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Veggies: how much do they eat in a day?


The American Heart Association recommends, among other things, that children eat...

a variety of fruits and vegetables daily, while limiting juice intake. Each meal should contain at least 1 fruit or vegetable. Children’s recommended fruit intake ranges from 1 cup/day, between ages 1 and 3, to 2 cups for a 14–18-year-old boy. Recommended vegetable intake ranges from ¾ cup a day at age one to 3 cups for a 14–18-year-old boy.

In our household, that's a whole lotta veggie.  We're curious to know: how much in fruit & vegetables do your kids really consume? 

Need help getting fruits veggies into their food?  Check out some great suggestions and offer more up here.


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Sadly, since the end of pureed baby food, my kids have refused any and all veggies. One of my two who are on solid foods will eat the occasional apple slice, peach or banana but the other one with have none of it.

I bought the "Deceptively Delicious" cookbook but they were too clever for the veggie disguises. So, we rely on Odwalla Superfood for both fruits and veggies. Inadequate, I know, but I can't force food into them (nor would I want to). I still offer either a fruit or veggie at every meal, which inevitably ends up as plate decor.

They take multivitamins, too.

I'm nearly certain that my kids don't eat the volume or the variety of fruits and veggies recommended. My older son does not eat much at all, but what he does eat is pretty good--he loves broccoli, peas, lima beans, corn, carrots, and pretty much any fruit we put in front of him--but he just doesn't eat that much. My younger son eats more in terms of volume, but seems a little pickier. I just make sure to keep a lot of fresh produce around, fruit for snacks, cram lots of veggies into sauces and always have one serving of steamed veggie on the dinner plate.

This sounds reasonable, maybe because my 21 month old usually eats this much in a day. She is not a picky eater, loves fruit, and has several veggies she likes too. We often put a little mustard or sprinkle parmesan on veggies, which seems to make a difference. And I still occasionally offer pureed sweet potato or carrot baby food-- good for practice using her spoon!

Just this weekend I looked at our daughter's baby journal from two years ago, at an entry that started with "She ate something green. On purpose." Our daughter had a very dairy-heavy, produce-deficient diet as an infant.

Now that she's 3 she'll eat practically anything. I know that she eats at least two cups of fruits & veggies each day, probably more. A good chunk of that is in the form of random snacking... a handful of raw green beans while grocery shopping, a baggie of grapes in the car, crunchy red peppers on the way home from preschool. My husband and I eat lots of fruits & veggies anyway, so I'm sure the repeated exposure helped a lot in getting her to enjoy those foods.

My son has always been a good eater. He loves to help in the kitchen and in the garden which, in my mind, has helped a lot when mealtime rolls around. This year we are part of a CSA, and he will at least take a "no thank you" bite of anything Farmer Mike has grown and put into our share. He loves Farmer Mike! He also loves to pick his own vegetables and eats them right out of the dirt. So, going to u-pick gardens and having our own little patch has been great exposure. I have noticed that he will eat more vegetables if I set out a plate of nicely cut, raw veggies before dinner for he and Dad to snack on (if Dad is snacking happily, it must be great!). Then it doesn't matter so much if he skimps on veggies at dinner. We actually have a "too much fruit" issue. He would eat three or four cups of fruit a day if I would let him. Vegetables are another matter.

My 6 year old ate two pieces of broccoli this weekend and I nearly fell out of my chair. He is a child I would label as "an extremely fussy eater" in that he will gag if he even looks at certain foods. I believe in his case that his taste buds have just gone haywire after being a fairly adventurous eater as a toddler. He also has a strange habit of storing chewed food in his mouth rather than swallowing. This mostly happens with apples, but I've found him doing it with other things as well. I try to not get too worked up about what he eats, but was definitely excited about the broccoli.

According to the Heart Association website, my 11 y/old daughter should be getting 2 cups of veggies and 1.5 cups of fruit daily. I think she's getting a combined total of 3.5 cups or more of fruit/veg per day, but it's due to all of the fruit she eats.

She eats veggies willingly, but is pretty limited in what she likes. You can only eat so many raw carrots and persian cucumbers and iceberg lettuce barely counts as a veggie in my mind. And I know that corn is a grain (too bad, then we'd be fine there), I'm never sure whether to count legumes as a protein or a veg (she loves beans) when they are a side dish.

That said, when we are with other (omnivore) families with kids in the same age group/range, everyone marvels at the fact she'll eat veggies without argument and that the cooked veggies she will eat she does without butter, salt and/or some kind of sauce on top. I worry all of the time about her not getting enough veggies, but she seems to do better than most of her peers. Scary.

I do sneak, when I can, but when they are in the kitchen helping you, or when they can read recipes and/or labels, it gets a bit harder to fool them. I had to eat that whole darn pan of brownies loaded when zuchini all by myself!!

Oddly enough -my daughter will eat loads of frozen veggies. At some point, I just gave up cooking them. I wonder how long this will last? but-it is easy.

I just keep asking myself....where do the recommendations come from? How do they know? And, is this a world-wide, all cultures wide issue?
My kids aren't as fond of veggies as I'd like, either. I know that I haven't always fed them the most veggie-concentrated diet, although there is always a veggie or fruit at every meal. If I do an all veggie snack they tend to skip it....What is it about us Americans that veggies are such an issue?

I don't think that veggies are an "American issue" at all. Vegetables star in lots of world cuisines.

my almost 18 month old is a fruit-aholic. anything fruit related: smoothies, yogurt,
jam, trail mix you name it but as soon as a veggie is thrown into the mix look out! That mouth is sealed tight. Occasionally I can get him to eat some edamame, or maybe a tater tot (which has no nutritional value), but 99.99%
of the time he wont go for it. Ive tried sauces and hiding things mostly without success. Ive even gone back to pureeing veggies just so he gets some- which worked for awhile. I dont want to give up and let him just eat fruit,carbs & soy milk; but I feel like Im running out of ideas. Should I do a multivitamin too, or does anyone have
some crafty deceptions??

Ha!!!This one makes me laugh (so I don't cry)...but my 3 1/2 year old has not has a single serving of veggies since he was 18 months old (the month Trader Joe's stopped carrying Spinach Nuggets@#@$). I have fretted, worried, obsessed about what kind of permanent damage I am causing him. But he refuses. A month ago I got him to try a carrot and he prompty puked it and the rest of his dinner up.

Our Pediatrician assures us that he will survive just fine, just keep offering them with every meal. And we do. So in the meantime, I give him Juice Plus (gummie bear like candy made from vegetables), cod liver fish oil (yes he will drink a couple teaspoons every day go figure) and anything we can disguise in the blender (which then requires juice...which is a no no in our house!).

Alas, I will continue to put forth my offer. I will give a million dollars to anyone who can get my son to eat a vegetable!

kids that are 12 years old what kid of food do they eat and how much?

erika- maybe this sounds dumb- but have you tried growing things in the garden with your son? Try the Sun gold tomatoes. They are orange and like cherry tomoatoes and really sweet. I am sure you have tried a million thing but maybe if he helped/played in the dirt? My son wont eat cooked veggies but he will try lots raw. He actually tried chard from the garden (he didnt LIKE it but he tried it). Good luck and hand in there.

Although not related I thought I'd share our weird food thing. My son doesnt eat much portable foods. So Peanut butter sandwiches every day so far this year- what are we in week 6 of school?

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