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Kid friendly vegetable recipes for a PICKY eater?

I used to brag to my friends that my little boy would eat anything. He loved salads, sushi, dim sum, hummus, things that other little kids couldn't even pronounce.

Now that he's 4 and impossibly picky, I long for those days. I have a hard time getting any vegetables into him. He might love something for months, only to flip a switch and decide he won't touch it for as long.

I need some ideas - kid tested, particularly if your kid is a picky eater, to get something into his diet that grows on a tree, vine, or bush.

If it helps, he likes (at least today), the flavors of bacon, balsamic, parmesan, prefers his veggies crunchy rather than soft, and won't eat any tomato that isn't in ketchup form.

Thanks!!

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  1. Fry up some bacon, saute green beans (or broccoli, or zucchini, or any veggie!) in the bacon fat...crunch up the bacon over the beans and top with some Parmesan cheese. YUM. (You can even drizzle with some balsamic!)

    1. Fill celergy sticks with cream cheese mixed with crumbled bacon.

      1. Jumping on the bacon bandwagon-
        Render down and crisp slivered bacon, toss in napa, savoy, bok choy, chard, spinach- green "leafies" with some texture and some heft to them, and begin to wilt, toss in a bit of stock or broth with a pat of butter, steam until just tender, then reduce the stock and buttery bacon jus and serve with pork, chiken, duck... If you're serving to those taht can handle it, adding in a clove of garlic or 5, or at least a minced shallot or onion would not be remiss. Works great with brussels sprouts, too, but Not many picky eaters will go for the gassy little buds. Also tasty with raddicchio

        On the no bacon front, split baby bok choy and begin to sear in a medium hot pan, cut side down in a non stick pan with a dash of sesame oil. Add in a couple of ladles of water, a splash of soy sauce, and a pat of butter. Cover and steam until just tender.

        Alton Brown had a good episode of Good Eats about making peas palatable to all folks. My contribution: try making a "hummus" out of fresh peas or favas (green bean-type things) and use it as a spread.

        1 Reply
        1. re: lunchbox

          I agree - a nice wilted spinach bacon salad with some cheese and balsamic vinegrette seems to fit the bill. There are a variety of these types of salad recipes out there.

          But - having a bacon/cheese salad is not exactly "healthy". I'm not sure if the health aspects of the veggies outweigh the fat/calories. Maybe try a multi vitamin and wait until he outgrows this phase.

        2. If he likes soup, make soup w/ a lot of vegetables then use an immersion blender to make it thick. Also, mash up canellini beans in things that he can't taste, like pizza crust or lasagne. If he prefers his veggies crunchy, can you just let him dip it in fun dressings?

          1. My 4-year-old's vegetables (other than french fries and popcorn) include spinach ravioli and pumpkin (carrot, zucchini, etc) muffins. I'll be keeping an eye on this thread for more ideas ;-) (Yours is way ahead of mine with the "prefers vegetables crunchy" -- mine prefers them on my plate.)