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This is my daughter reacting to a plate full of vegetables.  Not really.  This picture was taken at the Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC, and we cannot remember what she saw that caused this reaction.  We were at the Air and Space Museum, for goodness sake, not Ripley’s Believe It Or Not.

Maybe she saw something that looked like cooked peas.  Really.  She will eat an entire bag of frozen peas or a bowl full of fresh ones like they’re candy, but as soon as they are cooked, she won’t eat them.  At all.  And I have seen a serving of cooked peas cause her to make this face.  Horror.  Shock.  Fear!  But I do not recall seeing any peas at the Air and Space Museum, cooked or uncooked.

This post was prompted by an article that I read earlier today about ways to hide vegetables in the food that your kids like – a way to trick them into eating veggies so they won’t even know that they’re eating them.  There was a lot of food processor use involved – purée vegetables and add them to cake mix, spaghetti sauce, oatmeal, etc.  It seemed like a lot of extra fussing and I am pretty sure my kids would be able to discern the taste of puréed broccoli in their oatmeal even if the green color didn’t give it away first.

Here’s my method.  It is not a trick.  It is mother magic – la magie de la mère.  If you are a mother, you know you have it.  It’s like the eyes in the back of your head.  You can’t always see the eyes or the magic, but they’re there.

I call the family to the table for dinner and when they arrive, the only food on the table … is the vegetables.  And they’re hungry.  And they want to eat.  I include some cooked and some raw veggies at every dinner.  I proceed to scoop a small amount of the cooked vegetable onto each child’s plate (a larger scoop if it’s something I know that they like) while reminding them to hurry and eat them while they’re warm, because who wants to eat cold, cooked vegetables?  They help themselves to the raw veggies because they all like those.  By the time I get the meat and potatoes to the table, they have already had at least one serving of vegetables, and usually more.  That’s my magic.  It’s not rocket science.  Just something that works well for us.

On the topic of vegetables, it’s time to start thinking about what to plant in the garden.  Every year, we only eat a very small percentage of the vegetables that we grow in our garden.  I would like to say that we donate the majority to a food bank, but I can’t.  About 95% of the produce gets divided equally among the deer and the woodchucks and the rabbits who harvest the vegetables and often the entire plant whenever they are hungry.  We put a lot of hard work and continuous effort into our garden in the spring and summer, weeding, watering, pruning and harvesting.  And we will do it again this year.  There’s nothing like digging in the soil, harvesting the fruits of your labor, and enjoying the vegetables with dinner.

I hope the animals appreciate all of our hard work.

Things I’ll be pondering today…

  1. What will we grow in our garden this year?
  2. Do you have a garden and what vegetables do you grow?
  3. Do you know of any vegetables that the deer, woodchucks and rabbits will not eat?
  4. What did my daughter see at the Air and Space Museum that made her look so horrified, shocked, fearful?
Let me know if you can answer any of these questions.  And remember to eat your veggies today.