Let’s Stop “Hiding” Vegetables and Embrace Putting Them in Everything

Let’s Stop “Hiding” Vegetables and Embrace Putting Them in Everything

I have a simple request: Can we get rid of the term "hiding," as it refers to putting vegetables into food your kids love? The act of putting broccoli in banana bread may seem sneaky but really, it's a totally justifiable way of stacking the deck to make sure your kid actually has some fiber.

(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

I'm glad that there are more recipes out there that embrace putting vegetables in things. There are smoothies with lots of greens, pizza made out of cauliflower, and grilled cheese sandwiches filled with all kinds of vegetables. But let's stop thinking of these recipes as "hiding" healthy ingredients and just come to terms with the fact that delicious recipes sometimes include vegetables.

The word "hiding" has a negative connotation — and there should be nothing negative about feeding your kids foods they like and that you have loaded with healthy ingredients. You don't have to tell your kids there is an extra dose of spinach, beets, or cauliflower in their morning muffin, and you still don't have to feel like you're hiding anything.

I stick vegetables in everything from meatloaf and mashed potatoes to pancakes and bread. It's not because I don't offer veggies at dinnertime. I do, but who can predict what's going on at mealtimes? Kids' tastes change all the time (no, really ... in the time it took you to read that sentence, my son probably decided he loved chopped liver, then decided it made him sick, then decided he did like it, but only on tiny pieces of challah bread). I don't know if the lovingly roasted cauliflower I dusted with Parmesan is going to end up on the floor, so I might as well stuff some into the quesadilla I know he loves, right?

I certainly hope my kids eventually learn to love heirloom tomatoes with a sprinkle of sea salt and freshly steamed asparagus with a dab of homemade aioli. But if, in the meantime, when little tastebuds are fickle and I'd prefer to enjoy dinner instead of emotionally prepare for it, I'm all about putting vegetables everywhere.

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