such as carrot, snow peas, baby corn and green beans always go down well here.
Posted 07 January 2013 - 12:12 PM
DS (3) will only eat "hidden veg" such as in the pasta sauce or added to hamburger patties. Either pureed or grated up very finely. I am thinking of also trying finely grated veges in chicken and noodle stir-fry.
ETA - veges I use are:
butternut pumpkin (makes a very nice puree to add to the pasta sauce)
a few extra greens like broccoli or zucchini in the pumpkin puree.
I don't add carrot to the pumpkin puree because I like to make it in bulk and freeze it, and the carrot does not freeze well.
Edited by mummahh, 07 January 2013 - 12:15 PM.
Posted 07 January 2013 - 12:17 PM
Cucumber is a winner here.
Could you try making a vegie/herb garden with him? I find they are more interested when they have grown and harvested themselves.
Also I got my kids to try broccoli like a pp - pretended they were trees and dinosaurs eating them. I stood the broccoli on the plate and had a tiny plastic dinosaur under them "eating". lol breaking all the rules about playing with your food but it got them to like it. we still pretend we are dinosaurs.
I dont know if that is any help for your son but good luck
Posted 07 January 2013 - 12:25 PM
My kids love all vegies, especially snow peas, carrots, brocoli (trees).
The only one they don't like is brussel sprouts, can't say I blame them, I hate the taste and texture of them too, when we have these though we cut them up into quarters and cook til really soft and hide them in with other stuff and lots of flavoured sauce.
Posted 07 January 2013 - 12:27 PM
My Dd eats pretty much any vegie, but her favourites are broccoli, FROZEN peas(eaten when frozen, not just frozen ones cooked), baby corn, corn on the cob cut into rounds maybe 3 rows thick, baby tomatoes. And chips.
She doesn't like plain or mashed potato, never did eat purees or mashes either as a baby.
Oh, avocado is a winner too.
Posted 07 January 2013 - 12:28 PM
lol breaking all the rules about playing with your food but it got them to like it. we still pretend we are dinosaurs
Pfft, don't worry about rules. We are all for keeping meal times stress free at our place.
There are some excellent ideas. I think lightly steaming and wedges are going to help from the number of you that have success with that. Not sure about hidden stuff, he is always on to me with anything I try and pull over him, sometimes it's better just to tell him and be up front.
Might break out the frozen vegies too. I always keep them there for nights I can't be bothered so there's no reason he can't try them too.
The most infuriating thing about his eating is that as a family we eat really well. We are on a first name basis with our greengrocer and I love trying new things and eating seasonal fruits and veg. I am probably a bit "too" into salads for a 5 year old at the moment but it has just been so hot.
Thanks so much for the ideas, just out of interest, how long do you lightly steam for? Bit longer than blanching?
Posted 07 January 2013 - 12:40 PM
Fair enough on the "hidden" stuff Frizzle, but its more about making it acceptable to him than a secret! My oldest knows about the hidden veg and was a bit skeptical at first, but then when she tried it she had to admit it tasted good. I know its not a long-term handling, because you do want them to be able to eat a vegetable on its own, but as a nutritional boost in the meantime I have found its a good thing. My son is only 3.5 and does have issues with textures more than taste. He is also possibly autistic.
Posted 07 January 2013 - 12:42 PM
When DS was younger, he would only eat food that wasn't 'touching' each other. He didnt like sauces or gravy (only started to accept that this year at age 8).
I would serve his dinner 'deconstructed' on a large white plate and be would pick and work his way around the plate.
For example, if we had fried rice with eggs, prawns, pork and veggies, I would serve his all in little separate piles before I stir fried it with no soy. Pasta was the same, cheese, tomato sauce, other sauce ingredients and pasta in separate bowls.
He found raw veggies to generally be too hard to chew and didn't like the crunching noise so I blanched most veg until it was just cooked. I found blanching easier than steaming.
Gardening was great. He would eat asparagus direct from the garden but still won't eat it at the table. It's also how he developed a liking for tomatoes - by picking cherry toms straight off the bush.
