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In Search of Mealtime Peas


It’s Christmas time, and the sweets they are a-calling. The vegetables, not so much. Oddly enough, with the influx of chocolate and baked goods, this time of year my body actually craves fresh vegetables. We have a share in a local organic farm, and I think that the absence of our weekly dose of farm veggies leaves my body wondering what happened.

My daughter, well she’s an eggs, meat and bread kind of kid. Although she adored certain vegetables as a baby, she started feeling pickier about them in toddlerhood. While we’re lucky not to have a completely vegetable-phobic child, I do struggle to get the veggies into the kid.

What strategies do we use?

Make vegetables fun. Add dips, sauces, and make them into little shapes.

Figure out how your child likes to eat her vegetables. My daughter and I can’t stand cooked carrots. In fact, we both prefer to eat most vegetables raw.

Put vegetables into recipes. Add vegetables to sauce if your child eats sauce. Add them to baked goods. My daughter loves spinach wraps. Some people swear by smoothies.

Have frozen vegetables on hand for those times when your child won’t eat what the adults are eating. I don’t want to limit myself to the five vegetables that my daughter likes (those are raw carrots, peas, corn, and sometimes yam or gently steamed broccoli). I keep a stash of frozen peas and corn to warm when she won’t eat anything else.

Go for fresh if possible, frozen if that’s not possible. Canned vegetables and canned fruits are better than nothing, but fresh food is full of micronutrients. Frozen food doesn’t have syrups and salt.

While fruit has more sugar than vegetables, make sure that kids who don’t like vegetables eat fresh fruit.

Go to a farm, a farm stand, or grow a garden! Truly, having a share in a farm has meant that our daughter has tried many more varieties of vegetables than she would have if they had just come in a package.

Do you have any good ways to make vegetables a regular part of your child’s diet?