Vegetables are very good for health. But you must never force your child to eat vegetables.
Why does my child not eat vegetables?
Most children don’t like vegetables for various reasons. It takes children time to get used to the taste and texture of vegetables.
When a child has taken a few bites of the vegetable served and then stopped – it is cruel to force the child to eat.
The child has already risen to the challenge of trying something new.
The child has already made his/her best attempt to chew and swallow something that his undeveloped jaw and tongue are not yet prepared to tackle.
The mental effort of the adventure and the physical effort of the chewing and swallowing have tired him out. That is most probably the reason he has stopped eating the vegetable after the first few bites.
At this stage if you coax him with a “Please….just one more bite” it baffles and confuses your child. He wonders why he is not being praised for his effort. The coaxing makes him feel unappreciated and unrecognized.
It is easy to progress from coaxing to threatening when your child does not eat what you have spent hours cooking and often after a few minutes of coaxing many a parent would respond with “If you don’t eat the vegetable – I will give you a tight slap”. A threat like this could make your child eat the vegetables but your anger coupled with the pain he is now going through – to chew and swallow vegetables will make him hate vegetables for life.
Be careful not to misuse your power over your child
Bribes are inappropriate as well – when a child refuses his vegetables. Saying – “If you eat the vegetable – I will give you ice cream” will convince your child that ice cream is the best thing in the world. And that vegetables are the torture one has to go through to be able to eat the best thing in the world – which is ice cream. It is a mistake to give a child such a wrong message about an unhealthy food item.
Give your child time to like the vegetables you serve – by serving them repeatedly. Also allow him to learn to love vegetables by watching you relish them.
Here is what you can do to help your child cope with the challenge that vegetables pose because of their varied texture
It is OK not to give a child vegetables at mealtimes
watch our video post to discover the easy way to make a child like vegetables