Alex, healthy eating, Matthew, motherhood

Eat Your Veggies!

I remember when I was a perfect parent.  It was before I had kids.  Back then, I smugly thought about my perfect not-yet-even-conceived children.  They would never have tantrums.  They would never talk back. And, of course, they would eat whatever we put in front of them.  In fact, when Jessica Seinfeld published a book called “Deceptively Delicious”about how to sneak veggies into food, my husband Patrick and I rolled our eyes.  “Why not just teach your kids to eat vegetables?” we asked.  Our perfect children would not have to be tricked into eating healthy foods!

Well, not surprisingly, karma came and bit us in the butt.  Our older son, Alex, is 4 1/2 and is quite the picky eater- maybe even worse than I was at his age.  If he had it his way, he would subsist entirely on milk, mac and cheese, and Cheerios.  It’s a constant struggle to get anything approximating a balanced diet into him.

Therefore, I was pretty excited when I heard about this magical vegetable called spaghetti squash.  Apparently, when cooked, it looks like noodles.  Your kid will never know the difference!  Well, I decided to put it to the test and make a Spaghetti Squash Casserole.

Here’s the squash- for those of you not familiar with what it looks like (I actually grew these in my garden).

After cooking them in the oven and scraping them out, I have to admit it actually did look like pasta (or at least rice vermicelli).

After cooking it- here’s how it looked (after some had already been taken out for the kids):
As for how it went over with its intended audience…well, let’s just say the kids were not fooled for a minute.  They knew it wasn’t spaghetti, despite my claims to the contrary.  Matthew ate it, but he eats everything.  Alex, with a lot of coaxing, actually ate about 2/3 of his portion- which is probably more vegetable than he’s eaten in the past year.  I think, although he’ll never admit it, he actually might have enjoyed it.  So, a success in my book!  I’ll keep fighting the good fight…

1 thought on “Eat Your Veggies!”

  1. I remember reading or hearing about that book too. I haven't seen it yet. Maybe it was on like two years ago while I was in the gym but really I have to say nothing beats fresh strawberries, tomatoes, green beans you grew in the garden as a family. One student brought to school years ago this organic salsa that was so yummy I remember thinking the combination was a bit odd tomatoes and blueberries. He always had the most interesting tasty snacks. Glad Alex had most of it. Some kids are more picky then others. I used to think that bio vs environment debate that you could change everything in the environment but what I've seen with the little people it seems the Temperament wins out.


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