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Kids and greens

(article, Carrie Floyd)

Three cheers for Mimi Sheraton and her post on Slate about the slimy business of vegetable trickery! A little background: Two books — one by Jessica Seinfeld (Jerry's wife) and one by  Missy Chase Lapine — were recently published on the subject of getting kids to eat more vegetables, even if it means disguising the vegetables in things like brownies. Instead of addressing who plagiarized whom, Sheraton says, "A plague on both their houses!"

I sympathize with what feels like a dilemma: getting kids to eat more vegetables. My son hates vegetables — even carrots. In fact, in my columns on the trials of feeding the family, I admit my concerns (and sometimes thieving ways).  What I've realized, though — thanks to my daughter and the passage of time — is that kids will come around.

My daughter turns 12 this week. Not so long ago, she scraped all the cheese off her pizza. Anything spicy was taboo. Vegetables weren't a problem; it was protein I worried about. Today she drinks milk (something she once refused) by the quart, helps herself to bowls of yogurt and honey, asks when we're going to go to the Spanish restaurant for "bird," and tries things like buffalo chili and pork tamales.

Was it something I did — or didn't do? This generation of parents seems especially fearful of not doing enough, even when it's the right thing to do. Instead we need to recognize what we've already done — provisioned and cooked the food — then leave well enough alone.