Can a FROZEN song get my kid to eat veggies?

We try.  Really hard.  And we are failing. Hard.

We’ve read books, watched documentaries, asked all of our friends, even befriended someone called the Food Babe, in our quest to eat healthy.
We’ve learned we live in a world where food is rarely real food anymore.  Something as harmful as Macaroni and Cheese has PETROLEUM in it, a lot of supermarket cheese has cellulose (wood pulp), bread frequently has an additive used in yoga mats, and vanilla ice cream is often sweetened by Castoreum.
Castoreum is a Beaver’s Anal Glands.
Armed with all this information for over a year, we should be telling you a grand success story: That our family is eating nothing but real food, and that our children are super healthy.
The truth is, this is a lot harder than we thought it would be.  Why? because our 4-year old’s favorite foods are the ones we just mentioned. Mac and cheese, pizza, bread and ice cream.
If you’re scoring at home that’s petroleum, wood pulp, yoga mat and beaver anus.
Those organic apples, peas, and sprouted grain breads? We put them on his plate every night. He sniffs them out like a hound dog and turns up his nose.
Don’t get us wrong, Penn Charles is a great kid… good-natured, happy,  but maddeningly picky.  His occasional tantrums, we fear, are made worse by a diet that’s about as wholesome as Cinemax after midnight.

As a family that has watched Frozen 100 times and listened to the soundtrack another 12,596 times, we now equate our nightly plight to get him to eat to Anna, knocking on that door, ever so sweetly trying to coax her sister to break out of the rut and join her in a better, healthier life.
And that’s why we had to make this song.. Who knows? He’s such a Frozen addict, maybe this’ll get him to eat Broccoli.

DO you have any ideas to help us? Please leave them in comments.

116 thoughts on “Can a FROZEN song get my kid to eat veggies?

  1. Perhaps a visit from the Super Market Fairy will help! It’s working for these kids 🙂 I make Fruits and Veggies cool. Parents have a hard job, no matter what you say kids will not be on board, but when it comes from a stranger with WINGS on something changes. I’m getting kids to choose more fruits and veggies and opt for water over fruit juice. That’s HUGE. So invite me to your home or school today! Here’s the fairy in action… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zbQ5ho74Q7A

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  2. I am a pediatric Occupational Therapist who specializes in feeding therapy. There is difference between PICKY eating and RESISTIVE eating. Resistive eaters are those who limit there diet to such little foods that they are missing out on essential nutrients. Resistive eaters can also have issues with texture (but not always). A great way to work with a resistive eater is to take the pressure off. Let him explore veggies while playing. We often “paint” using different veggies as the brush. Let him explore their texture with his hands and body, then we work towards smelling and licking, then taking a bite and spitting it out, and finally, chewing and swallowing (its basically desensitizing them). Its a slow process but it WORKS!!!! I also recommend starting with one food at a time. Of course, I am not saying your son is a resistive eater. Just wanted to throw it out there that there is a difference and some kids limit there diet for reasons that are not behavioral (there are usually underlying sensory processing issues). For these kids, they can take limiting their diet to a whole other level than just a picky preschooler! On a side note, I also am a huge fan of JUICE PLUS. It completely changed the health of my own young children. Great video…VERY CUTE 🙂

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  3. Loved your clip as our 4 year old is the same – ongoing since weaning. He regularly goes to bed hungry. It’s very hard and he’ll only eat certain food if he is hungry enough. At one point around 2nd birthday would only eat crackers and yoghurt so saw doctor who basically said to starve him until he ate. He doesn’t eat fruit or vegetables, but he will eat the baby food fruit pouches (red flavour only) and tomato soup. As a family we have also tried to cut out all processed food. If you don’t buy it he can’t eat it. So now he eats a few things – bolognaise sauce, homemade burgers eg chicken beef or lamb mince, scrambled eggs, tomato soup, baby fruit pouches, raisins, chicken soup. Also pasta and rice, fish fingers, chicken nougats, sausages. Won’t touch bread unless toasted, won’t eat any sandwich fillings. Loves crackers but try to restrict to rice and corn cakes. It’s so hard, have tried everything – him shopping, him cooking. Even said I’d buy him his own iPad if he ate fruit. Won’t help from stranger – promised his kindergarten a train set if they get him to eat fruit but they can’t do it either.

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  4. Try making popsicles from freshly blended fruit and include the kids in the prep.
    It usually a texture issue. My daughter will eat spinach fritters. I also sneak in almond flour and whole wheat flour when making pancakes. There is a great book on amazon.com called ” candy andy” and it focuses on color based food themes.

