The only vegetables my kids will eat are corn and beans. How can I get them to try something else?

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The only vegetables my kids will eat are corn and beans. I like most others, but I’m the only one in the family that will eat other vegetables. How can I get them to try something else?

Your family’s vegetable preferences are most commonly compared to other Americans. Corn and beans are probably the most liked vegetables. Broccoli, however, is making some headway as the number three best-liked veggie.

I would guess that the rest of the adult family members (father) only like corn and beans also. Children watch an adult’s reaction to different foods and learn what to like by watching their parents eat. If every time you serve spinach or asparagus, other adults say “yuk”, your children will think, “oh if they don’t like……, we shouldn’t either”.

Also, children form eating habits by age six. It is important to introduce new foods when children are young. Start out by serving raw carrots with a meal of their favorites, like hamburgers or chicken. Be positive and show by example, that carrots taste good. You need the other adults support on this. They need to try the new vegetable themselves.

Don’t ever force a child to eat all of any new food or meal time may become a battleground of control. Give a child a small portion (one serving spoon full) and be encouraging to try one bite. Never force and don’t criticize your child for eating slowly.

In regard to tasting vegetables, most children prefer them raw. Some vegetables have a stronger flavor when cooked especially for young children who have more acute taste buds. Try raw carrots, celery, green pepper, cucumber, broccoli, cauliflower, fresh peas or pea pods. Vegetables can be served raw with a dip or cooked with a cheese sauce to get children interested in a vegetable.

Don’t overcook vegetables. Cook only until tender, not mushy as the flavor gets stronger with longer cooking. Try adding cooked peas or carrots to stews instead of just green beans. Change the vegetable you usually add to a casserole and don’t get upset if your child picks them out. They will be watching for your reaction.