So here’s something not entirely surprising: my preschooler would rather eat candy over any other food group (wait, is candy a food group?). But I don’t know why I’m so thrown off, it’s not like when I was a kid I used to skip down to the corner store in search of broccoli, but I guess I just thought that getting J to eat her vegetables would be a, um….piece of cake? After all, I did feed her homemade roasted yams, beets, zucchini, and every other vegetable under the sun when she was a baby and toddler. But somehow along the way all this effort seems to have been lost to the candy aisle.
Celery? Too stringy.
Apples? Only if peeled.
Avocado? Only if it’s guacamole with chips.
Tomatoes? Never in a million years. Unless it’s ketchup (of course!)
Cucumbers? News flash! As of last week she does not like them anymore.
Grapes? Uh, no. And seriously, other than ice and spinach, they were my number one pregnancy craving. How can she not like grapes?!
Broccoli? Hit and miss – and only if they are dipped in ranch.
Can anyone feel my pain? We all want our kids to eat well, right?
As it turns out, this is not uncommon among preschoolers (phew), also, we’ve been making a few rookie mistakes. Namely, putting too much pressure on J at mealtime. We might need to layoff for a while and perhaps bring the focus back to our own plates and just lead by example (one day she’ll follow suit, right?). Also, limiting snacks before dinnertime would be a step in the right direction.
Here’s a few other ways that we’ve been trying to sneak in those greens.
- Green smoothies at snacktime- a handful of spinach, a fresh kiwi, some frozen berries, fresh ginger, a splash of orange juice and honey. This one goes down easy.
- ‘Brocamole’ – Cooked and chilled broccoli mashed with avocado, garlic, salt and lime – I never mention to J that she’s eating broccoli.
- Cooking together – when J plays a part in the kitchen prep she is way more inclined to eat it. The other day she was in charge of making a homemade chicken stock and was so proud to eat it when it was done.
- Putting raw veggies on the table ten minutes before the balance of the meal is served. If she’s hungry at least a few will disappear.
- Dip, dip, dip. It really does make veggies more palatable for little mouths.
- Homemade oatmeal muffins chock-a-block full of berries, made and kept in the freezer for quick breakfasts on the go. I haven’t made zucchini muffins yet, but we ate a lot of those growing up – and really, once you add a couple of chocolate chips I’d hunch any kid would eat them.
- Threats. Yep, we’re good parents over here. Eating veggies earns you a Mommy bath. Not eating them = Daddy bath. J doesn’t like the way Daddy washes her hair. We don’t do this often. Okay, we kind of do. But it’s more of a joke than anything else. Don’t judge.
So – I take this new picky phase as a challenge and will let you know if I come up with any genius, preschool-proof recipes. And if you have any that you’d like to share, please do! Also, one of my favourite Instagram accounts is Weelicious, plus their website has so many fun and healthy eats for kids that it’ll make your head spin. Thought I might try their green machine pizza one of these nights.
Have a healthy week.