So here is the thing. My almost 4 adorable little blondie, Jane, is becoming more and more reluctant to eat veggies. How come she doesn't understand all the benefits of all those delicious vegetables? :)
I've been lucky as until now she's been super easy with food, eating plenty of veggies. She never liked corn nor sweet pees but I blame daddy's taste for that ;) I was mostly offering her veggies in "purées" (mashed). Potatoes with carrots and zucchinis, squash, spinach, eggplant, pumpkin and many more. I was playing around with aromatic herbs such as basil, herbes de Provence, cilantro, parsley and a touch of olive oil of course! I couldn't have done it without the help of my kitchen best friend: the Babycook by BEABA. So I decided to ask my friends how they manage to get their kids eat veggies.
It won't change in one day so don't get mad. Adeline felt a bit desperate. Her son Auguste would only eat tomatoes and carrots. She managed to add cucumbers to the list while mixing them to a rice salad along with tomatoes. She also recently succeeded introducing zucchinis boiled and cut in tiny pieces with pasta and grated cheese. Sweet peas used to work but not anymore. She's patient.
Try to bypass your kids refusal to eat veggies. My friend Helene's son, Georges, is very different from his big sister, Ava, who eats plenty of veggies. When Helene offers him some veggies, she often gets a big smile followed by a "Yuk" ("Beurk" in French), like "are you kidding Mom"? Even if it's not a miracle, the best way she found is to mix veggies with rice or pasta: rice with ratatouille is a hit. And when she looses her patience (because yes it happens), she gets help from our dear old friend "Mr. Ketchup". It then becomes a game to draw a nose, mouth and eyes and to eat them with what's underneath of course!
Clémence is being imaginative. She displays the veggies in a heart shape or a happy face. And her trick is to offer her daughter Alice a choice: for your dinner, would you prefer zucchinis or spinach? A great way to avoid getting a "no" or "nothing". I love that technique and we'll talk about it in an future post.
MAKE IT PLAYFUL
Kids hate to be forced to do something but they love to play. Cécile is a lucky one! Her daughter Romane has learned to love veggies in a playful way. Peel an artichoke, eat her pumpkin soup with a straw (making funny noises), eat green beens with fingers as if they were martian fingers. She also loves quinoa salads with carrots, coriander and shallots, mushroom omelets, veggie lasagna "façon Nana" (mini pasta mixed with pees, carrots, broccoli and sour cream, baked with grated cheese).
KEEP TRYING & MAKE THEM TRY
So I keep trying new stuff every day and I insist for her to try. The Green Eggs and Ham book by Dr. Seuss was really helpful. And it's ok if she doesn't like it or doesn't finish. Sautéed veggies now work pretty well: carrots, sweet potatoes, squash... Guacamole (or hummus) with carrot sticks or cucumbers is always a success. And my famous zucchini soup prepared with laughing cow also works very well!
It's also not because kids don't like something the first time that we need to give up. Taste is evolving constantly and they might like it the second or third time. While she always refused to eat green beans, the other day we had lunch at this delicious Dim Sum place and she really enjoyed the sautéed garlic beens!
And to make these veggies look even nicer, play around with the beautifully designed Biobu sets by Ekobo. :)
I hope this post will inspire you somehow and I'm looking forward to reading your own tips!