Toddler Fun Thursday: Fruits and Veggies for a Picky Eater

“When is my baby ready for solids?” It’s a question asked by most first time parents, and every pediatrician has a different answer.  Some say six months, while others give a list of criteria that includes:
  • Shows interest in what others are eating
  • Sits up without support
  • Has lost tongue-thrust reflex (they don’t push their tongue out to get something out of their mouth)
  • Is ready and willing to chew
Well, if we went by either of these opinions, we would have had one P.O.d baby.  By the time she was two months old, she would stare intently at anyone eating in her presence.  I even have a photo of her flashing the puppy dog eyes, watching her daddy eat at her grandpa’s birthday dinner on her two month birthday.  By the time she was four months, she was throwing full on temper tantrums when we would eat in front of her (she is still quite the hangry child).  So I decided “what the hell, let’s try it.” So we picked up some pureed baby food.  I would make a point of giving her whatever vegetable we were eating at dinner, and she still wanted the food off my plate, even though it was the same thing. 
Now, she has definitely become more wary (picky, even) about what I try to feed her.  She has already formed an opinion as to what she likes and doesn’t, especially when it comes to fruits and vegetables.    On rare occasions, she’ll even eat a veggie burger if I put cheese and a ton of ketchup on it.  She will not touch vegetables in their true form UNLESS they’re in soup. I very rarely have time to make soup from scratch and canned soup has an insane amount of sodium it, so there’s no way I’d let her eat it every day.  The only fruit she likes is apples, and only when they are SMOTHERED in peanut butter. It’s also a little tough because she was a late teether (she had her bottom two teeth come in at 11 months and she has only cut her top two front teeth over the last two weeks at 16 months), so I’m kind of limited on how raw fruits and veggies are when I give them to her.
So I’ve had to get sneaky with fruits and veggies. Hey, as long as she gets them in some form, I’m a happy mama.  I already have to buy the baby cereal because she likes to smoother texture better than regular oats, so I just grab some pureed fruits and veggies from the stage 2 baby food section at the store.

I don’t always give her the cereal for breakfast, but when I do, there is pureed fruit or applesauce, stevia, and cinnamon in it.

Applesauce in her oatmeal

I sneak the veggies in with something that has sauce, and I always try to match the colors so that she doesn’t really notice.  I made her mac and cheese in these photos, and I used pureed pumpkin because it still looks like mac and cheese. Sometimes I add carrots or squash to her macaroni or even in her pasta sauce. 

 Pureed Pumpkin in the mac and cheese!

Mwahahaha…. Mama is an evil genius. She ate half a packet of Easy Mac with hot dogs.  

 I know it’s best to just introduce them by eating them in front of your child to encourage them to try them.  Let’s get real though, that doesn’t work for every kid. Do you have any tips on how to get your toddler to eat fruits and vegetables? Let me know in the comments!