How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Dinnertime

If you Google search “get your kids to eat veggies,” you will get something over 18 million results. Apparently, this is an issue for people.

Personally, I’ve never once had to bribe/beg/force my kids to eat vegetables. I try to save my forcing/begging/bribing for back-walking. They’re only little once, people. Either way, I figured that I’d try to help at least ten of those 18 million people who don’t know how to get their kid to eat a mushroom. (Answer: put a pizza under it).

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  • I make veggies the treat, not the enemy 1 of 10
    I make veggies the treat, not the enemy
    Sometimes that means mixing a veggie with something else they like more (not hiding, mind you, mixing) like tomatoes with blueberries, or broccoli with cheese. This says that I equate these two things as equal, and they should, too. Note: Tomato and blueberry salad with some balsamic vinaigrette? TO DIE FOR. Will make you the hit of the block party.
    And what kid will say no to one of these 10 ways to serve vegetables?
  • I don’t operate in stealth mode 2 of 10
    I don't operate in stealth mode
    I don't hide vegetables in other foods, like chocolate cake. Which, honestly, is hella-good, but still. Cake should be cake and broccoli should be broccoli. They're both equal, and there is a time and a place for both. My opinion is that they don't need to eat the broccoli as much as they need to learn to eat the broccoli, so hiding it in cake it totally defeating the purpose.
    Read why one mom refused to lie about veggies to her kids
  • I don’t cook gross food 3 of 10
    I don't cook gross food
    They can eat brussel sprouts at Grandma's house on Christmas. I don't fix my kids any food I wouldn't eat myself, and I don't ask them to eat things that 97.382% of all children on earth find disgusting. We have a trust-system going — they trust me to make them food that tastes good, and I trust that they'll try everything I make a few times.
    Want to give your kids healthy attitudes about food? Try these 7 tips
    Photo credit: The Vegan Ronin
  • I provide a Dislike Button on every plate 4 of 10
    I provide a Dislike Button on every plate
    Once I know they don't like something, I don't make it again for a while. Example: My kids flat out hated lettuce. I couldn't understand it, but I could work around it. I gave them sliced tomatoes and cucumbers instead of a traditional salad, and everyone was happy. Eventually, they grew into lettuce, but in the meantime, they still ate salad. Which means I win. Which is all I'm really going for.
    Have a picky eater? Try these tricks to help them taste new foods
  • I run a cheerocracy 5 of 10
    I run a cheerocracy
    I simply don't give them the option of not eating their veggies, period. I don't give them a whole lot of options just yet in anything, truth be told. We have a one-bite rule, and if that means you have to eat some green beans, then I guess you just have to eat some green beans. The end.
    Another way to get kids to try new foods? The "kiss it, lick it, and bite it" technique
  • I encourage them to change their minds 6 of 10
    I encourage them to change their minds
    The average lifespan of a human tastebud is 10 days. You tell your kids this, and it becomes a game of "see what the new tastebuds like" every two weeks.
    If you're still stumped, try these tips for getting kids to eat vegetables
    Photo credit: CC Chapman
  • I make veggies their toolkit 7 of 10
    I make veggies their toolkit
    We talk about our food like tools. My kids can, and will, tell you exactly which food will rebuild your cells, will make you smarter, will help you see better, will help you have will help you have good poops, or will make your womb strong. I find they're willing to eat a lot more when they know it will help their bodies grow big enough to drive my car one day.
    Tell your kids about the nutrients in these brain-boosting smoothies
  • I admit defeat 8 of 10
    I admit defeat
    Some vegetables are good tasting, good for you, and impossible to get a kid to eat. Like mushrooms. The only way I've ever gotten a kid to eat a mushroom is to put a pizza under it. Eventually, they associate mushrooms with movie night and then I can put them in anything.
    One mom explains why she begs her picky eater to eat French fries Photo credit: Jennifer Doyle
  • I let them eat cake 9 of 10
    I let them eat cake
    Or cotton candy, or Mountain Dew, or whatever else crap food they want to eat. We call it crap food, and we don't pretend it doesn't exist or there isn't a time and place for it. We balance. That's all parenting really is, anyway, a balancing act.
    Have your kids help you cook one of these 50 delicious treats!
  • I stopped worrying about it 10 of 10
    I stopped worrying about it
    14 years in, if I know any one thing, it's that it won't matter a decade later if they didn't eat every black bean on their plate. Children grow, no matter what they, or you, do to try and stop it. I figured out a while ago that I'd rather stop overthinking moments and love the time I have with them, and that was a pretty great decision.
    Why cherish these moments? Because you'll blink and they'll be grown


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More of me on Cucumbersome:
☆ The Blueberries Make It Special
☆ My 11 Best Meals of 2011, and Bugs.

 

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