My mom sent me an interesting article she heard on NPR a while back that I’ve been meaning to log here titled “Saving Hide And Seek For The Playground, Why Kids Should See Their Veggies.” The article emphasizes that approaches like hiding vegetables and making up food nicknames may work temporarily, but aren’t long term solutions to ensuring your child grows into healthy eating habits and enjoying their vegetables. It also discusses the importance of letting babies and kids explore their foods with all five senses and keeping meals a laid-back, stress-free experience. I loved reading this! It really hones in the importance of exposure:
“…the surest way to get kids to eat a given veggie, or any food for that matter, is to offer it a lot, or somewhere in the window of 8-15 times.”
From day one we have told Grace (and now Charlotte) exactly what we’re eating. Now, because of this she certainly has formed concrete preferences. I hear ALL THE TIME “I don’t like mushrooms!” But on the flip side, she’s not alarmed or put-off by a huge salad and it’s not something that we have to hide (yet). There have been tons of vegetables that for the longest time she wasn’t into, but now eats with delight. I know our kids’ taste buds will change, but I’m hoping to not change my approach.
I’m curious as to what everyone else’s approach has been to vegetables? Are your kids at an age where you absolutely have to hide certain things? If there ever came a time when I was so desperate for my kids to eat vegetables then yes, I would totally find ways to sneak them in. I really hope to avoid that! In the meantime, I am just going to continue to be consistent with it. I don’t necessarily hype them up but I don’t hide them either. Full of various textures, flavors, colors, shapes, and sizes, vegetables lend themselves to so many delicious cooking possibilities.
So…I’ve rounded up our current favorite vegetable recipes that the entire family loves and I’m hopeful yours will too. Most of these came from cookbooks we have at home, but luckily I found them online so I’ve linked them below.
- Avocado and Pea Toast served at Humble Pie, a restaurant here in Raleigh (pictured above and below-we made this this week and it’s always a hit-great for babies also) .
- Root vegetable and sausage pie from Victuals Cookbook by Ronni Lundy
- Charred spring vegetables with creamy scallion dressing from Deep Run Roots, by Vivian Howard
- Green beans with snail butter from My Paris Kitchen by David Lebovitz
- Beet, apple, fennel soup from It’s All Good by Gwenyth Paltrow’s
I’d love to know what vegetable dishes you’ve been enjoying lately and what’s been your experience with this sometimes dreaded (but doesn’t have to be!) food group.
Let me know if you give any of these recipes a try! -Addie