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  5. A friend of mine got his boys to eat brocolli by having them pretend they were giants eating “trees.” They loved the game. I used to make smoothies to get fruit into my little one and often they included cooked carrots. I put mushed peas in the spaghetti sauce, blended up fine. That worked too. And lastly, sweet potatoe pie made with honey was a hit.

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  6. It is a relief that this video was filmed with everyone in good humor. Unfortunately, some families struggle with REAL food fights and I’ve seen video of parents trying to feed a “picky eater” with the child screaming, not laughing. They are heart-wrenching to watch. I am a Registered Dietitian and recommend a magnificent resource that every parent should know about. She is also a Registered Dietitian and an expert in the “feeding relationship” between parents and children. Check out this website– http://www.ellynsatterinstitute.org/ –and look for the information about the “Division of Responsibility in Feeding.” In a very small nutshell, parents’ responsibility is to PROVIDE nutritious food and it is up to the child to decide whether or not to eat it. Parents who cross this line and try to bribe, coerce, or force a child to eat something they don’t want to often end up doing more harm than good.

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  7. Three ideas: 1. Give allowance at every meal to each child. Your daughter will get more stars/money because she is eating valuable foods. Pay one star/penny for poor choices and a quarter (more stars) for veggies (and whatever else is good for him). 2. Simply don’t prepare or offer foods that you don’t want him to eat. If a child can choose between pizza and broccoli, the broccoli will lose. What if he can choose between broccoli, a veggie smoothie, and many other veggies? 3. Turn every meal into a colorful event. Place bowls of mashed cooked beans, hard boiled eggs chopped fine, tuna, cooked bacon chopped fine, many varieties of chopped veggies like tomatoes, carrots, kale, broccoli, cauliflower, onion, green pepper, (grate or chop them very fine to make them easy to chew and lightly steamed), shredded cheese (add into the mix only after he starts eating veggies), any sauce or topping you’d like (salsa, sour cream, nacho-style homemade cheese topping, and a base to wrap your food in…a cabbage leaf or healthy tortilla (coconut flour), lettuce leaf, kale. He doesn’t have to eat the onion. You’re introducing him to the idea of eating a wide variety of veggies and setting an example by eating these. If this fun way of eating is the only option, he will get hungry enough after a few meals to eat something and more as he sees this is his only option. (But I want mac & cheese…”We don’t have money to buy macaroni and cheese anymore honey”). If he doesn’t want to eat, don’t force him. Just have him sit at the table and watch the rest of the family having fun making and eating their roll ups. It’s his choice to join in or go away from the table hungry. When he says he is hungry later…the same wonderful veggie/meat wraps that he can make himself are offered.

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  8. Corn fritters are kid friendly and you can grate up carrot, pumpkin, zucchini etc and add that in there. Spaghetti and meatballs you can grate veges or apple, or add in lentils to the meat balls, and puree some extra veges into the sauce. Make little pies or meatloaf in muffin tins (hide the veges) kids love food presented in mini versions.

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  9. We occassionally have our kids eat blindfolded (in a fun way) , so they can’t see items and ‘think’ they’re yucky w/o trying them. Guess what – most of the time it’s GOOD and they end up shocked at what it is or what it looks like.
    Best one is spinach and fruit smoothies. They taste like popsicles and look like….well, they look bad.
    Hope this helps!

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  10. My golden rules for my 4 year and what I tell my clients is

    1. Blend
    2. Puree
    3. Mash
    4. Hide

    If something is blended or pureed you can hide it in pasta sauce, meat, soups etc.

    Check out my website (in the process of getting re-designed this week) http://www.thenewhealthieryou.ca for various tips and recipes in the kids corner .

    Also, feel free to sign up for the newsletter to be updated about FREE monthly webinars. In the next few months I will be doing a topic on picky eaters .

    Maria

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  11. French Kids Eat Everything. Great book on how to introduce flavours before textures and get even the pickiest kids to eat their veggies.

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    • Ha ha ha! Actually, they don’t. You should see the “b”-face my four-year-old French daughter pulls when she detects the presence of something green on her plate. For some reason, she will eat ANYTHING for Grandmere, though.

