When Bunnies and raw veggies meet

It’s no secret – my Bunnies love raw veggies.

I have to scratch my head to remember how it all started. Here are some things that helped them …..

1) An early start with fruit.  The Bunnies started with raw stuff in their first year. When they began solids, I served them 2 servings of raw fruit daily. Favourites were avocado, papaya, mangoes, bananas and apples (all raw). Pears were stewed. Some people advised me to stew apples, but I just mashed them up thoroughly until they were a fine mush. Maybe having raw fruit in their early days helped them make an easier transition to raw veggies.

2) Transition gradually to veggies.  As early as in their first year, I let the Bunnies gnaw on whole carrots and whole cucumbers (peeled), watching carefully to avoid choking. I’d hold them to their mouths, and let them hold them too. They got to taste the juice and scrape off a little with their gums. When they began to chew better on rougher textured rice porridge (around 1 year old), I introduced very fine slices of raw cucumber and, later, carrots. Ripe tomato wedges were a big hit. (Raw tomatoes can be harsh on tender mouths.)

3) Let them shop, unload and pack away veggies.  In their toddler days, I let them sit in the child seat that is part of the supermarket trolley and help me put bell peppers and other veggies into bags as I select them. When we get home, they help me load veggies into the lower fridge compartment. “Put the celery into that drawer, dear.” We talk about their colours and shapes, “Ooohh, look at this loooovely cucumber! It’s green! And it’s sooooo long!” Allowing Bunnies in the kitchen has been great for me, not only so I can keep an eye on them, but also to let them be a part of what I’m doing. The kitchen is as child-proof as it can get.

4) Make raw veggies fun!   When they began standing pretty confidently on a little stool, I let my toddlers wash veggies. I let them watch me cut them, standing at a safe distance away from the knife. As I slice the veggies, I always pop a few raw pieces into my mouth, ooh-and-aahh about how yummy they are, then ask them if they want to try some too. After seeing my dramatic expressions, they are always curious and eager! So they try. And keep trying. I cut suitable mini-sized pieces. And always watch closely for choking risks. Puppy and Lamb have tried all kinds of raw veggies this way, including onions, ginger and spring onions (chives) – which they love!

The knives here look nearer than they really are – quite out of reach.

Fun fact: Here’s how Lamb started on raw garlic. I smashed the garlic pieces with the flat part of my knife, then let him smell them and peel the skins off. Before I knew it, he put a small bit into his mouth. “How do you like it, Lamb?” I asked. “Nice, Mama!!!” At 2 years old, Lamb continues to eat raw garlic ….. and all the cooked garlic bits he can find in our veggie stir-fries. I can’t remember when’s last time he’s seen a doctor! Garlic has fantastic antibiotic properties.)

5) Serve raw veggies regularly.  I dish out raw veggies at least 3 times a week. That helps the kids to get used to them. Serving them with cooked food also helps – I let them sprinkle their own ginger slices and chopped chives over their rice porridge. They love the fact that they can “decorate” their own food.

6) Have fun with dips.  I let them dip raw veggie sticks in mayonnaise dips and egg dips. They’re the easiest to prepare. If you have an easy dip recipe, please share it!

7) Eat your veggies with a smile.  Every time I serve raw veggies (and especially at the introductory stage), I put on my widest grin and make a super big deal about how yummy they are – Mama’s favourite!! (That IS true, I love vegetables as natural and as original as they can get …. uncooked! with all the nutrients intact.) The Bunnies usually get excited about what I’m excited about.

8) Take your raw veggies out.  When we go on long drives, and even on a day trip out, I sometimes bring raw veggies with me – all cut up in bite sizes and stored in a container. My Bunnies have come to view them as acceptable snacks.

Does your kid like raw veggies? Let me know if any of these ideas work for you, and whether you have other tempting tricks up your sleeve!

Happy Tuesday!

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6 Comments

  1. Thanks for the tips. I think I did try out some of them, but I wasn’t persistent, the moment they gave me the “Eww” face, I stopped giving them. I think it’s not too late with my 21mo girl though, she was chewing on a lettuce that day. And eating raw garlic – my son told me it’s spicy. Here’s a great dip idea – avocado – just mash, add a little lime juice and a pinch of salt. Or you can make guacamole, I’m sure your kids will love it.

  2. Oh brilliant idea! My kids will love those dips. Thanks. Will try them soon. Another idea – try garlic bread instead of raw garlic. My eldest, Puppy, never caught on to the raw garlic fad (how many people do anyway?? Lamb is a lil’ strange…) but she loves garlic bread. Sprinkle cheddar cheese on top for a treat. We’re making more lemon juice and garlic bread these days since my cold germs are flying around.

  3. Well done Mama J for instilling a good habit from such young age. My daughter now refused to eat any vege (except cauliflower & broccoli) at all… She will spit out everything if she finds even small chunks of vege in her rice 🙁 She’s so picky nowadays & I’m just worried she may not get enough nutrients that she needs.Thanks for sharing & will definitely try out some of your tips. Hope it’s not too late for me to change her eating habit…

  4. Thanks, mommyof2! I don’t think it’s too late, give it a go slowly, relax and have fun too. I’m glad my punks aren’t fussy eaters, but they aren’t the best of eaters either – they eat very slowly sometimes and have been known to drive me crazy over their eating time, *eeps*… Thanks for visiting and subscribing to my blog. It means so much to me!

  5. Oh that veggie face is priceless! Was that an orange beard in there?? I am enjoying reading your blog. So much encouragement in there.

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