Barb hates vegetables.
When Barb was a baby, she ate everything and anything. She was born a healthy 9.4lbs, so I’m assuming she was probably just craving all the shortbread cookies and endless tubs of bubblegum ice cream I’d consumed during pregnancy….daily.
Once she hit Kindergarten, I’ve been faced with the challenges of feeding this little hooligan. If you ask Barb what her favorite foods are, she’d reply: “Candy and bread.” Errrr.
I love, almost, all food. Anything I cook, I am met with the “Anddd, you expect me to eat this?” look from little Barb Marley.
I’ll make grilled chicken with freshly steamed veggies and garlic bread for dinner, and Barb will eat two or three bites of chicken (dipped in ketchup. GROSS) and then chow down on the entire loaf of garlic bread. She dislikes almost all healthy foods.
This is a daily struggle in our home and the kid needs to EFFIN EAT. I bought this book and read it to her, but it didn’t help. Maybe I should have had Samuel L. Jackson read it to her. His voice is a lot more authoritative than mine.
We’ve gotten out of our routine being on summer break, but seeing that a new school year is quickly approaching, I was delighted when this new company, Vegy Vida , reached out to me.
After hounding them with a million questions (in my typical nature), I had enough details on Vegy Vida that made me want to give them a try:
– Their products do not contain any artificial ingredients, colors, or harmful chemicals.
– They are a small business trying to set up shop–which was a BIG one for me.
– Their product isn’t just some regular dipping sauce you can steal from Chick Fil A. Vegy Vida has actually created a formula that reduces the bitterness of vegetables, all while incorporating a small amount of olive oil to “assist in the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins naturally occuring in vegetables.” So basically, it’s not some crap loaded with sugar (LIKE KETCHUP) that you’re adding to your kids food.
– Vegy Vida is GLUTEN FREE! I cannot tell you how many of my friends, their children, and family members are on gluten free diets. I’ve heard that eliminating gluten from your diet can do wonders, and I’ve even thought about doing it in our own home. I’ve also heard that finding products that are gluten free can be somewhat daunting.
– And lastly, they taught me something! Did you know that kids have three times the amount of taste buds than we do? So, when you think about it, my loving brussle sprouts and Barb hating them, well, it makes sense because they taste completely different to her, WHO KNEW?!
Alright, so armed with this information, Barb and I decided to do a FOOD CHALLENGE! If you’ve followed my blog or Facebook page, you know Barb LOVES food challenges (remember the Jelly Belly “Bean Boozled Challenge“?)
My goal was to grab vegetables from the store that I know she wouldn’t normally eat, and also incorporate a few that she does enjoy– carrots. Okay, so ONE vegetable she will eat, carrots.
So, I started with both vegetables that you can eat raw, and vegetables that need to be cooked in some capacity. I sliced and diced and made a colorful assortment of fun veggies.
I put the green beans, butternut squash, and (some) broccoli in the bottom of my dual steamer, and then I put the squash in the top (since it cooks faster) of my steamer. I was certain to cut everything in to fun sizes and shapes because…kids. Yes, because kids are weird and will eat things if they are sliced into fun shapes. I’m willing to bet that’s how the damn bento box was created. I digress…
So, after my “need to be cooked to eat” veggies were done, I collected them, along with the raw veggies, and set up a fun little table assortment for Barb to do her challenge.
Armed with bell peppers of three varieties, cauliflower, broccoli, a variety of organic carrots, three types of squash, and green beans, we were READY FOR THE CHALLENGE!
And then a small diversion…because we forgot….
Once Pablo Escobar joined the party (AKA “Hablo Eskimo”), we were REALLY ready. So, off we went…
So, in short, our finding were that Barb now LOVES butternut squash. She dipped the butternut squash in Vegy Vida’s ‘Ranch’ and ‘Garlic Bread,’ and then proceeded to eat all the squash. I had to tell her to slow her roll as we still had a few others to try. She then went on to eat red peppers dipped in ‘Macaroni & Cheese,’ Green Beans dipped in ‘Ranch’ and ‘Pepperoni Pizza,’ and I even got her to eat zucchini(!!!) dipped in the Vegy Vida ‘Garlic Bread.’
It’s funny, after we were done, Barb sat with the dinosaur at the table for a bit while I cleaned up the mess I’d made in the kitchen to put the challenge together; I peered over and saw Barb eating the remaining peppers, squash and a handful of carrots.
I came to a realization–kids LOVE to dip their food into…anything. Barb eats Ketchup with chicken. Why? Because she likes to dip it into the little container I give her to dip it with. I totally get it; my favorite part of Chick Fil A is their sauce selection. I purposefully order those bitty nuggets just so I can dip them in the 7 different sauces they offer; this is the exact same thing. However, these are healthy sauces/dips, and they encourage your youngin’s to try new things. I cannot tell you the last time I’ve seen Barb eat a green bean, or SQUASH.
This company is awesome and I highly encourage you to check them out and, if you are able, make a donation to their Kickstarter campaign. Being a small business owner myself, I know the lengths one must go to in order to make even the smallest dent in the business market.
Infiltrating the food market is incredibly diffficult seeing the MEGA corporations that own the majority of the brands we house in our pantries. They riddle their products (the ones we feed our children) with chemicals and artificial flavors so A) they have a long shelf-life and B) they taste good.
Unfortunately, this leaves little space for the smaller guys who actually invest time, money, and in this product’s case, the food-science education this founder spent years cultivating to subsequently come up with a product that would actually benefit not only us parents (by making our lives easier), but our children. This is a much healthier alternative to the ranch you buy off the shelf at the grocery store, or a bottle of sugar-filled ketchup to dip, in Barb’s case, YOUR CHICKEN (gross).
As always, if you enjoyed this post, please give your pal a vote! xo-Smash