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Food fight

Written by: Suzanna Palmer October 02 2012 Before I was expecting (and had more expectations about my hypothetical child than you could shake a baby rattle at), I promised myself I would never be that mom—you know, the one with the kid who only eats macaroni and cheese. (In the interest of full disclosure, I...

Written by: Suzanna Palmer

Before I was expecting (and had more expectations about my hypothetical child than you could shake a baby rattle at), I promised myself I would never be that mom—you know, the one with the kid who only eats macaroni and cheese. (In the interest of full disclosure, I was THAT kid for awhile. I had very patient parents.)

So, when I found out that our happy twosome was about to become a merry threesome, I determined to raise a healthy eater with a broad palette. My baby would clamor for fruits and vegetables. He would turn up his nose at ice cream and chocolate. He would never even dream of eating chips (my weakness). And, eating at McDonalds? Not until he was out from under our roof.

Oh, the naivety of it all. Fast forward 11 months later, and I have officially become the mom who disguises vegetables.

Jacob used to love healthy foods—pureed carrots, avocado, peas, green beans. The kid was a vegetarian in the making. But his palette has been changing in recent weeks, and now I can't get a vegetable into his belly—unless I disguise it first.*

After watching him sputter, gag, and just plain spit out his old favorites, I figured out that if I mix whatever vegetable I have pureed with an equal amount of mashed potatoes (sans milk and butter, of course), that he'll eat them without a fuss. Though it's a little more work, I don't mind since I know potatoes are full of good vitamins and minerals and calories for his growing body.

Still, I'm not crazy about the precedent I feel I'm setting. I don't want to be the mom who is making separate meals for my kids to accommodate their picky eating habits as they grow. Cooking is enough work, as is, without personalizing every person's plate.

So, let's dish! Tell me: Are you from the “eat what's on your plate” camp or the “disguise the veggies camp”? And, if your kid is like Jacob and turns up his nose at the good stuff, what's your solution?

(*For the record, I can't say that I blame him. They do say you are what you eat. And, like Jacob, I guess I'd much rather be a delicious chocolate chip cookie than a head of broccoli any day. But, that's probably because I'm “that” mom.)