Your kids may like veggies afterall!

ynnejOctober 28, 2011

I grew up thinking I didn't like veggies. As a vegetarian, this was a bit of a problem! When I finally started cooking for myself, I realized that I love them- just not boiled or canned. The caramelization that happens to vegetables when roasted=magic! My one year old boys agree- for the most part. But when even roasting won't cut it, I've found that shredding them up with some potatoes and making hashbrowns always does the trick. Whether it's zucchini, rutabaga, squash- hashbrowns are my savior!

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how do you make these hash browns i would love to know

    Bookmark   October 28, 2011 at 5:06PM
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Just shred the veggies and add to the shredded potatoes. I've found that it helps to have a little more potato than vegetable so they'll stick together. And I always add onion, but my kids love onions. I add a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper, mix it all in a bowl, then add to frying pan that is also lightly oiled. I often have two pans going at a time so I can keep extra in the fridge once they're made. I've thrown in carrots, zucchini, mushrooms, rutabaga, squash, zucchini, turnips, you name it! If you're worried about your kids loading up on too many potatoes, though, you can make fritters instead. My kids seem to like those, too, and then they get the added health benefits from eggs.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2011 at 5:51PM
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As a children's cooking teacher (and a parent myself), I'm not a big fan of hiding vegetables. The #1 reason (in my opinion) that children learn to hate veggies is that their parents TEACH them that vegetables are to be feared, disliked and distrusted. Even if it's not said in so many words, what do children learn when their parents 'sneak' vegetables into other foods? When parents tell them, no dessert until you eat your vegetables. It's a clear message--these things are so foul, that we have to masquerade them as something else and punish you if you don't eat them. With parents giving them that message, what kid has a chance of learning to love vegetables?

I happend to love vegetables--almost all of them, cooked almost any way possible. As a result, they were presented as something to enjoy in our house, my dd saw me eating them with pleasure, and she never picked up on the fact that she was supposed to 'hate' them.

Lead by example--show your children what a treat it is to have fresh fruits and vegetables on the table. Let them help pick out some pretty ones at the market, or better yet--have them grow their own. Don't force vegetables, don't punish if they don't like a particular one. There are so many to choose from, that it's okay if they have a few favorites and a few they can't stand.

Now, I do cook with vegetables--I add assorted vegetables to my meatloaf (adds flavor/moistness, cuts down on fat), I always add a handful of carrots to my BBQ (makes it sweeter and more flavorful), I add other vegetables to other foods as well--BUT the difference is I DO NOT hide those things from my family. They know I'm putting the vegetables in to make the original recipe better.

I'd also respectfully suggest that making frying your 'go to' method for getting vegetables into your kids, you're sending another poor message--anything fried is good, is a treat. Even if you're frying in a relatively healthy manner, it's the MESSAGE they're learning that will stick with them the rest of their lives that's the problem.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2012 at 1:31PM
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Thanks for these tips. My two year old son doesn't like veggies that much except for carrot. Thanks a lot, you give me some idea on what other foods to add on the menu. I really hope he will eat veggies.

I'm also researching other nutritious foods that he will like and will be good for his overall health.

Here is a link that might be useful: Foods that Will Help Increase Your Child's Height

    Bookmark   February 26, 2013 at 8:47AM
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