Teach Eat Love

The day my kids ate radishes {and lived to tell the tale}

This might be a kids’ healthy eating blog, but let me dispel the idea if anyone thinks my kids are perfect little gourmands: they are not.

healthy recipes for kids

This is Hallie. She’s five, and she loves cookies, ice cream, and strawberries.

When we were converting a box into a space ship yesterday, she asked for food dispensers for her intergalactic travels. She wanted machines that produced cookies, donuts, and – this cracked me up – risotto.

If left to her own devices, she’d happily eat sweets all day.

kid-friendly recipes

This is Corrie. She is my sweet little bald baby, and she’s very proud of this hat since it gives her hair.

To be totally honest, she’s just a food monster and will eat almost anything I put in front of her, so long as she can chew it. She’s at that sweet spot when almost all foods are new and exciting, and she hasn’t really earned to be picky yet.

There are a few vegetables that Hallie hasn’t touched at lunch or dinner. Despite cutting them in to clever shapes or skewering them with animal shaped bento picks, she won’t touch radishes or cucumbers.

kid-friendly vegetable recipes

Then, on one fateful night in January, dinner was late. It was just one of those days with an errand filled afternoon and a dinner that got started later than usual. Based on the whining that ensued, you’d have thought I told me girls that they wouldn’t ever be allowed to wear pink, eat ice cream, or watch Frozen ever again.

It was, in short, the worst thing that could happen to them, and one of the many reasons I am the meanest mom.

I have a pretty strict no snacking rule before meals, but when the whining hit a fever pitch, I threw in the towel and opened the fridge. It was the night before I go to the farmers’ market, so we were out of the fruit and “good” vegetables I might’ve given them. All we had were – get ready for it – radishes and a cucumber.

Radishes? A cucumber? Oh, the humanity!

But I thought if they were hungry enough, they’d eat them. So, I seeded the cucumber to make it slightly less offensive, sliced the vegetables, and sprinkled them with Maldon Sea Salt Maldon sea salt. (Sidebar: This is the best salt ever. If you haven’t tried it, please order some as soon as possible).

healthy snack ideas

Like you might frantically throw some food in the path of a bear that has started chasing you in order to distract it, I tossed the vegetables into the living room where they were playing and scurried away. Almost miraculously, the whining stopped. My wild animals  children were circling it, trying to figure out if it was indeed edible.

Warily, my oldest picked up a wedge of cucumber, sniffed it, and popped it in her mouth. I waited with baited breath.

“Thank you, Mama!”

“Um. You’re welcome. I’m glad you like them. Try the radishes, too – I think you’ll like them.”

“Okay.” (pause) “I do! They’re really crunchy.”

I thought that even if the crudités fill them up for dinner, at least they filled up on vegetables. But, because my children had evidently accepted a dare to eat us out of house and home that day, they each tucked away two helpings of Perfect Roast Chicken, root vegetables, and brown rice.

So here’s when I learned: most of the time, kids will eat when they’re hungry. And they’re much less picky about what they eat when they’re hungry.

The next time dinner’s running late, I will nudge a plate of vegetables over to my hungry monsters, and see if it comes back clean.

(This is my own opinion – the lovely people at Maldon sea salt have no idea who I am, but their product is freaking awesome. If you order from the link below, I’ll get a small portion of it, which goes to help maintain this website).

kid-friendly vegetable recipes




Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.