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Monday, April 8, 2013

How To Make Your Children Eat Their Vegetables

Spring is finally, FINALLY!, here after a winter that wouldn't end. All around the country gardenders are turning the soil, frugalistas are planning their jams, and parenting magazines are asking: How Can You Get Kids To Eat Their Veggies?

I have such Mom Rage over these articles it's unreal. (Is Mom Rage a thing? Let's make it a thing.) The entire idea is that no parent can EVER convince their darling offspring to touch that nasty plate of green food and parents need tips and tricks to sneak in healthy food.

With four kids and nearly eleven years of parenting under my belt I feel like a bit of an expert in this arena. Here's how you get kids to eat their veggies... are you ready? ...

Put Vegetables On Their Plate


Bet you never thought of letting sweet potatoes replace potato chips on your plate more than once a week! Ha! Mind. Blown.

"But, Liana!" some parenting magazine devotee will cry. "My adorable son is two and he *hates* peas. He throws them on the floor every night!"

Listen, Buckaroo, the kid is two. Everything winds up on the floor. Besides, there's more to life than peas. There are whole sections of the grocery store devoted to fresh fruits and vegetables, usually on the far end of the store from the alcohol, but that's a parenting lesson for another day.

Seriously, give your kids vegetables every day and they start eating them. Try them as stir-fry, fritters, raw, steamed, roasted... you don't need to puree them and hide them in popsicles as you try to pretend it's candy. The end result of hiding vegetables in sugar is that the kid thinks eating sugar is a great idea. It's not. Eating raw strawberries, spinach, and mango is a good idea.

So, remember, before RTing that link to yet another recipe for "Hidden Spinach Brownies!" (Wanna take bets it's the writer's recipe for Magic Brownies from college? One leaf looks pretty much like the other.) ask yourself if you really want to see my fist go through the computer screen in an attempt to throttle someone. Nobody wants that. It's so hard for me to write with a broken computer screen.


  1. My MIL gave me a WHOLE COOKBOOK about how to hide vegetables in stuff. Really? Really. We just cook them fresh and pile them on Kiddo's plate. Sometimes she eats them, sometimes she doesn't. But at least they're there. She'll love them like we do. Eventually.

  2. Oh, and yeah, never used the cookbook ... *eye twitch*

    1. It baffles me because my kids grew up eating veggies. They beg for brussel sprouts. Not because the veggies are hidden in something but because they like them sauteed with Parmesan cheese grated on top.

      Maybe you can regift the cookbook? I'm sure someone has a picky eater who has texture issues or something that prevents them from enjoying veggies the normal way.

  3. So true! And when they don't eat their own vegetables, you eat them! I used to do that because I lOVE all vegetables and can never get enough. So I'd eat mine, eat theirs and they all grew up loving vegetables too LOL.

  4. Silly us, we put a small amount of anything new on our daughters plate, then required her to give it a try.

  5. I think books and tips like that are cleverly disguised ways to get ADULTS to eat veggies.

    Let's face it, our kids pick up their attitudes about everything from us before they start interacting with other kids and adults and get influenced by them as well. If one or both parents are picky eaters their kids will be too.

    We've always been willing to try something new and our daughter has been shopping for groceries with me all her life. So, if she saw something at the grocery store she wanted to try, in the cart it would go. There was a limit of three new foods per trip (only one perishable) so that we could have time to try each food and see if there was a reaction and not end up with the food being wasted.

    I was sort of the "neighbourhood mom" as all the kids eventually gathered around our place to play and talk with me. Not surprisingly, to me anyway, when we were trying something new our daughter's best friends were conveniently around at the time.

    Kids like trying new foods. At least until they learn from adults not to like doing it.

  6. Good advice! I used to mix and hide small chunks of veggies in spaghetti sauce before and it turned out okay but then again, you can't just give them this to eat all the time. I will try this out and hopefully it will work with my 2 little rascals. :)