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  12. Hillarious! Love it! Fun family you are! You’d be entertainment enough for my kids to eat veggies. Good luck…it’ll happen…perhaps starve him?! If my kids are hungry enough they’ll try what’s on the counter (usually veggies and healthy stuff) if they’re hungry enough. Know this…his very tenacious character will get him far in life later on 😉

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  13. We love “not so green” smoothies!! They are green smoothies without the color green! Just like others have said we use dark colored berries like blueberries and raspberries to cover up the green. I have tricked my 4 yr old nephew into downing this smoothie before lol! Also add about a tbsp of cocoa to make it chocolate flavored if u want. Love it! A healthy way to satisfy their, and your, chocolate cravings!
    Our recipe: (totally guessing on portions…but it is probably close)
    1 cup spinach
    1/2 c kale (optional. Does affect texture. But if blended very well can sort of hide it)
    1 cup unsweetened almond milk, coconut milk or unsweetened juice
    1/4 c plain Greek yogurt
    1-2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa (if craving) 😉
    1 scoop vanilla protein powder
    1/2-1 c frozen mixed berries (bag from Costco works great. I believe it is Blueberries, raspberries and strawberries)
    Chia seeds if u are feeling adventerous (2 tbsp)…blend well if so!
    1 banana

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  14. My 3 year old is the same. He used to be much easier with eating, but changed. I solved the veggie problem with blended soup, biological ingredients, home made pizza with tiny pieces of vegetables (big amounts) and all biological. Even the flour is bio. He still refuses the veggies with rice of potatoes but in soup and on a pizza it works. If he doesn’t want to eat, I am not going to force it upon him. His siblings dare him not to eat his food and that works too sometimes. “You are not going to eat that, are you? Don’t you dare eat those veggies, I want them more than you!” And sometimes it works. We don’t offer anything else, I refuse to give him rubbish food. If he doesn’t eat, he doesn’t eat. He still does his thing fine on the toilet so I stopped making a fuss. I hope he will start eating again some day. As long as he grows and doesn’t get colds all the time I will not force him. You can give him certain Bio vitamins if you are afraid of a shortage. Good luck! Your film was great ;o)
    many greetings, Judith from the Netherlands

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  15. When my kids where little, I blended up about 15 different raw veggies with some chicken broth in the blender until is was a purée. Then I put just a little bit in things like spaghetti sauce, meatloaf, and anything that has sauces and gravies. If you do just a little bit at each meal, then they won’t know it’s there. In the video, it looked like an awful lot of veggie purée in that Mac and cheese. I think the trick is to do less but make sure it’s in every meal. And don’t buy things like ice cream, chicken nuggets, and Mac and cheese. If its not in the house, he can’t eat it.
    Also, my kids really learned to like veggies when we started growing them. They help in the garden, help harvest and cook them, and it has made them more willing to try them. I also put a little lemon pepper seasoning on broccoli and my kids love it.

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  16. Challenge your kids! Make fajitas and have a few bowls with different veggies on the table and challenge them. Saying let’s how big you can make your fajiita or I dare you to eat 5 veggies.
    Try it!

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  17. Introduce your children to green smoothies. Sweet fruits, like bananas, mangos, grapes, milk and a handful of greens. My favorite is one frozen banana, 1 cup almond milk, 2-3 large strawberries, handful spinach, sweetener to taste. Ad ice cubes if you want it thicker and colder.
    It taste like ice cream. You can call it a green monster smoothie. Once they get used to that, you can adjust fruit/ veg ratio, adding more greens, red pepper, carrot or anything sweet! Good luck!

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  18. Well I don’t have any helpful hints since Hubby & I are now raising our pretty lil toddler ourselves. We just keep eating healthy ourselves and offer it to her, even if she tastes it and spits it out we praise her for trying it, then we re-introduce it next week and so on. Its not a guarantee fix but we feel at some point she may want to eat it lol But I loved your video and shared it with everyone I know, truly amazing and I giggled so hard I cried 🙂 Thank you!!

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  19. Please subscribe to our feed burner. I’m a pediatrician (aka Doctor Yum) who has a blog, nonprofit and pediatrics practice all about good health through great eating habits. Check out my post coming up this week on “Tasting Time.” My websites are doctoryum.com and yumpediatrics.com. I teach lots of classes with preschoolers and have great results getting kids to try new healthy foods!

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  20. My daughter who I thought would have become a chicken nugget by now, she is 18, has been drinking green smoothies for a year now!! It has apple juice, frozen fruit (Tropical Medley fromKroger), one banana, Chia seeds and a couple of handfuls of spinach. This is very sweet (she has a major sweet tooth and likes to each ice cream about every night…Vanilla, none the less). It probably is “too” sweet, but she gets fruits AND vegetables in with a superfood of Chia seeds. Try it!! It is green, so you can call it HULK juice or something!

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  21. We have a juicer and I juice kale, spinach, carrots, beets, etc- with an apple and/or pear. Then put it in a non see-through cup (ours is Lightning McQueen with a lid and a straw). My 2 yr old, green food hater, will drink juice. Food Babe has good juicing info on her website. You can start out heavier on the fruit and slowly switch over to a higher veggie to fruit ratio as he gets used to it. Spinach is practically tasteless in juice. It DOES take alot of veggies to make juice though (downside). We buy in bulk at costco and grow our own.

