I wasn’t a big vegetable eater as a kid. I wasn’t really any kind of vegetable eater at all until I was in high school, and it’s only as an adult that I’ve chosen to eat vegetables of my own free will. So I wasn’t surprised when my kids started avoiding them.
Here’s the thing- as a kid I was always goaded into eating my vegetables by the promise of dessert. It always worked. My kids aren’t as easily cajoled- they’ll leave a bowl of ice cream on the table if there’s a spoonful of green beans between them and that cookies ‘n cream. And I don’t really want to use that tactic too often.
So what’s a parent to do?
I’ve started using the principles outlined in Jessica Seinfeld’s book, Deceptively Delicious. In it, she describes her struggles with serving her kids healthy meals, and more importantly, she describes how she’s solved that very problem.
It comes down to vegetable puree.
Basically, she adds things in places they won’t be noticed- cauliflower in mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes in grilled cheese and even chickpeas in chocolate chip cookies.
So far, I’ve made mashed potatoes, chocolate chip cookies, egg souffle, and pink pancakes (with beets! which they loved!). Sure the texture/appearance is slightly different, but I’m thinking if I just make them this way all of the time, eventually they’ll get used to it.
How do you get your kids to eat vegetables?