|The failed Brussels sprout experiment|
Sound familiar? I know of not one parent who hasn't dealt with this situation, played on repeat for at least a year. Many have reached the point, like I had, where they began to dread dinner time all because they felt like their kids should look at bright orange crunchy carrots with glee. So what are health-conscious parents of notoriously headstrong and picky toddlers to do? "Hide" those veggies!
I've read all the criticism, I've heard all the negative remarks. "Children should know what they're eating and learn to like vegetables for what they are or they'll never develop a habit of eating them on their own." I call shenanigans on that school of thought.
|Mac n cheese using pureed carrots, corn, and pumpkin.|
I think just about every food out there has the capacity to be eaten a variety of ways, from savory to sweet, grilled to fried. To me, it became about highlighting a vegetable's range, respecting the fact that my child is an independent being with her own preferences, and ultimately getting creative. While I like squash sauteed with bacon and garlic, my child clearly did not. So why not make the squash the star of something she will eat and enjoy, like a muffin or a sweet bread? I don't think of that as hiding the vegetable at all, I just think it's a good way to repurpose something healthy into something that is palatable to her (and still nutritious).
|P adding pureed beets to waffle batter.|
Though I didn't initially broadcast it to her that she was eating something like a spinach and carrot brownie, we did ease our way into a more open and honest policy. She's now my little kitchen assistant, watching me as I grate zucchini for chocolate muffins or pressing the button on the food processor to make chocolate pudding made with dates and avocados. And you know what? Now she requests carrots in her school lunch and brags to anyone who will listen about how she's eating her greens inside her muffin. Tell me what's so wrong about that?
|Everything is better when mixed with chocolate!|