Thank you Pinterest for making my preschooler want to eat broccoli.

There once was a time when I believed that my firstborn would happily gulp down juiced vegetables in her sippy cup.  That dream quickly ended with a lot of baby OxiClean. The kale colored stains proved how she truly felt about my concoctions.

There also once was a time when certain nannies in the park would make their little ones watch my sweet girl eat her daily bag of green pepper slices.”Look at the little girl with the vegetables!”  “Do you want to try one?”

Everything somehow changed somewhere in toddlerhood.

One of my hopes for my girl in this new year (and her fourth year of life) is to make help her willingly eat more vegetables. Although peas and corn are always a yes, small bites of green beans and broccoli have painstakingly been spoon-fed to her (sometimes involving bribery and always involving concern that I’m creating a cycle of detrimental food issues).  She loves to help mix chopped carrots, colorful peppers, squash, and other vegetables (the magic ingredients) into ground turkey meat and chicken cutlets – but eating them in their natural form has been an impossibility. As a person who eats salads daily, (and hasn’t touched red meat in over 12 years) I’m skeptical of the expert’s claim that healthy parental eating habits ensure offspring to follow suit.  In fact, I may even think it’s all a crock of beans.

I realized it was time to seriously step up the yum-factor in our house while looking at my daughter’s arsenal of vitamins, questioning if her tiny body actually absorbs any “phytonutrient-rich green superfoods” from the super green vitamin she’s been ingesting daily for the past two years. Real food is always better.

Then along came Pinterest, my latest obsession.  One of the first things I “pinned” was this great recipe for broccoli. I had serious faith in the “the best broccoli of your life” in my quest to revolutionize my kid’s diet. And guess what? She loved it. So much so that she kept picking pieces of broccoli off the pan and ate an entire bowl of it all by herself.  It really and truly was the best broccoli that I’ve ever had in my life. I think I’m going to try this recipe on cauliflower next.

In the meantime, I’m going to do whatever I can to keep my little guy loving his veggies.  I’m also going to continue to work on the yum-factor (among many other things) in 2012.

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