Posted by: webbhouston | March 30, 2009

Getting nutrition into kids… the good… the bad… and the ugly… actually its all bad and ugly.

My child is almost like a garbage disposal. She will eat most anything you put in front of her. Sometimes she doesnt like certain things but if you wait 5 minutes she will. She is just a finiky toddler. I am aware that not all kids are this way and that Calvin can be completely different.

A little bit of family history here… my brother wont eat veggies. My father wont eat veggies. My mother would try to force feed us canned green beans and spinach which would promptly make us gag and puke yet we were not allowed to get up from our chairs until it was all off of our plate. So… I grew up hating veggies. One of my youngest memories is of sitting at a table with a plate of green metal smelling goop in front of me that my mother called spinach that I saw her pour out of a can and into our plates, it looked like sludge. I have vivid memories of the juices that my mother would make us with her extractor… all carrot based. I hate carrots.  She would try to trick us by putting apples, pears, and other fruits into it… but it was just a waste of good fruit to us. The carrots killed the yummy fruit flavor, worse when celery was put in it. ICK.

To this day I still believe that this harmed the way that my family views healthy eating. I cook and if the words “healthy” are uttered it is almost like a bad word… yet if I dont tell them what is in it.. they will eat it… and ask for seconds… so I have stopped saying what is in food and we are good to go.

WHen cooking for MIke and the kids I dont have the same struggle. Mike and i eat most veggies and Kate will too, we are starting Calvin on eating everything and hope that we dont have troubles with him. Yet sometimes all kids, even the best eaters…get picky.

There are days when Kate wont eat anything but soy cheese and crackers with maybe two grapes and 4 raisins. I have realized that this is why all kid food is “fortified” and has “100% of the needed supply of vitamins and minerals”.. because you dont know if that is all they are going to eat for the day… so you want to make sure that your food packs a serious punch healthwise.

This explains the allure of books like  The Sneaky Chef,and Deceptively Delicious. They are all mother’s desperate attempts at trying to trick their kids into eating better.

This becomes a real issue for those of us with kids with allergies or who are veg*s. I remember the phone call from my own inlaws that were concerned that Kate wasnt getting enough calcium in her diet because she couldnt eat dairy. I of course dont worry since I know that soy milk, tofu, and other products that we have on hand all have calcium in them. Leafy greens also have that and her diet is balanced enough that we arent concerned about her calcium intake.

I found the Pyramind website that the government has set up has some interesting info on where veg or dietary restricted families can get their nutricion from.

As for us?

I have been known to put turnips, brocolli, and cauliflower into mashed potatoes. I put tomatoes and spinach into breads. I bread meats with oats and whole wheat flour.  Grated zucchini and carrots taste great in cakes.  My family loooves quiches. Some phyllo dough and cream cheese/tofutti is a great device for delivering greens and other veggies into picky eaters.  Raw green beans are crunchy like chips and are well loved, sprinkle some paprika and salt on them for a twist. Or better yet, make your own baked veggie chips. Soups are a staple here. We make our own broths that are boiled down veggies and bones or something similar…  the list goes on and on…

Want some fun drinks for parties?  Here is one from Veg Kitchen:

Sneaky Peppermint!

Makes about 2 to 2 1/2 cups

  • 1 cup soy milk
  • 1/2 cup brewed, then cooled, peppermint tea (fairly strong)
  • 1 cup ice cubes
  • Handful of fresh spinach leaves (don’t let anybody see you do this.. it will make the drink green but not interrupt the flavor, adds nutrition)
  • Raw sugar to taste, optional

Whirl away until in a food processor or blender until smooth. Pour into glasses to serve.

Teas are a great way to get nourishment into kids too. Red Raspberry Leaf and Nettle Tea which I drank when i was pregnant is a great sources of potassium , iron, and other goodies for your blood. Make a tea of these and make it into a popsciple for kids while sweetened with honey or stevia makes a good treat that they will LOVE to eat…. and they will think that they are getting away with something when they do!

Now I am off to find a way to sneak peas and liver into cream cheese icing. Wish me luck!



  1. This blog’s great!! Thanks :).

  2. Hi

    I’ll try your sneaky peppermint in addition to this red raspberry tea.

    A natural remedy for morning sickness and breast milk production is red raspberry leaves. Learn how to make a snowy tea from red raspberry leaves. You might discover the tea to be tasty and pleasant. Try it. It could become your favorite remedy to help produce breast milk or for pregnant women with nausea.

    You might prefer this snowy tea as a tasty alternative to red raspberry leave tablets for example. However, you will need to spend time to prepare the tea.

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