Sneaking veggies to your kids. Yay or nay?

Know what drives me completely crazy? When people say things like “Well, that’s what my mom/grandma/auntie betty did and we turned out okay”. That’s great that your mom let you run around a rusty junkyard wearing paper bags as shoes but I choose not to do the same. Thanks. Nice feet by the way.


In this instance it might be¬†appropriate. I am talking about the hidden veggie controversy. Ever since Jerry Seinfeld’s wife Jessica wrote “Deceptively Delicious” this¬†debate has raged on. I purchased the book without reading much about it and on the advice of a friend. I am an impulsive Kindle¬†e-book¬†downloader. $6.00?!? Why not! I’d love to learn more about¬†pinata¬†making.

I bought Deceptively Delicious thinking I’d find a few new,¬†nutritious¬†recipes to try on my two toddlers. The book did include this but there was also a lot about¬†pureeing¬†vegetables and mixing them in to brownies and whatnot. It sounded like a lot more work than steaming some broccoli and serving it on a plate. Come on man, I thought my¬†Beaba¬†days¬†were way behind me!

Is this what it takes to get important nutrients in my kids? I have to sneak vegetables to them? How will they react when they’re older and interested in what’s on their plate? How will their palates react to naked vegetables? Are we setting them up for disappointment? “No, Virginia beets are not always served in a brownie”.

I decided against the sneaky vegetable¬†technique¬†and stuck with the time proven and mom/grandma/junkyard auntie betty route of cooking and serving¬†vegetables¬†as they are. Sometimes my kids eat them. Sometimes they don’t. I do make an effort to introduce new and exciting foods as¬†deliciously¬†prepared as possible. You can’t blame anyone for not wanting to eat bland and mushy food. I make a sincere effort to choose and serve fresh and local vegetables¬†when¬†possible. That helps.

Of course it would be awesome if my kids ate a¬†vegetable¬†at every meal every day but even I don’t do that. It isn’t realistic. I serve them a few times a day and my kids are pretty good about eating them. I’m happy with the¬†old-fashioned, lazy way out in this instance. It’s what my mom did and I turned out okay. See what I did there?

No judgment. I promise. Do you sneak veggies into your kid’s food? Why or why not?

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Veronica Armstrong is a stay at home mother and freelance writer. She lives with her husband and two small children in Cornell University graduate student housing while her husband studies for his MBA. She blogs at about her adventures in natural motherhood, temporary Vermont hiatus, and life as an MBA wife. Veronica is also a hobbyist photographer that likes to express herself through captures of her ordinary and beautifully hectic life. Maple bacon donuts bring her unbridled joy and coffee is her best friend.

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You are correct that the overall goal is to get your children to eat veggies on their own. Offer a variety of veggies throughout the day, but don’t force your child to try them. The point of hiding pureed veggies in food is to make sure your child gets the right amount of nutrients. This is especially helpful for very picky eaters.