How to get your children to eat their vegetables–and LOVE them!

Involvement matters when it comes to children eating their vegetables. It’s true!

Our Little Sous has been complaining recently about not liking vegetables in his pasta. For a child that could literally eat pasta every single day of the week–in fact, he has!–that could easily add up to a serious dearth of greenery in his diet if I let it.

Enter this gorgeous green pesto! Made with fresh spinach, it blanketed our entire dinner in the most soothingly delicious way!

Orecchietti with Fresh Spinach Pesto & Ricotta
Orecchietti with Fresh Spinach Pesto & Ricotta


Now, some parents and dietitians will advocate for hiding or disguising vegetables in your children’s meals.

I vehemently disagree!!!

To me, it seems too much like lying, something else I absolutely do not advocate when communicating with children. It’s a slippery slope from sneaking stuff into their food to hiding other important and relevant information. This is not the example I choose to set for my child, or any other children (or adults, for that matter) with whom I work.

So, how did I encourage my son to eat his vegetables on this particular evening? I invited him to cook with me, of course!!!


He rinsed the spinach in the colander, grated the cheese, and had an absolute BLAST whirring all of the ingredients for this pesto sauce in the food processor. Don’t have one? No worries! We’ve also had just as much fun grinding up the same ingredients over the years using an old fashioned mortar & pestle with a hefty dose of elbow grease!


Of course, he diligently tasted every single ingredient along the way, as always. He declared the mixture “gross” when it was just plain spinach and a touch of olive oil. Nevertheless, I purposely didn’t try to dissuade him from sampling at every step in the process. How else will he learn that the true magic is only evident when *all* of the components have come together in their intended ratios.

The pleasantly surprised look on his face when he finally declared the finished pesto “tasty” was music to my eyes! Needless to say, he inhaled his dinner with delight!!!


Our Little Sous' Pesto Pasta
Our Little Sous enjoys his own homemade Pesto Pasta!

All of my gardening friends tell me that their children eat fresh vegetables because they grow fresh vegetables. I’m here to say that children who prepare fresh vegetables also eat fresh vegetables! Having a hand in the selection AND preparation gives them incredible ownership over the finished dish. They can’t wait to taste what they’ve made, AND they  LOVE  to share their finished dishes with those they adore!!!

Now that fall is in full swing, we’re doing loads with colorful cucurbits in Our Kitchen Classroom. You know, gourds, pumpkins, zucchini, the whole fun family of familiar fall vegetables are making their presence known.

What better time than to jump into our seasonal Pumpkin Pie & Pastry Course?!?!?!

? Honor our ancestors by cooking from scratch!
? Honor the land by selecting locally-grown produce!
? Learn techniques to develop the deepest, richest flavors!
? Prepare your own Pumpkin Pie Spice, too!!!

Give yourself AND your children a gift that will keep on giving all year long!
Register now.

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