There is an amazing amount of information out there about vegetables and how they are good for you. Vitamin A in carrots for good eyesight, calcium in broccoli and spinach for healthy bones, and so on. And, surprisingly, there is just as much information about how to hide these vegetables and not let your kids know they are eating them. Why? What are we doing by hiding them? Here’s some simple truths as to why I won’t hide my kids’ veggies.
First of all, I don’t allow my kids to be picky eaters. Sure, they aren’t going to like everything on their plates, but they have to at least try 5 bites before they can say “I’m done.” No, we don’t subscribe to the clean plate club, but I want them to be thankful for what we have. And sometimes, that means veggies that are not their favorites.
Secondly, by hiding a veggie in a sauce or the famous “puree” method, you are basically saying that you can’t be trusted and that the veggies aren’t really that great. Why else would you feel the need to hide them?
Thirdly, if you are constantly hiding veggies and they get used to NOT having to deal with avocados, or carrots, or beets, how are you ever going to introduce them? Sure, my kids don’t go gaga for avocados right now, but they sure have tried them.
How to Get Your Kids to Like Veggies
So, how do you get your kids to eat different veggies and like them? Well, I introduce them as they are. Fresh baby carrots to start, for example. We eat them as a part of lunch, or snacks. Then, it’s cooked carrots in soup or stews. Finally, carrot soup. My kids get to see the usefulness of this veggie in many different aspects, with different tastes, textures, and applications.
Don’t make a big deal out of it. Mealtime battles don’t have to happen. Institute your own 3 or 5 bite rule, then stick to it. If they melt down, remain calm and just move along. Don’t allow it to become a deal. If they eat it, and like it, you know you have a winner. If not, try again in a week or so, or in a different way, like make those avocados into guacamole with quesadillas.
Never underestimate the power of melted butter and parmesean cheese sprinkled on the cooked vegetables. That’s how I got my kids to eat brussel sprouts.
Make it fun. If you have been hiding all their veggies in smoothies, breads, or sauces, eating them whole may take a bit to get used to. Keep trying different veggies, in different ways, and before you know it, you’ll have kids that beg for more broccoli trees. Or cauliflower bushes. Or brussel sprout planets.
Above all, don’t give up! They will come around, as long as you keep trying. Who knows…maybe you’ll develop a love for different vegetables yourself!