To Sneak or Not to Sneak Vegetables?
Hiding vegetables in food has become quite popular; it also has become quite a highly charged topic, especially with moms. There are very strong opinions on both sides and I think the reason is when it comes to parenting, we all want to do right by our children. It's easy to get defensive when we feel as though others are questioning our parenting choices.
I think it's essential children know what they are eating, why it's great for their body and where it came from. They are naturally full of curiosity when they are young which means it's the perfect time to encourage them to explore fruits and vegetables! I think it's important for children to know what vegetables look, feel, and taste like.
That being said, I do think adding vegetable purees to dishes as a way of enhancing their nutritional value is a great idea! I'm not fond of the sneaking and hiding aspect... I think we can just look at these purees as a normal part of a recipe. I personally wouldn't put vegetable purees into dessert type foods; I think it might cause confusion for children -- Mom's cupcakes are okay to eat, but not the ones from the store. That's just my opinion though! It really comes down to one fact, unless we know all the circumstances it's really not our place to judge how another parent decides to feed their child.
For parents with children who have sensory and problem feeding issues using vegetable purees might be the only way to ensure their children are getting important nutrients into their diet. Parents with very picky eaters are sometimes so desperate and concerned they are just happy to know their child ate something nutritious whether they knew it or not.
I suggest if you "sneak" vegetables into your children's diet be sure to keep introducing colourful whole fruits and vegetables to your children too... even if they just look at them at first!
Parenting is one of the hardest and most rewarding experiences; if we all extend a little more kindness and less judgment to our fellow parent I think it would be easy to see we all want to have healthy and happy children... we just take different paths to get there sometimes!
About the Author: Kia Robertson is a mom and the creator of the Today I Ate A Rainbow kit; a tool that helps parents establish healthy eating habits by setting the goal of eating a rainbow of fruits and vegetables every day. For more info, visit www.todayiatearainbow.com.