As I was researching the topic of how to encourage kids to eat more vegetables, I kept running across statements that fruits and vegetables were basically interchangeable, like this one from child feeding expert Ellyn Satter’s site.
“Fruits and vegetables carry the same nutrients, so a child can be well-nourished on either.”
I’m currently reading Ellyn Satter’s book “Child of Mine,” about feeding children, and finding it full of good insight. I like her philosophy, and I’m not trying to call her out by checking the validity of her statement. Many many great nutritionists offer a similar reassurance to parents who worry about their child’s aversion to vegetables. Dietician Jill Castle did in her comment on my veggie post. (I love her blog, by the way – full of good feeding advice – and she’s working on a book!) Any good child feeding expert will tell parents to, above all, not worry too much about whether their child eats vegetables or even fruits for that matter. Don’t worry, because there is only so much you can do (which I outlined in my post), but beyond that, you can’t force a child to eat anything. Having any emotional investment in that idea will almost certainly backfire. So telling parents that fruits are basically as good as vegetables helps them relax at the dinner table, which is a good thing.
But, being the nutrition nerd that I am, I wondered about this purported “nutritional equivalence” of fruits and vegetables and wanted to look at the numbers myself. Read more
Last week, I wrote about how to encourage a toddler to eat more vegetables. That article got some really wonderful comments from experienced parents and from professionals in the field of nutrition. If you haven’t read the comments on that article, I encourage you to go check them out. The comments are at least as interesting and informative as the article itself. I am really grateful for these comments. I love writing for such a smart and thoughtful audience, and I love when a post can start a good discussion.
I’ve been working on a post to compare the nutrient composition of common fruits vs. vegetables in response to one of those comments, but let’s face it – things get hectic this time of year. That post will be finished in the next couple of days – sometime after I’ve gotten the rest of my gifts mailed off and planned our meals for the next week. In the meantime, I’ve been thinking about food a lot and thought I’d take a few minutes to jot down some of my random thoughts on the current mealtime state-of-affairs with my 13-month-old BabyC: Read more
This post is my answer to a friend’s concern about her 11-month-old, who refuses to eat most vegetables. It is such a universal concern that, with her permission, I turned it into a blog post. She writes:
“My 11-month-old is a pretty good eater when it comes to everything but veggies. He can sift through a bite in his mouth and spit out only the vegetables. I am trying not to add salt or oil or cheese to the vegetables, but he hates them! (Sweet potatoes/yams are okay, and once in a while peas, too.) Any suggestions on how to incorporate vegetables into his diet?”
I think just about every parent wishes her child would eat more vegetables. We found that BabyC became much more selective about what she ate right around 11 months, and there was a noticeable drop in her vegetable intake at that time.
When all else fails, put veggies on the floor. BabyC finds food on the floor more trust-worthy and interesting than food on her high chair tray.
We all want our kids to eat well today (or at least on average over the week), but we also want them to form healthy eating habits that will last a lifetime. Are there any strategies we can use to get our babies and toddlers to eat more vegetables? Luckily, there is a ton of interesting research on this topic. Read more
It was bound to happen. I was just starting to feel smug about having a baby who would eat anything. I was casually feeding her everything off of my plate, introducing her to new flavors every day, and watching with pride as she tossed everything in her mouth without a second thought. Curry? No problem. Cauliflower? Love it!
OK, not the most exciting foods on her plate here - you'll just have to believe me on the curry and cauliflower.
But you know what happens to people who feel smug about their parenting. Read more