The Picky Eater Dilemma

Chopping veggies

Food is a fascinating subject in our house.

To give you an understanding of why, here is a little background.

  1. I am a vegetarian. (Meaning: I like vegetables)
  2. My husband is a pescatarian (vegetarian diet plus fish).
  3. My son could survive on only cucumbers.
  4. My daughter is a budding Masterchef contestant.
  5. We have a baby (who severely limits my cooking time).
  6. I try to cook from a whole food perspective.

Add all this up, and what do you get?

A household that’s completely upside down when it comes to the kitchen.

Cooking is one of my favourite things to do, but when it comes to trying to satisfy everyone’s palates, it becomes a daunting task.

I don’t know any family that’s mastered this area, but I do know that we have a ways to go in getting to a place where I don’t feel the need to cook a multitude of dishes each night. But, since my son has recently declared his animosity for most of the food I make, save for quesadillas, grilled cheese, veggie burgers/dogs, and sushi, I’m forced to help him move outside of his comfort zone. And, by help I mean FORCE HIM TO EAT VEGETABLES.

I’ve tried a number of options and some of them have worked. Pureed cooked veggies in spaghetti and pizza sauce — check. Chickpeas in cookies — check. Pureed veggies into cream soup — extreme fail. I’m not planning to hide vegetable forever, but we’re going through a phase that necessitates it. I don’t want to give in and let my kids go the way of the picky eater, and given that I don’t have any easy (processed) foods on hand, cooking for picky eaters is a ton of work.

In the meantime, I’m on the lookout for tips and info on cooking for picky eaters, while keeping things essentially vegetarian and keeping things healthy (ingredients over packaged foods).

I love my Deceptively Delicious cookbook and Pinterest is every cook’s best friend, especially when you’re a Mom. And during the warmer months, letting the kids explore the Farmer’s Market helps. And recently, I’ve discovered Veggie Smugglers, which is an awesome blog containing recipes that let me sneak the veggies into the kids food. Fun part is that my oldest (the cooking aficionado) enjoys sneaking vegetables into the food with me.

But, many people don’t think that hiding veggies is a legit path to getting kids to eat healthily. They say that it doesn’t help children to become accustomed to eating vegetables. But, I happen to think that getting the vegetables into the child, any way possible is important. I highly doubt that any of my kids will be thirty and still refusing veggies. Especially since one of them is obsessed with the Food Network.

I seriously hope that I can find something that will work, because I am SO done cooking multiple meals every night. And the, “You’re staying at the table until your veggies are gone!” routine with hardcore holdouts is getting old — fast.

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