Little kids are notorious for not wanting to eat things that are green (or often yellow or red…) so in this episode, we ask: How much pressure is too much pressure when it comes to getting kids to eat their veggies? And is it possible to entice them to eat their fill without relying on sneaking veggies into everything they eat?
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As you’ll hear in the episode, we have slightly different takes on this issue of kids and veggies — and whether it’s ever okay for pancakes to be green. Here are the resources for everything we talked about in case you want to check out any recipes or fact check our math.
Add Veggies to Recipes Strategically
Toddlers are still learning to chew and often, fruits and veggies can help recipes taste good—those natural sugars can go a long way! Here are some of our favorite veggie-ful recipes to try:
And remember, disclose what you made so you don’t surprise your kiddo and have them swear off the food forever since it wasn’t what they expected! (As Virginia learned the hard way when she inadvertently bait-and-switched her kid with those applesauce pancakes, above.)
Brush Up on Serving Sizes
Did you know that little kids don’t actually need to eat that much of anything? (And that none of us actually need to eat heaping bowls of kale every day?) So they may actually be getting their recommended amounts without you having to bend over backwards to sneak kale into their cookies! This toddler serving size guide may set your mind at ease.
Know the Real Scoop on Health Risks
Here are sources for Virginia’s data on the rates of diabetes and eating disorders among children and teenagers: Between 2011 and 2012, there were only 5,300 kids diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association. Compare that with the 1.1 million teenagers likely to develop an eating disorder before they turn 21, according to National Institutes of Mental Health data. This is not to say that the risk of diabetes isn’t real or to minimize what a big deal it is when a child has it, but it definitely makes us think about whether we should be so singularly focused on nutrition when helping kids avoid disordered eating patterns is clearly just as critical.
PS. Here’s how we know there are 42 million teenagers total in the US. #mathisfun.