- There are lots of helpful books about sneaking veggies into kids’ diets
- But what is wrong with our kids and with our diets that we have to “sneak in veggies?”
On a recent flight from New York to Atlanta, I enjoyed this pleasant conversation with another fellow passenger. She confessed that after watching several documentaries and reading countless how-to books, she is still to have success with making her children eat veggies! This is neither a Northeastern problem nor a Southern concern. In fact, it is increasingly very evident today that our nutritionists and dieticians may have missed the boat on this issue. It is now as American a problem as universal healthcare.
Why is vegetable such a problem? What are we doing right or wrong that kids grow up with such distaste for a fundamental nutritional element? The answers to these questions are not hard to fathom; so look no further than you should. If you are reading this and cannot name one nutritional benefit from veggies then you’re certainly not part of the problem; you are the problem. You can’t fix a hornet’s nest when you don’t understand it.
Firstly, we have to change the concept of what we feed ourselves. It is common knowledge that we feed our kids what we eat. Asking your kids to eat veggies while you feast regularly on burgers or fries is disingenuous. Children are like an open canvass and parents hold the paintbrush. Your nutritional attitude like paintbrush on a canvass has left an imprint on your kids. As children they are open for you to introduce everything. Offer them a serving of fresh organic broccoli and salads today. If they don’t like it, for the next meal try organic Brussels sprouts; but by no means should you stop. There are as many vegetables as the stars, keep changing them until you find what your kids like. Do not limit their veggie intake to processed foods or bland varieties with a long shelf span. Sometimes it may be fresh produce like raw carrots for the crunchiness or celery sticks for the fun.
Did you ever see in a bookstore or on TV a discussion on how “to sneak in” ice cream or fries into the kids diet? While helping our kids to eat healthy by having organic veggies may be a struggle, it is never too late. But parents have to set the example: eat a healthy serving of fresh organic veggies always and the kids will follow. Old habits die hard; they may not like it today but change is on the way.
In the next editions, I’ll focus on getting the parents to eat healthy and then how to “sneak in” the kids into this healthy lifestyle one day at a time.