Veggie tips for picky eaters

Man oh man, have we ever hit the terrible twos in the Srokosz household. Aleks is fully exercising his newly found right to make his own decisions, mostly with what food he eats. All of a sudden, if dinner isn't noodles ("noni"), pizza ("pipa"), stew or soup (great summertime foods, and exactly what I want to be cooking when it's 5 million degrees outside), he's having none of it.

It would be awesome if he just ignored what was on his plate, then at least I could eat the leftovers for lunch. Hells no, he tells you exactly how he feels about dinner by throwing that shit on the floor.

Just a few short months ago I was slightly bragging that my son eats kale. No more.

Feel free to gloat.

So I've had to change my attitude about meal planning and dinnertime, when I said that I wouldn't make special meals just because we have a kid now, or that "he eats what we eat". Yes, he still eats what we eat, but I have to get creative and package it a little differently, or deal with the guilt that he ate 2 bites of his dinner ... again ... for the 5th night in a row.

What spurred me to write about this topic was this article from the Huffington Post. I read it, and it pissed me off, partly because I was at the beginning stages of Aleks all of sudden not eating anything resembling healthy, and partly because it was the end of the day and I was most likely exhausted from trying to get him to eat said healthy food.

In fact, here was my response on Facebook to the author (which, by the way, was never replied to or answered, which is annoying in and of itself):

Screen Shot 2014-07-03 at 3.28.49 PM
Screen Shot 2014-07-03 at 3.28.49 PM

I also read another article which also kind of shamed parents for not having children who love eating lettuce at 2 years old. 

What I don't like about these articles is that they aren't offering SOLUTIONS to the problem. There's no suggestions or recommendations for those of us who don't have veggie-munching angels who sit quietly at their table and don't question what you're feeding them.

So, here's my 2 cents and 3 solutions to the problem of a picky eater (and how to get them to eat their veggies). If you just want to see me make a 2-minute veggie filled pasta sauce, skip to 3:15 in the video:

Basically, I do one of three things to veggies to make them more appealing:

1. Make them into a sauce

2. Roast them

3. Make them into a soup

Below is the recipe for the 100% guaranteed way that I can get Aleks to eat anything green right now with kale pesto.

I wanna know: what's your secret, sure-fire way to get picky eaters to eat veggies?



Prep time: 5 mins

2 cloves raw garlic, peeled
2 cups kale, washed and stems removed
1/2 cup hemp seeds
1/4 to 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp real salt (Himalayan pink sea salt, Celtic grey sea salt, Redmond's Real Salt)
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1. Start cooking your pasta.
2. Put the raw garlic in a food processor, and process until finely chopped.
3. Add the kale and hemp seeds. Process for 10 seconds until chopped.
4. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil while the processor is running until you reach your desired consistency.
5. Use 1/4 cup of olive oil for thicker pesto, and 1/2 cup for thinner pesto.
6. Add salt and pepper, process for another few seconds.
7. Drain your cooked pasta.
8. Add about 1 tsp per serving to the hot pasta, and mix well.
9. Serve with a side salad or some fresh sliced tomato drizzled with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and sprinkled with sea salt.

Notes: - substitute pretty much any other nut or seed for the hemp seeds/hearts
- substitute pretty much anything green for the kale, such as spinach, Swiss chard, arugula,  watercress, or the classic basil
- substitute garlic scapes for the regular garlic