Who’s the Boss? How to Make Your Toddler Eat His Vegetables
Cookie mogul Eden Hertzog shares recipes she enjoys with her family
I take it very personally when my kid doesn’t eat his vegetables. In fact, I get a bit worked up about it. There are a few factors at play here:
1) I want him to eat his vegetables. The operative words being “I” and “want”. Can’t he just do what I want him to do, and how is it that 34 (I mean, 27) years on this planet as my own damn self and suddenly there is a 47” creature in charge of me?
2) He NEEDS his vegetables. Doesn’t he? Like, shouldn’t he?
3) If he doesn’t eat his vegetables it is a sure sign that he will wind up sitting on a couch playing video games, eating Taco Bell and Lucky Charms (out of the box!), and never move out of the basement or aspire to do anything with his life. Now I’m just being honest here people, this is where my mind goes.
Life with a burgeoning toddler is not straightforward at all. I can’t just say, “Dude, come on, don’t shake your head and throw your food on the floor. Eat it.” No, instead of this simple form of verbal communication I have to get dirty. That’s right. I need to trick him.
So today I am tricking him. I made something insanely delicious that he WILL EAT, and the catch is that it’s full of vegetables. Here it is, a mother’s revenge, a right-back-atcha toddler, a comment on the state of powerlessness we feel as parents: Chicken Burgers.
Chicken Burgers (Shhh – with veggies)
- Olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 3 medium carrots, peeled and grated
- 2 stalks of celery, diced
- 1 medium zucchini, diced
- 1 cup of peas
- 1 lb ground chicken or turkey
- 1 cup bread crumbs (I use spelt ones)
- 1 egg
- 2 tsp pesto (not necessary but super yummy, you can season however you’d like)
- 1 tsp sea salt
- pepper to taste
In a large frying pan, heat a glug of olive oil. Add garlic and let sizzle until fragrant. Add carrots, celery, zucchini, and peas, and cook until softened. Once soft, mash them just a tiny bit with a potato masher. Let cool.
Transfer veggies to a mixing bowl, add all other ingredients and mush the mix together with your hands.
Heat that frying pan again with some olive oil, shape the mixture into small patties, and cook on both sides for 3 minutes each side.
Serve with brown rice and a dollop of yogurt on the side.