To Sneak or Not to Sneak...vegetables of course
Well believe it or not, it is that time of year—the Fruits & Veggies—More Matters® Month. Really,
there is a month long event, of sorts, dedicated to adding just one
more fruit or vegetable to your family’s diet. It is a noble cause;
many children (and adults) don’t get close to getting their suggested
daily intake of fruits and vegetables. The USDA recommends 5 servings.
Some new research state we should get more like 9 servings. However,
the average child is getting more like 2-3 servings. So that brings to
mind a debate among moms as to whether or not to sneak vegetables into
things like brownies or pancakes, and is that really okay? I have
friends and family that feel this is the only way to go, and other
friends that don’t.
I personally have a problem with it. I think if you are that desperate
that you have to put spinach in your brownies in order to get your
children to eat a vegetable, then you are probably dealing with a
bigger problem than poor daily nutrition. Again that is my personal
To quote our family’s pediatrician on the topic, “parents should be
pursuing an honest relationship with their children and encouraging
their children to have an honest relationship with food.”
So let your kid have the brownie, really. It is okay. If you need
nutritional back-up or validation to let them have it, here you go:
dark chocolate and cocoa have antioxidant properties. There are eggs
and milk in that brownie too, adding protein and calcium. Also this is
a great opportunity to discuss moderation and the concept of
discretionary calories: the 10% of your daily caloric intake that can
be dedicated to the pursuit of sugary, fattening treats. This is my
favorite part of the day’s caloric intake by the way. I can’t put it
any better than Catherine Newman in her article Stealth-Vegetable Smackdown in the April edition of Wonder Time Magazine.
Now let me make one thing clear, I am not opposed to creative tactics
in the universal effort of getting our children to embrace eating
vegetables. I just believe we should be eating vegetables that look
like vegetables and smell like vegetables and taste like vegetables. So
eat them raw, steam them, sauté them, roast them, bake them, grill
them, puree them, use them to enhance the flavor of eggs, meatloaf,
meatballs, burgers, pastas, rice dishes, sauces, stew and soups, etc.
The folks at Fruits & Veggies—More Matters® have ten great ways to cook almost any vegetable.
Just don’t conceal them in chocolate, or bury them in sugary treats or
turn them into pancakes smothered with maple syrup, with the intention
of that being the sole way you introduce vegetables in your child’s
Here are some tried and true tips compiled from every parenting-type
magazine, pediatrician newsletter or pamphlet, and leading books on