Monday, March 8, 2010

March Madness: Vegetable Relocation Program

I vaguely remember a Jon & Kate Plus 8 episode (yes, I watched it religiously before all the drama, before her ugly hair extensions) where Kate says something like, "The kids eat what I put in front of them or they don't eat at all." Something to that effect. [In her really bitchy, holier-than-thou kind of way.] I actually really admired that about her. She stuck to her guns when it came to nutrition. Their family tried to eat locally and organically (which I think was all a bit staged for the show, but whatever). But I just remember thinking, OMG, she actually gets her kids to eat veggies. How does she do it???

Miles is like any other toddler, or at least many that I know: PICKY. And getting pickier. I wish I had the strength to stick to my guns and not give in when he whines and cries for something. But I am weak. And at the end of the day when I am tired and crabby already he can wear me down REALLY fast.

But it's not like we are feeding him crap and he is making his own decisions about food. Oh no, no, no. To the contrary. If nothing else I am a product of my mother, the dietitian, who always had balanced and healthy meals on the table for us. So I am forever trying to get in more fruits and veggies when I can with him. Our "snack drawer" is stocked with raisins, applesauce and granola bars. That does not make me Mother of the Year. But it does give me some hope that I can establish some good eating habits. Even if we do go to McDonald's once in a while. Mama likes fries, what can I say?

Lately Miles has decided to try a new and fabulous trick to avoid eating veggies that I have dubbed the "Vegetable Relocation Program". You know, kinda like the Witness Relocation Program without all the cops and mob hits and such. He starts by transferring all of the veggies from one side of his plate to the other. When he can see that has, in fact, not deterred me from trying to coax some in his mouth he then tries to relocate them to the table. And when that doesn't work he tries to put them on MY plate. Or else, and this is a brilliant reverse-psychology move on his part, he tries to take all the veggies off my plate and put them onto his. Smart move, but I'm not buying it, mister.

It is really funny to watch him relocating his veggies around everywhere. Such a silly one, that kid.

So, I have resorted to buying baby food (because I am frankly just too lazy to make my own purees) and plotting to hide it in his food. I plan to mix squash into his mac n cheese. I plan to mix carrots into his spaghetti sauce. Etc... I got the book Deceptively Delicious by Jessica Seinfeld as a gift recently (thanks, Jess!) and I plan on making many things in there, too. Whatever it takes. I have my own form of the Veggie Relocation Program up my sleeve, buddy, and I will succeed! Like I often say to Miles when he is refusing to put on his shirt or his coat, "Mama will win eventually. You might as well just give in now."

How do you get your kiddos to eat veggies???


  1. We were shocked last night when Patrick shoveled spoonfuls of peas in his mouth. We just continue to offer, offer, offer and hope that one day, perhaps they'll end up in his mouth. Deceptively delicious is a great book, if only it wasn't collecting dust in my house!

  2. bribery. "you need to eat 3 bites of this and you get that." not a huge fan of doing this...but we do what works and is the least exhausting :). fruit or a little piece of dark chocolate usually does the trick. however we don't always do this. her veggies from last night are on her plate in the fridge for lunch! also, you know we love our smoothies around here. that is how i get leafy greens in her everyday. and it takes 5 minutes.

  3. My son is 3 and has autism.. there are only two ways he will eat veggies - pureed or hidden... I am a master at multi-veggie gluten free muffins and snacks... I have hidden zucchini, carrots, squash, sweet potato, corn, peas and broccoli in muffins ...

  4. I am just amazed she survives at all. I swear some days she lives on an apple, goldfish and yogurt.

    SHe used to LOVE veggies and now it is just down to green beans and broccoli (if she is feeling like it.)

    But, you know what? SOme days I don't feel like them either!

  5. Oh my gosh... this post had me laughing out loud! I loved it. We're pretty lucky so far... but my kid is a snacker... all day long. Good thing he'll happily eat corn or edamame out of a snack trap.


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