Hiding vegetables within foods is seen as the perfect solution for parents who struggle to get their kids to eat vegetables. After all, kids eat vegetables, parents know their kids are eating veggies, kids don't know they're eating veggies. Everybody is happy.
The fact that Bob Harper offered this advice on "The Biggest Loser" last week is no surprise. The added emphasis of "I don't know what else to do" was amplified by Harper and Biingo's mother, Michelle. Of course, we don't know what else michelle or her husband or Bob for that matter have done with Biingo, but that isn't "important."
On television, the parents tell Biingo what they've done, though they are beaming at the idea that he might be eating vegetables. Of course, since Michelle is cramming in 5 different vegetables into the meatloaf, even Biingo suspects something is going on.
Still Biingo eats his veggies, everybody is happy, now on to Jillian yelling at an adult.
"The Biggest Loser" wanted to take this opportunity to help kids overcome childhood obesity this season. We've seen the families throw out "bad" food, but have spent little time on "good" food.
Biingo hadn't eaten a lot of vegetables because he didn't like the taste of them. And he clearly didn't know much about them since he admitted that he thought broccoli was created in a factory. Some vegetables are an acquired taste, some vegetables never get there, and some vegetables can taste better in a different context.
You might gag on raw mushrooms, but love sauteed mushrooms with garlic and shallots. You might hate asparagus out of a can, but like steamed asparagus tips with melted butter.
Getting vegetables into kids is not the same as getting kids to eat vegetables. Both are important, but one is a short-term accomplishment while the other is a lifelong skill that you could be teaching your children.
If you choose to hide vegetables, try 1-2 at a time, not 5. Make them difficult to find (texture is very important to how much a food is liked). Tell your child when you are doing this. Do not lie or misinform.
But also, get your kid to actively like eating 5 vegetables. If your child likes lettuce and tomato, that is 2 out of 5. Even if you child tries 12 vegetables, hates 6 and likes 6, you have 6 vegetables that the child will eat. While your child may someday like some vegetables they hate now, they won't give up vegetables they like now.