(Q) My 2 ½ year old son has been refusing to eat his veggies – should I force him to eat them or just wait out this new phase?
(A) As tough as it may be, he needs those veggies. It’s a sad fact that most kids today don’t get anywhere near their daily nutritional requirements and we have a growing, worldwide obesity problem. Teaching your child to eat right, right from the start will be a lifelong benefit for him. Avoiding the daily battle by giving in and removing the vegetables will do more harm in the long run. He very well may keep that “ew – I don’t like that” mindset throughout his entire life. Keep the veggies on his plate and have him try some, make sure it is clear to him that you expect vegetables to be a part of his meals. Mix it up and try new things with him often. Try to encourage his acceptance by using dips, sauces, salad dressings and most importantly – by setting a good example and eating them yourself. If he’s a fan of Bob the Builder, make sure he knows that Bob got that strong by eating plenty of vegetables! I went through this stage when my oldest was about 2. We stuck to it and now salad, corn and peas are some of his favorite things!