The veggie fight

When my older two were a lot younger, back when I thought no one survived having kids 15 months apart unless highly medicated, I knew I would have picky eaters.  As a mom I know your kids are supposed to eat veggies, but how could I expect my littles to eat them when growing up I was the pickest eaters of them all.  I remember hiding my peas under the edge of my plate, in hopes that when I was excused no one noticed the perfectly shaped halo of veggies left on the table.  I was the absolute worst!!  I hardly had a taste for anything of variety, let alone vegetables.

So here I am, back when that book by Jerry Seinfields wife came out, convincing everyone they could hide veggies in their kids food.  I remember thinking I just don’t have time for this, I want my kids to see vegetables and realize that they taste good.  When they were little and even now, around 4:30 pm my kids go a little crazy.  They are starving, even though we just had a snack after school or after nap.  To combat this hunger, we welcome the 5 o clock veggie platter in our house.  Most days I load up cut up a variety of raw peppers, carrots, celery, broccoli, or cucumbers.  I throw a small bowl of ranch dressing in the middle, or hummus or a spinach dip, and they are hooked.  This past weekend at costco I found baby cucumbers and mini peppers, they were a hit last night!!


Not only does it kill their hunger as we wait for daddy to come home and have dinner, it also (bonus points here) elminates the dinner fight to finish their veggies.  I don’t really care if they like the vegetable I serve that night, because I know they already had a serving or two of vegetables that day.  Its double bonus points if I serve a vegetable that someone loves at dinner.

Our house rule with meals is you can choose to have a little or a lot of something.  This helps because they feel like they have a choice, and then they have to give everything a chance.  They can decide how much they want, and it really eliminates most arguments or complaints about food at the table.  Now to be honest,  certain things I know they hate like mushrooms and squash I don’t even ask if they want any.  Why waste something I love?

I try not to worry about what they eat now and don’t eat.   Life is full of situations to worry about and outcomes to be anxious over, its not worth ruining valuable family dinner time.  I think my two and a half year old survived on crackers and cheese sticks for like 5 months when we moved to NJ, and right now I find go-gurts to be a straight gift from God!!  She by far is the worst eater, but little by little she’s getting better.  She loves my veggie trays, so I’m a happy mama!!

Find what works for your family, start small, even if they see you enjoying something healthy.  They are always watching!!!


  1. Janet Saulter-Hemmer says:

    You are brilliant!! Love this idea – and the fact that you’ve recognized how precious dinner time together is by minimizing food fights (which are really just kids first opportunity to assert themselves and take control of the few things in their domain). I love reading your posts even though my baby just turned 36!

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