Do you hide food from your toddler?
Virtually every parent has battled with their little ones to ‘eat their vegies’ haven’t they? Whether they are green or orange in colour, it is almost guaranteed that at some point they will screw up their faces and refuse to eat the delicious meal you have put in front of them.
I went through this a while back with one of my children. They acted as if I was trying to poison them when I prepared little plates of broccoli and carrots. It didn’t matter if I rearranged it all into smiley faces to entertain them, or added lots of tomato sauce (I know, I know, but I was desperate) they point blank refused to touch it. I have always tried not to get too caught up in making meal time a warzone. However I also want my children to have some semblance of a nutritionally balanced diet. So it was a problem.
Then my sister in law sent me that book by Jessica Seinfeld about hiding food. Or more specifically pureeing vegetables and adding them to dishes without telling your children about it. And it worked like a charm. It’s such a simple idea but in my sleep deprived state it hadn’t even occurred to me. Another mum asked me if I felt bad not telling my kids what they were eating, and my answer was no. I was doing this for their own good. And I suspect that is a line of argument I will be holding right throughout their teenage years as well.
So I was pleased when I saw that a recent study of three to six year olds, found that you can double their daily dose of vegetables if you hide the pureed vegetables in their meals. While the children eat the same amount of food, they will eat twice as many vegetables without knowing it.
So these days I look for recipes like this pumpkin, sweet potato, carrot and cheese pasta mix and Little Zucchini Lamb Cakes when preparing meals for my children, particularly my one who is apparently “allergic to vegetables” or so he tells me.
How do you get your toddlers to eat vegetables?