The War on Vegetables

by naturalkidz on November 14, 2012

Article Written by Sara Stees

Did you know that the average American kid only eats somewhere between 1-3 servings of vegetables per day? (Depending on which source you read.)  And that even includes those gregarious “vegetables” known as French fries! AUGH!

Since my husband and I are vegetarians, we figured the odds would be tipped in our favor that our five-year old daughter and infant son would beat those odds and enjoy a healthful, veggie-rich diet.  Luckily our daughter does like some vegetables and our son, at nine months, will eat ANYTHING you give him!

However, we still felt we could do so much more.  We really wanted our daughter to branch out of her “steamed-only” vegetables repertoire. We craved for more options of foods to eat while dining out, other than just plain pasta. We needed to do something – something BIG and enduring, something to open her taste buds to the rest of the vegetable world. Yet, being that our vegetarian household had been transformed into a now nearly-vegan household (thanks to a breastfed baby who doesn’t tolerate dairy or soy), this was going to prove not only challenging, but down right epic!

So we declared an all-out war, armed with what we now term as “no-thank-you” bites. We took up arms in the form of small bites of whatever creative dish we made. We enlisted recipes from vegan cookbooks and the internet. We bought food we had never heard of and added things we couldn’t pronounce. We were bound and determined to win this war.

But, as far as she was concerned, we had drawn battle lines that she had NO intentions of coming close to. She certainly did not heed our call to arms. She even had a little dance she did to get those no-thank-you bites to go down.

Slowly, though, our daughter started to come around. Little by little, the dance was needed less often. Sometimes, she would sit and stare the enemy in the face; perhaps even dare to sit with the ammo of couscous and asparagus.

The other day, our daughter took up arms – all on her own – and declared her own war against the typical American diet. Armed with a quinoa burger and a homemade vegetarian spring roll, she struck down that tasteless American statistic. Delivering blow after blow, she declared that not only were these momma-made spring rolls “her most favorite thing EVER”, but that the quinoa burger was really quite tasty -especially when one adds ketchup!


The ultimate blow came the other night. Being the “snack time hostess” at her Montessori preschool/Kindergarten, she enlisted the help of those veggie spring rolls and decided to take the battle to school – those spring rolls were going to be her snack for the class.  I had to laugh while making them. Not only is MY kid (who lived on pasta and cottage cheese for quite some time) taking VEGGIE rolls to school – they are HOMEMADE BY ME! A mom who formerly had virtually NO RELATIONSHIP with her stove! – NONE! Crazy!

We declared it a victory for us both!

We even made a few extra, so she and I could share in our spoils of war – together!

Do your kids enjoy eating vegetables?  What are their favorites?


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