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Help me feed my father in law some vegetables

Long time lurker, first time poster but after reading here for years I thought I would seek a little bit of advice myself.

My father in law hates vegetables (and dislikes most fruit) except for banana, ceaser, salad, carrots and corn. He is a terrible / picky eater (he eats out most of the time, high carbs, snacks on sweets, etc.) in general and a diabetic. He listens to no body but he recently had a bit of a health scare and promised his doctor he would eat half a serving of vegetables a day. I guess going from zero to something is an improvement.

Last week, I promised to help him with his vegetable intake. We carpool in the morning so I have been trying to bring him a snack every which contains a vegetable. The only raw vegetable I have been successful with was carrot sticks (we are up to 4 sticks!). My other success was with (not very sweet) banana bread and zucchini bread.

Hiding vegetables is OK too (I tell him it’s in there and he is fine if he can’t really see much of it, I mask the "veggie" flavour and it doesn’t resemble the raw thing!).

Any suggestions? My criteria is it needs to be easy to eat (in the car), tasty and something he wouldn’t mind eating in the morning. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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  1. Your FIL sounds a lot like preschoolers when it comes to veggies. I say that based on a comment that I recall back when my son was a newly diagnosed T-1 Diabetic; I mentioned to his nurse-educator from the pediatric endocrine group where he got his care that there were only 3 vegetables that he would eat -- carrot sticks, red pepper strips, and crisp-tender snow peas. Her response was that this was 2 more vegetables than most of her patients, who pretty much wouldn't eat anything other than raw carrots.

    Anyway, you might want to try sweet red pepper strips and snow pea pods. They, like carrots, are crisp and somewhat sweet. And, if you are also trying to increase his fruit intake, I'd suggest apple wedges for the same reason. (Even if you are using very little sugar, banana and zucchini bread consist more of starch than fruit or vegetable, so I rank them pretty low as a way to increase his fruit or veggie intake.)

    1. I love most vegetables but I'm not big on eating them in the morning. When I do, it's usually as part of an egg dish. Would he be willing to try a crustless quiche? You can sneak a variety of vegetables in there. Or a breakfast burrito with some grilled vegetables? What about red or yellow bell pepper strips (they're much sweeter than most vegetables)? Cherry tomatoes stuffed with cheese spread?

      1. That's awesome that he's looking for new ways to eat veggies! How cool of you to help.

        What about raw veggies/fruits with dips? Hummus, tzatziki, natural nut butters, yogurts, or homemade dressings might be up his alley.

        If keeping something warm with a thermos is possible, I'd recommend baked sweet potatoes (a bit of cinnamon makes them "breakfasty") or roasted veggies. Roasted broccoli with garlic and some spice is a favorite or ours. Steamed veggies might be satisfyingly crunchy- green beans with some lemon is fantastic.

        Every time he enjoys something, I'd ask why- the texture, the spices, the sweetness? Ask him to find some recipes and give you some suggestions.

        Good luck!

        1. Might try thin slicing on a mandolin (broc, cauliflower etc) and add to scolloped potatoes, pasta dishes etc. I even make spaghetti and other pastas with "green meatballs". Brussels sprouts. Sounds strange but is great!

          1. My husband is sort of like that. So the two things I do are: soups with pureed veggies but call it something without mention of what's in it, like Chinese Soup or Spicy Harvest Soup; and then dips like hummus, tapenade, whatever as a snack with crackers and cheese. Take a vegetable and process with cream cheese and some flavorings. So far so good with us.

            1 Reply
            1. re: coll

              When we first married, I pureed vegetables all the time & added them to soups. He was okay with that idea, just so long as he didn't have to see the vegetables.

              We laugh about it today, because he graduated to eating all kinds of vegetables and prefers raw.