Sunday, March 27, 2011

Colors and Vegetables

This week on my cooking board we were discussing some of our "soap boxes." I mentioned that one of my food related ones is anti-veggie hiding.

I just don't get it. I don't like lying about ingredients to "trick" someone into liking it so you can say "AHA! Got you to eat (broccoli/onions/asparagus/carrots). What does that teach our kids? Veggies are only good when covered in chocolate? It's okay to lie about things?

Why not, instead, teach kids to love veggies in a different way. Find a preparation they love. Have them help make it. Use loads of bright colors. Toss some bacon on top. It's easy to say you don't like something when you've only had it prepared in one way that you don't like. But there are so many ways to make veggies, that I definitely think that if at first you don't succeed - try another way!

Ranch dressing is usually a kid pleaser. So make a cold veggie salad and toss it with some ranch. Add in more colorful pasta and veggies. And obviously you should sprinkle bacon on top of it. You know what? Even if it's messy - let them eat with their hands. It's always more fun to eat food with your hands, and soap and water exist for a reason.

Veggie Salad
8 oz spiral pasta
1/2 cup ranch dressing
1 Tbsp Italian Seasoning
1/4 tsp dill weed
3/4 cup broccoli
1/4 cup sliced red bell pepper
1/4 cup cucumber slices, chopped
2 green onions, sliced
2 slices of bacon, cooked.

1. Cook pasta, drain, and cool.
2. Add dressing, seasonings, and veggies.
3. Sprinkle with crumbled bacon.


  1. I totally hate the veggie-hiding concept too. Ridiculous. However, I am obsessed with sneaking spinach into my morning smoothie

  2. Haha! Talk to me when you have a toddler!

  3. When your kids just won't try anything, and there are those days, a little veggie hiding doesn't hurt until they come around to try and create balances meals.

  4. Views on this vary with one's stage in life. Small children who are poor eaters are a special concern here, but it would be helpful if recipes that hide vegetables also give us an understanding why it is being done. There's a difference between a 3 year old and a 30 year old. I personally wouldn't cater to a 30 year old. Have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  5. I am definitely a big fan of this mentality. My kids are going to be so chock full of veggies from the time they are born that they won't even have a chance to not like them. End of story. Love this pasta salad!

    Also, I can totally send you some wheat berries if you want them! They are obscenely cheap here!

  6. I agree with you. If it were only that easy.

    The dish that you highlighted was beautiful. I certainly have no trouble eating my veggies.


  7. I'm not big on the veggie hiding either. I have the cookbook because someone got it for me but I'd really rather just put some veggies on a plate. The only veggies we ever had growing up were corn, peas, and greenbeans - when we have kids I plan to expose them to so many more veggie options than what I had.