Teen Mom star Farrah Abraham is a whiz in the kitchen and even went to culinary school to become a chef. She can create all kinds of food magic, but it sounds like one of her favorite things is to trick her 3-year-old daughter Sophia into eating her veggies.
She blends Brussels sprouts into fruit dips and greens into meatballs and she says it's a "parent's job" to make their kids more adventurous eaters. More power to her that she is trying to get her daughter to be healthy, but let's not pretend that she is advancing her taste buds. That's just not realistic.
As the mother of two very picky children, I feel the pain of moms everywhere who want to get our kids to eat their green vegetables. I have mixed kale into smoothies to cover the taste and done some sneaky things with applesauce in baked goods and veggie pastas, all in the interest of increasing my kid's vitamin intake. But I don't pretend for a moment that it is to help them become less picky.
In fact, if anything, it makes things WORSE. The kids learn to expect everything to taste good and they don't develop diverse taste buds and mom works overtime trying to blend and chop and disguise.
After years of this stress myself, I finally just decided to focus on what they DO like. They eat a lot of the same things -- beans, cheese, rice, broccoli, healthy breaded chicken, nitrate-free hot dogs, and veggie pasta. They also get a lot of fruit as a side dish since both my kids love fruit.
To me, it's more important to get them to try the real foods on their own then to try to hide them. If they won't eat Brussels sprouts after they try them, then I can at least feed them broccoli and know they had something green.
My hope is that at some point their taste will mature and they will like to eat their veggies on their own. But I am not going to hide it in the hopes that they will like it. It's too much work, dishonest, and ultimately ineffective. It sets the bar too high on taste and kids aren't "developing" anything but the expectation that all food should taste a certain way.
Do you hide healthy foods in other foods?
Image via richard_north/Flickr