• Fri, Feb 7 - 12:20 pm ET

10 Wildly Unhealthy Ways To Get Your Kids To Eat Vegetables

kids vegetablesConvincing children to eat some vegetables instead subsisting solely off of string cheese and buttery noodles is an ancient struggle known by parents of picky eaters everywhere. What’s a desperado mom or dad supposed to do when their kid won’t shut up and eat the healthy food they’re given?

Apparently, one method that works (according to research from Arizona State University) is smothering boiled brussels in cream cheese before serving them to your child. In spite of the science implying that this trick helps kids develop a life-long taste for greens, it is disgusting. There are actually delicious ways to serve sprouts. Before reading about this study, I thought that boiling or steaming brussels sprouts was easily the worst way to prepare them, but I was totally wrong. The most foul way to cook brussels sprouts is to boil them and then cover them in cream cheese or ketchup. Not only will the sprouts taste gross, but they’ll be less healthy!

We came up with ten methods to get little ones to eat veggies…ten really unhealthy and potentially traumatizing methods.

Here are 10 seriously unhealthy ways to get your kids to eat their vegetables:

1.  In the spirit of Santa Claus and the boogie man, create a mythical creature that will give them nightmares. Make up a magical serial killer who comes to get kids with bad eating habits. Tell them tales of the horror and torture endured by kiddies who don’t eat their veggies. Get really gory so that they’ll fearfully shovel their tiny mouths full of kale.

2. Scam ‘em, scheme ‘em, flim-flam ‘em. It’s going to be a long con, but guarantee that if they eat their greens now, they will be rewarded handsomely in the future. Wave stacks of greenbacks in their face. A vegetable eaten is a dollar earned–by the time they figure out your long game, it will be too late they will have already consumed so much healthy produce.

3. Use love as leverage. Here’s a script: “Mommy and Daddy only love little boys and girls who eat vegetables. No more hugs, kisses or bedtime stories until you get your act together, little one. Eat the colorful and healthy roots and cruciferous greens on your plate or get the hell out of our house.” There’s no way this one will come back to bite you in the ass. 

4. Starve them Mommie Dearest (1981) style. They’ll eat the vegetables you give them or they’ll eat nothing at all. 

5. Cover them in melted chocolate or cheese. The children, not the vegetables. They’ll be so distraught, they’ll eat anything. Augustus Gloop learned his lesson after the chocolate river debacle, didn’t he? It’s the only thing crazier than covering produce in unhealthy foods in order to trick them into eating properly. Many people recommend smothering healthy vegetables, like burssel sprouts, in unhealthy foods, like cream cheese, in order to trick children into eating healthy foods. This trick is common and apparently works, even though it’s silly to render vegetables unhealthy. 

6. Show them a PETA video for how their chicken nuggets get made. Prepare bacon, a hamburger and a plate of chicken nuggets, then pair each food with an adorable stuffed animal of the creature it came from. They’ll have to eat their unfeeling broccoli rabe and eggplant because they’ll be too sad about the little chicks and piglets. 

7. Keep guilting them. Talk to them about the migrant works who picked those vegetables. People worked hard and suffered so that they could have three chunks of cauliflower. 

8. Tell outlandish lies about the magical properties of vegetables. Carrots will give you laser vision! Everyone who can slam dunk only can because they eat green beans! Find some clips of Popeye chugging spinach for back up. 

9. Kill yourself, make your dying wish “eat your vegetables.” High risk, high reward. This is a surefire way to traumatize your children into bending to your will. 

10. Talk to your kids about health. Teach them that vegetables can taste good and be nutritious if you find the ones you like and learn to prepare them well. Talk to your kids about how proper nutrition helps the human body run smoothly.Personally, I’m a big fan of veggies and I’m really glad I learned early on that they are delicious and feel good to eat.

Image via Shutterstock

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  • Robotic Arms Dealer

    2 words: Hypnotherapy

  • Kay_Sue

    #1…I might actually do that… #GradeAParent

    • Joanna Rafael

      Please let me know about the mythical creature you invent!

  • http://wtfihaveakid.blogspot.ca/ jendra_berri

    The only way I ever learned to like a number of vegetables was if they were coated in some sort of delicious sauce. Eventually I developed a taste for the actual vegetables underneath the sauce and go forgo the sauce altogether. There are many roads to Rome.

    • Joanna Rafael

      I like sauces more now than I did as a little kid, so I feel you!

  • Alfreda Wells Morrissey

    Please do an article an article on your delicious ways to make brussels sprouts. I always steam them and the kids and I hate them. I only cook them once in a while because my husband loves them. My kids eat them, but not without bitterly complaining, making faces, gagging etc.

    • Joanna Rafael

      It’s SO easy that steaming them is going to seem like a chore. I usually set my oven to around 450, then slice clean brussels sprouts in half, lube them up with an oil (coconut, olive, or a melted butter if I’m feeling frisky) then I spread them on a cookie sheet, add lots of salt (I prefer very coarse grey or pink salt) and pepper pop ‘em in the oven until they are as crispy as I want them to be (typically 30-40 minutes). Sometimes, I’ll chop up turkey bacon and throw that on top!

      The same method of just using salt, pepper and oil in the oven works for SO many veggies. It’s especially delicious and fast with asparagus because you don’t have to slice them in half and they hardly take any time to cook (10 minutes maybe).

    • Alfreda Wells Morrissey

      Thank you so much!! Definitely going to try this.

    • Joanna Rafael

      Let me know how it goes! I hope you and your kids like them!

  • Loor

    Maybe try this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stamppot . (Best served with bacon btw, sauce optional.) It’s how my parents made me try every vegetable you can used for those things. It also makes it easier to lie about what exactly the vegetables were. Except for the carrots and red cabbage of course, but those two were fan favorites at my house. If it’s green, lie away! Just keep up with which veggie you told your kids was which, or else you might get the awkward situation my mom had with me. She mixed up which veggie my brother liked with the one I liked. So when she told me I was eating spinach (which I hated) when it was really brussels sprouts (which my brother hates and I LOVE), an awkward silence fell over the table and hell broke loose. I got doubles that night.

  • Semrants

    I’m so confused!

    To Quote: 10. Talk to your kids about health. Teach them that
    vegetables can taste good and be nutritious if you find the ones you
    like and learn to prepare them well. Talk to your kids about how proper
    nutrition helps the human body run smoothly.

    This is unhealthy!?!

  • Breaker Tesste

    deep fry em or ranch dressing