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Ask the Expert Archive

my son, who is 9, will not eat veg. (he gags on one pc. of corn, before he even gets it in to his mouth), and will eat very little fruit. What else can i give him, as a sub. so he’s at least getting some kind of fruits and veg. in his diet? I’m thinking 100% fruit and veg drinks. any specific kind?

Getting kids to eat their fruits and vegetables can be a struggle! However, our website has many ways to help parents/guardians help their children learn to enjoy fruits and veggies! Remember that it can take up to 15 times of tasting a food before your child will even consume a whole serving. As for juice, 100% fruit or vegetable juice counts towards your son’s daily recommendation. However, remember to limit juice to one or two (4 oz) servings per day because you want to be sure he gets the fiber and fullness from whole fruits and vegetables. If your child responds well to 100% juice, try making combinations of fruits and vegetable in a juicer (or smoothies) to increase his fruit and vegetable consumption (this will also provide him with more fiber than 100% juice alone)!


As for getting your child to eat more fruits and veggies, here are some ideas:

  1. Add fruits and vegetables to the dishes your son already loves. Adding a small amount of a new fruit or vegetable to the plate of something he already enjoys will increase the chances of success.
  2. Take your son with you on your next trip to the grocery store and have him pick out a fruit or vegetable he would like to try.
  3. Prepare vegetables in various ways: try them cooked or raw, plain or with dips, as purees in soups or sauces. Remember spaghetti and pizza sauce all count!
  4. Get your son involved in the growing, preparation or cooking process. This will help him learn about healthy eating and be more excited about fruits and veggies!

The most important thing is to be patient … and set an example! In time, he will learn to enjoy more of the nutritious foods that you prepare for him!


Try our kid-friendly recipes that are simple enough for your son to help too! 

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The Expert: Wendy Reinhardt Kapsak, MS, RDN, is the President and CEO of the Produce for Better Health (PBH) Foundation. At PBH, she guides the Foundation’s efforts to advance the overall effort of increasing fruit and vegetable consumption.
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