Green vegetables for toddlers and preschoolers seems to be a topic on every adult’s mind at some time.
Parents and child care providers can experience the “joys” of picky eaters. Toddlers can be picky eaters. Developmentally, toddlers may poke at their food due to needing less food and always being on the go. Toddlers may prefer to snack throughout the day since it fits their busy lifestyle. Preschoolers like to have “fun” with their foods. Provide times to make veggie faces, call broccoli “trees”, count the peas, and look on Pinterest for some fun fun creative ideas.
Have you noticed a toddler misbehaving or acting out more the closer it gets to noon and again in the middle of the afternoon? Observe and see if the behavior is worse due to going without food. Having a snack may decrease this unwanted behavior.
Keep a few veggies around to provide healthy options for snacks. Children need to see green veggies available consistently. Since it is close to March 17th, St. Patrick’s Day, green veggies are featured!
Important tip: Make sure YOU are excited about the green veggies!
With cucumbers talk about:
the shape the outside texture the inside texture
compare the sizes the shades of green color count the seeds first letter is?
Peas are wonderful cold or warm. With peas you can
balance peas on a spoon count how many peas on the spoon compare hot/cold peas
compare shapes of individual peas talk about texture use a fork to get peas
first letter is? last letter is? crunchy or soft?
Use a variety of lettuce and talk about
how long each is – you could measure count sort shapes compare colors
taste test each one – same or different? leaves look like? first letter is?
With spinach, I like to sing the Popeye the Sailor song. Making a can of spinach helps to imitate Popeye and eat more spinach! Also, take time to
measure compare leaves first letter is? count how many taste cold/cooked
which is upside down and right side up? what’s the back and the top?
I love broccoli. I call them “trees”. Enjoy broccoli by
comparing sizes comparing tops count how many first letter is?
light green vs dark green cold/hot broccoli dip or eat with cheese/yogurt
Feta cheese – I included it just because of the green color and my youngest daughter loves this cheese! Learning happens with
talk about colors compare small/medium/large how many on your spoon?
count the number on your plate shapes look like (similar to looking at clouds
try it cold/hot first letter is? other letters are…. where does it come from?
diversity – no two are exactly alike predict/anticipate the taste
Lettuce that is common to salads often comes with some shredded carrots or cabbage. It’s a good time to talk about
the sizes the shapes which are harder which breaks and which tears
the first letter is? the colors are? count how many do they fit on my fork/spoon
With a variety, each child can make their own mixed salad and enjoy!