Posted 07 January 2013 - 12:44 PM
DS1 is more accepting of salad veggies - but he likes to see what he is eating so salads work for him.
He likes sticks of things, or cubes. He is funny about eating different shapes, sometimes he will reject brocolli and cauliflower even though he likes them because they aren't in the shapes he likes.
For several years he would only eat the home brand frozen veg because it was all cubed!
Posted 07 January 2013 - 12:54 PM
Hi OP, DD is a veggie fusspot but some things she does love: sweet potato fries, beetroot chips (health food section), spinach in pies or spinach roll, cauliflour cheese, veggie pizza, and pasta that has veggies mixed in (peas, corn etc). Hope some of those things may be of help to you!
Posted 07 January 2013 - 01:05 PM
As the mother of a vegetarian children, I have a warped view on this so please take that into account when I say they will eat any vegetable under the sun. But being vegetarian, I also cook 'fancy' vegetables - they are not just a side to a 'fancy main' if that makes sense.
Roaste veg is delicious but takes ages to roast - a cheats way to do it is to steam it first. So steam baby carrots until tender, toss in butter and honey, and chuck it in the oven in a single layer for 20 min to caramelise. Same with pumpkin. Steam chunks of pumpkin, then toss with oil and chilli, or some butter and fresh sage, and single layer in oven for 20 min. Boil potatoes, toss in a little bit of oil and rosemary, in the oven. Sweet potato, the same. These are all things my kids ate as 'first foods' from seven months.
Broccoli, cauliflour, and greens are all 'improved' by cheese sauce (which we have only sometimes). It's easy to make cheese sauce, here is my no fail way (it takes slightly longer but makes a lump free, delicious cheese sauce) 1 tbsp butter, 1 tbsp flour and a pinch of nutmeg in a cold saucepan and let it melt together, stirring. Once the flour and butter are well mixed, take off the heat, add 1 cup cold milk, swirl it around, and tip the whole thing in a blender. Blend in for ten sec, pour it back in the saucepan and heat gently, stirring constantly. After about five min (depends how high the heat is) the sauce will thicken. Throw in a handful of cheese - delicious cheese sauce. Pour it over anything, really. My kids were enjoying this by about 8-9 months (or plain cauli and broccoli).
The 'chewy' veg like beans, snow peas etc took longer, as did things with strong tastes like mushrooms and eggplant.
There is a British chef named Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall who released a book last year called 'Veg Every Day' which is quite a good book all about cooking vegetables nicely.
Posted 07 January 2013 - 01:11 PM
My girls are all very fussy when it comes to veggies even now that they are older.
They all like a pureed chicken and vegetable (sweet potato, red capsicum, tomatoes & leek) soup and homemade potato/sweet potato/pumkin baked chips.
DD#1 (14yrs) also likes normal garden or greek salads (minus the tomato) or just plain raw carrot or cucumber or capsicum. She loves mashed pumkin or pumpkin soup too. And likes corn. Oh, and she loves beetroot.
DD#2 (9yrs) only likes raw carrot and capsicum apart from the chicken and veg soup and homemade chips.
DD#3 (9yrs) also likes lettuce, raw carrot, capsium, raw snow peas and also likes broccoli and corn. She also likes pumpkin soup. She also likes peas if they are mixed in a cold rice salad.
Posted 07 January 2013 - 01:18 PM
DN (5yo) loves broccoli, which she calls trees, and cucumber. Lots and lots of cucumber.
Posted 07 January 2013 - 01:19 PM
DS1 has autism, he loves his fruit and vegs raw and crunchy. Both my boys eat cucumber like an apple, they just munch on the whole thing. They also like carrot sticks, lightly steamed broccoli, beans, corn and are just starting to appreciate lettuce. They don't like vegs mixed with anything so it is served as a side.
Posted 07 January 2013 - 01:23 PM
I have been quite lucky with my daughter (3) she will eat pretty much all veg that is put in front of her. The only thing she isn't a fan of is tomato.
We have always had a veggie garden and I really do think that helps, she often will come in from the garden eating a cucumber she has just picked.
I would look at vegetables such as beetroot, sweet potato, roasted carrots. They often are sweeter which kids like.
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