Okay, I have a confession. Margot, my youngest, doesn’t eat vegetables. She actually doesn’t eat much, aside from toast and fruit and a bottle of milk before bed (Margot self-weaned at 12 months much to my disappointment).
Unfortunately, this isn’t a new occurrence. Margot is stubborn. She never took to solids, just literally refused to eat them and until 12 months breastmilk was pretty much her sole nutrition. At 8 months the maternal health nurse had the cheek to tell me she was malnourished!! Needless to say I haven’t been back. This wasn’t without many many daily attempts and creative endeavors from me to get her to eat. She also didn’t take the bottle and when I had to leave for 3 days when she was one (to the PBC Expo), I came back and she wouldn’t breastfeed. It was devastating, but the silver lining was she did start eating more. Unfortunately “more” was toast and fruit and about a litre of greek yoghurt a week!
Sometimes I feel like the biggest failure – I own a company focusing on beautiful, whole functional foods and my own child doesn’t eat vegetables! Phoebe, my eldest, has for the most part, always been a dream eater. She will eat whatever is put in front of her and finish her plate. And Jo’s kids – well they are the poster children for amazing eating!!
So how do I deal with it? Every single day, every single meal (aside from breakfast which is usually porridge, muesli or toast with fresh fruit – the child won’t eat eggs), I offer Margot an array of vegetables, proteins and carbohydrates. I cook a variety of healthy meals every night packed with vegetables and watch with dismay when she doesn’t eat them. I know I need to be tougher, and quit the toast habit but the poor child needs to eat something!
I also try my hardest to limit “treat foods” with Margot. Since she’s not eating the good stuff I don’t give her treats but unfortunately with grandparents and a naughty daddy around this doesn’t always work. She has a total sweet tooth and also a salty tooth – she loves feta and olives. Go figure!
With the help of my thermomix, I also add extra vegetables (usually kale, spinach and courgettes) to absolutely everything. I make muffins with vegetables in them and add vegetables to all my smoothies (as long as there are berries in there she doesn’t mind as it hides the green!).I wish this could be an advice post, giving you hope for fussy eaters but I think I need the advice from you. I figure if I keep offering her healthy options every day, at every meal, one day (maybe when she is 21) she might start eating them. In the meantime I will keep banging my head against a wall at dinner time and hope for the best!