“Your kids will eat anything!”
“You have two of the healthiest eaters I know!”
Those were a couple of the comments I heard all the time from the moment my twins started eating solid food. I could give them anything and they’d eat it up. They even loved beets!
I thought I’d be in the clear. I would never have to be a sneaky cook. My kids would be the “perfect” little eaters. They’d eat a variety of veggies and would try anything. After all, my husband and I were setting great examples of what to eat. Whatever we ate, they ate.
That all came to a screeching halt around the age of two. Gone were the days of eating every veggie that was put in front of them. If there was even a smidge of “green stuff” on my daughter’s homemade veggie pizza, she’d refuse to touch it.
What happened? Where did my wonderful, adventurous eaters go?
I’m a big believer in offering my kids fruits and vegetables at every meal. Research has definitively shown that if you keep offering and keep offering, children will eventually try the produce you put in front of them. It’s worked with my son. He surprises us every so often and will randomly eat a veggie that he’s previously shunned. My daughter? Well that’s an entirely different story. She’s stubborn like her Mama. She knows what she likes and is happy as can be just eating that. Although she surprised me last week by asking to get eggplant at the grocery store AND she tried it…but didn’t like it. That’s progress!
Till the magical day when everyone will happily eat all their veggies, I’ll keep offering whole veggies to eat. I will also continue to be a veggie sneaker, you know, one of those people who makes green smoothies, adds sweet potatoes to pancakes, butternut squash to mac n’ cheese, zucchini to pasta sauce. I see nothing wrong with upping the nutritional value of food by adding shredded or pureed veggies. It’s good for the whole family, not just my kids. I also tell them exactly what’s in the recipe. There’s no lying to get them to eat it. I give full disclosure. Sometimes they’ll still eat it. Sometimes it’s a scrunched up nose and an “I don’t like that!”
Oh well, I’m not giving up just yet!
Here are some of my favorite “sneaky” recipes:
Spill it – do you believe in veggie sneaking?