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Eat 'Em and Weep

I am a junk foodaholic and a carnivore. I also abhor many vegetables, with only few exceptions. This makes me the worst possible example of healthy eating for Little L. Like, if I could just have chocolate cake and chips for a meal, or maybe a few pieces of deep fried dark meat chicken (with skin, of course), I would be in seventh heaven. My tastes run distinctly juvenile when it comes to nutritional meals.
My Butterbeer a few years ago at Universal Studios Florida
Having said that, and realizing that I have a problem that must not be passed to the next generation, I have made it my goal to incorporate more veggies into our meals. I hope that somehow the constant exposure will lead to experimental eating, which will then lead to a lifelong love of healthier food. It's a long shot, I know. Genetics work against Little L, since Hubbs could easily down a pint of ice cream in a sitting, and I have my junk food anti-veg leanings.

Some of the veggies I've been trying to bring into our lives, with mixed success, are:

- salads with ranch dressing (a hit with Little L)
- salads with honey vinagrette and sugared nuts (a hit with me)
- caesar salad (a hit with everyone but Little L, who only eats the croutons)
- Fresh Express Santa Fe bag salad (a hit with everyone)
- carrots with ranch dressing (a hit with Little L)
- roasted brussel sprouts (a hit with all grown ups)
- sauteed or steamed broccoli with savoury garlic sauces (all)
- roasted asparagus with garlic and parmesan (all)
- spinach and kale chips (all)
- mini cucumbers and ranch dip (can you guess? Little L)
- roasted zucchini with parmesan (all but Little L)
- tempura vegetables (everyone likes deep fried veg, right?)
- garlic buttery corn on the cob (all)
- green peas (the little round frozen sweet ones, enjoyed by Little L)
- tomato slices (Little L)

Apples, carrots (and dip), and a PB banana
I haven't included potatoes, because they're so high-starch and low-fibre that they almost don't count as a veg. Note that this list is, however, abysmally short, and worse yet, half of the items aren't really on Little L's "eat" list. Also note that none of these veggies are being served plain, with the exception of tomatoes, which aren't actually vegetables. :/ Here's the thing, though: without the distracting yumminess of condiments, I wouldn't be able to stomach any veg at all. None. Not even baby carrots. I think this has become the case with Little L as well.

So what's a girl to do? I want to eat more vegetables (and my body can't handle peppers, which is why they don't show up anywhere in our meals), but gagging on naked raw greens is just a recipe for tears (mine) at the dinner table. Include all of my additional condiments, and I'm pretty sure the nutritional value of these veggies goes down several notches, although at least the greens do also go down my throat without my hurling them back up. 

Sometimes I have hidden the spinach or kale in smoothies, or lasagna, or my favourite orzo parmesan pasta, but Little L is not fooled by this and will not eat the wilted greens unless they are invisible (like in the smoothie).

Frying up onions, zucchini and yellow peppers for the veggie spaghetti
This is why I am begging ya, if you have any easy-to-make delicious veg ideas, please share! Kid-friendly ones are best, and ones that use an oven or a frying pan to prepare are preferred over those that use a BBQ (we don't have one) or deep fryer (don't have that either).  I promise I will try anything at least once, provided it is fairly simple to make and very appealing to consume. Otherwise, we're all going to stay in this veggie rut for the rest of our lives.

Are veggies a struggle in your household? For you? For your kids? How have you managed to balance your kids' meals?


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