Avoiding and treating child obesity is not the only reason to get kids to eat vegetables.
It’s helping them start on a lifetime of flavorful eating. Flavor is the missing ingredients in many good-for-you foods because too many adults lack the simple cooking, shopping and choosing skills to make vegetables taste good.
That problem goes away if you buy local, by the way. The freshest vegetables usually need the least cooking.
The usual place kids find flavor is junk and fast foods. And that warps their palates, and quite possibly, sets up an addiction cycle…if their brains work like adults’.
Thursday I’m doing 4 easy kids recipes for the Foodbank: Sweet Crunchy Jicama Sticks, Parmesan Kale Chips, Warm Stuffed Dates and BBQ Tofu. Total kitchen time: 30 minutes!
The secret here is not disguising the veggies, or adding extra sugar/coatings/junk, but making them appealing on their own. Surprisingly, this isn’t popular as two other approaches:
- Jessica Seinfeld’s Deceptively Delicious is about hiding the carrots in the meatloaf, and the zucchini in the bread. That makes the parent feel better, and does get vegetable into the kid. But a vegetable is not a pill, or a medicine.
- Weelicious is about fun: great photos and spunk. Sugar and coatings are on zucchini and carrots. It’s easy peasy for the stressed parent of a baby or toddler who wants more health. Vegetable is usually a seasoning, instead of the main event.
Is there a better way? We’ll find out, at the Foodbank of Santa Barbara and its reception and benefit this Thursday 10.28.10