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  22. What about trying a nutribullet? A lot of folk swear by these blenders which absolutely liquefy all fruit and veg – including celery – with no bits.
    Get the proportion of fruit and veg right and they can be nice sweet smoothies!
    Far easier to get kids to drink their fruit and veg and there’s no loss of fibre or vitamins. In fact, it could even be better as all veg can go in raw!
    Try gross colors for boys (lots of green veg!) or add ice cream for a special treat.

    Good luck and keep up the good work!

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  23. If your son won’t drink green smoothies for the color, add raw cacao or cocoa powder to make it a chocolate-y brown color. Maple syrup or banana will cover the taste. It’s not beige but at least it’s not green…

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  25. I add veggies in to (no sugar) cupcakes, puree veg to make a homemade pizza/pasta sauce (which my daughter believes comes from Ikea – as she liked the pasta sauce there!) and brownies out of sweet potato, oh and pure vegetable soup – pasta shapes can be added or the soup can be used as a pasta sauce. Finely grated veg in bolognaise/homemade burgers etc.

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  26. “Eat healthy Feel great” by Dr William Sears is another good book–it teaches kids about red light/green light foods and empowers them to make their own decisions about what’s best to eat. I’m also an advocate of Juice Plus–fruits and veggies in capsules or chewables–to fill in the gaps in our diets. It’s whole food not a supplement. Feel free to check out http://www.juicepluswithme.com and click on the children’s health study tab at the top.

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  27. I was reminded in a toast at our daughter’s wedding that I guilted my kids into eating vegetables. Me: “Your peas are crying, weeping even! ‘PLEEEEEASE eat me!'” Allison (or Andrew): “Okay peas, I’ll eat you!” (If Andrew — eating resulted in gagging but oh well, they went down the hatch…)

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  28. Hey Penn–we make Harper cook her own food when she gets too picky. And only give her vegies to cut up and eat. That’s about the only thing that seems to work! PS You make my day every time you get some ridiculous Earworm stuck in my head. xx Maribeth

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  29. You folks need your own t.v. program. You make us laugh. Where are the producers….they should be banging on your door. Please don’t stop..your videos are precious.

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  30. Hello!

    I haven’t made it through all the comments yet, but thought I would let you know what I’ve actually tried myself. I have always been a super picky eater up into my mid twenties – mostly because I come from an Italian American family background and all we ever ate were carbs and meat.

    I would suggest a couple of things – I know that actions really do speak louder than words with kids, and sometimes I can at least get my son to TRY something because he sees me eating it and wants to mimic.

    Another idea is to just start introducing things in with what your kids want to eat. (Mac n Cheese and Broccoli for example. I hate that combo but know a lot of people who love it) and gradually increase the wholesome parts until maybe your children are happy eating the wholesome food on its own.

    Finally, you could maybe try to figure out what your kids love so much about those foods. Is it the texture? Do they like it because it’s salty or sweet or savory? Do they like the cheese because it feels rich and creamy in their mouths? I used to work for a health food manuf. and “mouth feel” was a big deal for them. People are pretty picky about how things feel in their mouth.

    Once you know what it is they like about these foods, you could try finding healthier alternatives that look, feel, or taste similar.

    Finally, and I know this is a very labor intensive and messy alternative, but…

    You COULD also try your own from scratch versions using whole ingredients – this depends on time that you have a available, and what you can make in advance. If you can involve your kids in the process they’d probably be entertained AND invested in eating the outcome.

    Obviously getting the pasta into the right shape and size might be hard but if the kids help to make it, they might just be ok eating it anyways. I haven’t tried to make my own cheese sauce (I’m not a cheese person really) but I know that you can make some tasty alternatives to the processed stuff. They might not be as healthy as you’d like, but at least won’t have petroleum in them. They also have cheese making kits that you can get – and making cheese is a surprisingly simple process for some common cheeses most of us enjoy.

    Pizza crust is not hard to make. I have an italian recipie that uses 5 ingredients, and you can always experiment with available organic flours to see what you like best. The only issue with anything yeasty is that it has the best handling when it’s fresh.

    And of course there are a lot of ways to make ice cream. 🙂

    Honestly as a mother who works long hours and needs to stretch her buck, I totally understand this plight. My son is only a year, but I’m already seeing the signs. I think a big part of it is about the habits he’s forming before we’re even aware – and that we can’t monitor him every minute of the day. I definitely don’t have a lot of time to make things like this from scratch, so for now try to save them for only special occasions.

    But I’m sure I’ll be you in a year or two. 🙂 I wish you LOTS of luck.

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