5-18-11: Those Sneaky Carrots
We ask nutritionist Monica Reinagel about the best methods for getting kids to eat healthfully — carrots in brownies? Or just learn to like carrots?
With her best-selling cookbook, Deceptively Delicious, Jessica Seinfeld (the wife of the comedian) has become a standard bearer for the stealth nutrition school. Instead of forcing your kids to eat vegetables, she shows you how to hide vegetables in kid-friendly foods. For example, adding cauliflower to macaroni and cheese. Brownies with carrots and spinach.
Alternatively, you can use strategies that help kids develop a genuine appreciation for vegetables (in particular) and healthy eating (in general), such as keeping fast food to a minimum, involving them in shopping and meal-planning–try one of Maryland’s Farmer’s Markets, and teach them how to garden and cook.
But you may be able to get the two strategies to work in tandem: there’s no harm in making foods more nutritious by adding extra vegetables. But it’s also really important to raise kids who eat vegetables and other healthy foods. No one “right” answer. Some kids are more adventurous eaters while others may have more difficulty with unfamiliar tastes and textures. Raising healthy eaters takes flexibility, patience, creativity.
Monica Reinagel hosts a podcast as the Nutrition Diva, and you can hear more of the thoughts on kids’ nutrition in a podcast here. Her latest book is called Nutrition Diva’s Secrets for a Healthy Diet: What to Eat, What to Avoid, and What to Stop Worrying About.
Resources for Cooking with Kids
Grow it, Eat it: Maryland’s Food Gardening Network (classes, events)
Sneaky Chef by Missy Lapine
Real Food for Healthy Kids by Tanya Steele
Your Kids Will Eat This by Nicole Morrish