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What are kids’ favorite veggies? The ones they make!

Remember that old commercial '3 out of 4 dentists surveyed recommend Trident gum...'?  It feels like that's our dinner table every night......

It's a given that 3 out of our 4 kids will either love (or hate) whatever vegetable is served with dinner.  It is NEVER unanimous and well, that's OKAY.  Hey, I still don't like beets.

If this sounds like a similar issue at your dinner table, I've got 2 solutions that seem to be working for us.

The first is that I put 2 to 4 different simply seasoned or sauced vegetables on the table most nights. The more they have to choose from, the easier it is to figure out what they do and don't like - without the battle over the vegetable of the evening.

It's apparently liberating to think they only need to eat 1 of whatever's there. Yes, go ahead and use jedi veggie mind tricks on your kids - it's for their own good! (good for parents too - fill up on those veggies instead of that second helping of pasta, right?)

Sometimes it can surprise you what they go for.  Who knew my kids would like pretty much any vegetable doused in vinegar and olive oil? They like that weird yellow pickled cauliflower in jars from the store but not raw or cooked cauliflower for goodness sake.

The second solution is to have the kids MAKE the veggies they like.
They like to chop things.
And push the buttons on our automatic salt and pepper grinders.
And use the little blue whisk....(yes, it's a big deal).
Plus, I like to NOT have to do something.

Here's our favorites. They are beyond easy to make (that's the point). Try them!

Tomato Salad

  • Cherry tomatoes or any small tomatoes, halved or quartered
  • White vinegar
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and Pepper

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Cucumber Salad

  • English cucumber (peeled or unpeeled, doesn't matter - I like to 'stripey' peel!), sliced
  • White vinegar
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and Pepper

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p.s. regarding degree of difficulty pictured here and below: I let them use the mandoline til the cuke gets down to ~2 inches before I fear loss of little fingers...I'm not an overly paranoid mom, but I'm clumsy and they're related to me =).  If you worried about kids and knives, though, you might find this recent NPR article thought provoking.

Cabbage and Apples

I learned this very simple side from a friend who brought an entire baking pan of it to a P.E.O. potluck a number of years ago and its been a hit ever since!

  • 1/2 head cabbage, diced into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 apple, peeled, sliced, and then cut in triangle slivers

Dressing - whisk together and mix into cabbage/apples:

  • ~1/4 c mayonnaise (I use Hellman's)
  • ~2 tsp lemon juice
  • liberal amounts of salt and pepper (more than what you think you need) - great excuse for kids to do their own taste test along the way

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Salad with 'Grandma's Dressing'

For whatever reason, 'Grandma's Dressing' appears to hold some magical appeal over plain old ranch dressing.  I've told them that my grandmother used to make it and somehow now it's a big deal to make what their great grandmother made as well.

  • Any lettuce, spinach, or even broccoli slaw works great

Dressing - whisk together and add to greens before serving:

  • 1/2 c mayonnaise (couple big spoonfuls)
  • ~2 tbsp milk
  • ~2 tsp lemon juice or white vinegar (whichever you prefer)
  • pinch of sugar
  • salt and pepper to taste

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So those are our favorites - it's a few more minutes work than just setting raw or microwaved veggies on the table but they seem to really enjoy eating what they've made and getting positive reactions at the table from their efforts.  Hey, maybe I'll get them doing the main course soon and then I'll just be sitting with my feet up in the other room with a cocktail reading my Vanity Fair when I come home from work.......(a girl can dream can't she?)

What are your favorites??

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2 thoughts on “What are kids’ favorite veggies? The ones they make!

    1. dakota pharmgirl

      It totally is Mary Jane! My grandmother always had it on the table too. Feels like I've been eating it forever but I never get tired of it!

      Reply

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