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tricking kids into eating healthy foods

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
http://www.slate.com/id/2176564/?GT1=10538

What do you think? I know this story is heavily one-sided, but basically Jessica Seinfield (Jerry Seinfield's wife) published cookbook for parents to help get their children to eat healthy food by baking them into brownies.

I'm not trying to set the tone for the rest of the thread (if you agree with her thinking state it ), but I really think that less sweets need to be in the household of children. I think if parents kept more veggies and fruits at home rather than Hostess treats, then kids would be less familiar with these foods and more prone to eating healthy.

(PS, I still would keep a box of cupcakes hidden in our bedroom though)
post #2 of 16
Jerry Seinfeld ...... not Jerry Springer

I think that is just ridiculous. Just teach them to eat right in the first place.
post #3 of 16
Usually if babies are weaned onto healthy foods and given healthy foods as snacks from a young age, it becomes ingrained.

Some things kids just don't like, my mom would combat this by blenderizing it and adding it to meatloaf

Nothing wrong with sweets in the house, but sweets should never be associated with healthy foods as she is doing.
post #4 of 16
The only way I can see it being a good idea is when your kids take 'goodies' for lunches at school and you can sneak extra nutrients into them, but just teach them well from the beginning.
post #5 of 16
Sheesh. I don't believe in tricking kids into eating healthy food via sweet food.

My son was a fussy eater and we told him that he had to learn to taste different food, and not say no before he had even tried it. It worked -he will eat most food now and he absolutely loves mushrooms, something that he had refused to try before - much to my chagrin, because that means I have to share them.
post #6 of 16
I don't think that's the best way to get your kids to eat their veggies. Most of the time it seems to be a phase, anyway. I remember my brother eating his spaghetti with just a bit of butter on it until he was about ten, and then deciding that spaghetti with tomato sauce was his favorite meal.

You can get the vitamins into them by serving vegetable and fruit juices (invest in a juicer, so you know exactly what's in the juice). Cook fresh vegetables, serve whatever you can raw, substitute frozen for canned vegetables - whatever works. If you have dessert, serve fruit, plain yogurt mixed with fresh or frozen berries, etc., or homemade popsicles made out of fruit juice.
post #7 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pami View Post
Jerry Seinfeld ...... not Jerry Springer
Thanks Pami
post #8 of 16
Hey, you could do it like we do with cats... just mix the new food in with the old and very gradually add more of the new and less of the old!
post #9 of 16
I think it's ok to sneak healthy foods like tomatoes, potatoes, zucchini etc into baking for kids. But I don't think that it should be done as a substitute to get them to eat their veggies. The baking should still be an occasional treat that just happens to supplement their nutrition with something healthy in it. But it shouldn't be given on a daily basis either. That is definitely sending the wrong message to kids that junk food is a staple of their diet and that leads to obesity.
post #10 of 16
I agree with feeding them healthy foods from the get go!
post #11 of 16
Great idea but should only be in addition to a healthy diet ....

Love the juice idea ... that is how I was taught ..
post #12 of 16
I think that obeasity, and other childhood issues that are now commonly weight related would not be as much of an issue today if parents would just be responsible!

A responsible parent teaches their child about good foods from the get go- if you lie to the child by "sneaking" the healthy foods into desserts- what is that teaching the child? That healthy foods are "bad" and only desserts are good- that's just not a balanced diet i'm sorry.

I'd much rather raise a child eating a good,healthy variety of foods in their diet. What's wrong with making cooking fun??? The more you expose a child to a healthy variety of foods and make learning about them fun- the more receptive they're going to be. Sure, not every kid is going to LOVE brussel sprouts- but why not make cooking fun for them so that they do learn to enjoy other things! Kids LOVE "helping" it makes them feel important- if you let the child get involved in the cooking and make some kid-friendly healthy recipes - they are going to learn to make better choices when it comes to food, learn that what goes into their body is important, and learn responsibility at a young age- such as helping cook, helping clean up the kitchen,etc- things that will benifit them as they get older. I'd much rather take that approach than lie to a child about what they're eating. I think if more parents took that approach rather than letting their kids eat junk all the time- there would be less of a weight problem in our world today and as a result- less health issues (which saves everyone $ and adds years to our lives.) I'm all for responsible parenting and teaching a child about variety/letting them help out in the kitchen and making it fun- not lying to a child.
post #13 of 16
I think it is fine to put healthy things into unhealthy snacks. However, I don't think it is right to make believe they are healthy when they are not - or that they met their needs for real fresh healthy foods. After all, a Reece's Peanut Butter cup has milk and fresh peanuts...but it is FAR from healthy.

Children should learn good food choices vs. bad food choices, it is better for them to have knowledge.

I think a good solution would be to make sure there are lots of freshly prepared healthy snacks in the home and raise the child to pick from those options. For instance, having fresh strawberries, grapes, etc. already prepared for them. Munching on healthy cereal vs. chips. Small things. Don't keep the home stocked with bad food and be careful when eating out. Also, just a pet peeve but I can't stand to babies and toddlers drinking cups of soda when there are so many better options out there!
post #14 of 16
It's nothing new...

As a kid, I got carob cookies, frozen fruit juice popsicles, and I thought "pop" meant sparkling water. Kix was a dessert cereal.

I haven't looked at her cookbook, but if it is about cooking food that's healthy and tastes good, then yay!

(btw, we can't keep it on the shelves for a single day)
post #15 of 16
hmmm carrots in brownies... that does not sound like something I want to try. Getting kids to eat veggies is based partly on what mom and dad eat... if mom and dad eat chips all day then kids are more likely to follow. We always had veggie trays with cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, black olives, and ranch dressing dip in the house growing up. Partly based on their own likes and dislikes. I love peas and lima beans, and my siblings don't. They like green beans, and I'm not a huge fan. I like her idea is good, but not presentation.
post #16 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Natalie_ca View Post
I think it's ok to sneak healthy foods like tomatoes, potatoes, zucchini etc into baking for kids. But I don't think that it should be done as a substitute to get them to eat their veggies. The baking should still be an occasional treat that just happens to supplement their nutrition with something healthy in it. But it shouldn't be given on a daily basis either. That is definitely sending the wrong message to kids that junk food is a staple of their diet and that leads to obesity.
If they are going to have an occasional brownie anyway, why not make it a healthier snack? The book might have some recipes that are worth trying. I admit though that there is a big difference from that and making the healthier version of brownies the main source of nutrients.
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