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"disguising healthy foods"

Can someone explain to me how hiding healthy foods in unhealthy foods is a good idea?

I personally do not feel that hiding healthy foods is good. It does not teach a child how to make healthy choices. To me its as if the mom is sacrificing long term health for today's convenience. I know its not easy to get kids to eat healthy all the time. But as type 1 diabeties runs in my hsubands family, I feel that it is exptreamly improtant for me to raise my children in a way that IF they were ever to be diagnosed with type 1, then they will not have to go through the shock of transforming their lives as my husband did.

I have seen thing "disguising" method recommended on here many times... personally I find it shocking every time I see questions like "my toddler won't eat healthy foods".

Your thoughts?


Asked by daughteroftruth at 4:15 PM on Feb. 8, 2011 in Parenting Debate

Level 19 (7,602 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (22)
  • No kid has starved to death in front of a full plate of food. If they are offered healthy food, they will eat healthy food. If they know that whining, complaining, temper tantrums, and the like will result in different (and unhealthy) food, then that's what they'll do.

    I find that the people who resort to this are typically attempting to change what they normally serve at home. My kids grew up eating veggies, whole grain and well balanced meals. They understand that a vegetable adorns every dinner plate and that a serving of fruit goes with breakfast. It's how they've been raised.


    Answer by Dr.Donna at 4:25 PM on Feb. 8, 2011

  • My thought:

    If it gets them to eat the veggies without a fight then that is what I do. My children help me cook, just because they cant "see" the veggie in its real shape doesn't mean they don't know it isnt in the food.

    Also, most kids will go through phases where they don't wnat to eat specific foods. So why not hide it so they get the nutrition they need? They will eventually grow out of that phase.

    Answer by Soniam301 at 4:21 PM on Feb. 8, 2011

  • Anon never said she didn't feed her kids healthy foods. She just said she didn't see a problem with getting it into her kid while hiding it.

    Answer by CraftingMama at 4:25 PM on Feb. 8, 2011

  • I'm not super mom. I'm happy with what I can get into my kid. That's my thought.

    Answer by Anonymous at 4:20 PM on Feb. 8, 2011

  • We do use 'disguised foods BUT not because my kids won't eat them alone. It cuts the meat out of meat loaf it cuts the carbs in Mashed potatoes. It adds some nutritional value to Mac and cheese... The doesn't mean we don't serve veggies alone but it is healthier in general to mix some veggies, pureed or not into your regular meals.  So disguiseing is not always a way to 'make' kids eat there veggies.  Sometimes it is family health choice.  I also agree kids should eat what they are offered.  If they are offered a good variety of healthy food they will learn to eat them.  This is way a polite no thank you bite is required of my kids for every item on their plate.  Taste change all the time so I want them to be used to trying things over and over.  I can't tell you how many no thank you bites have eventually turned into full servings.


    Answer by But_Mommie at 4:38 PM on Feb. 8, 2011

  • I agree. I have never tried to hide foods, even when making casseroles. My kids, more often than not, choose healthy foods over junk food; when given the choice. HOW are they supposed to know what healthy food looks like if it's always hiding in other stuff. Many a meal we tell our 7 and 4 year olds to eat their meat and they can have more veggies/fruits.

    Answer by Rosehawk at 4:20 PM on Feb. 8, 2011

  • I think it's important to teach your kids to eat healthy, but at the same time it's also important to show them that things can be made in a more healthy way. If you make a cake recipe and replace the oil with applesauce are you hiding applesauce or making a less fatty cake? If you replace half the flour in a cookie recipe with whole wheat flour, are you hiding the whole wheat or just making a better cookie? You wouldn't top a giant cupcake with a strawberry and call it fruit, just like you can't take two bites of broccoli and cover it in liquid cheese and call it a vegetable. I don't see anything wrong with trying to work vegetables and their vitamins and nutrients into foods in any ways you can, especially if they are replacing less healthy fillers. I think by "hiding" foods you can teach your child that they might not like squash on its own but in a soup it can by yummy, and that just opens more doors to healthy eating.

    Answer by MaryMW at 4:38 PM on Feb. 8, 2011

  • I have a book about this...actually a cookbook by jessica sienfeld (sp?) called "deceptively delicious". It's not about hiding healthy foods in unhealthy, but rather cooking NORMAL food like spagetti and meataballs with garlic bread, making your OWN sauce and putting carrot and squash puree in it, so they get the vitamins and suck without eating a whole carrot or a bunch of squash.
    I do disagree with how they're so disguised all the time that the kid doesn't even KNOW he's eating carrots or squash or whatever it might be, and later on he'll still look at a whole carrot or broccoli and say "no way!" lol
    One of my twin boys absolutely will NOT eat veggies. You can slather them in butter, put mrs. dash on them, cheese sauce....everything and he still won't eat them. We've tried everything. We've stuck to our guns for weeks on end with method after method.

    Answer by Anonymous at 4:24 PM on Feb. 8, 2011

  • We hardly ever have "bad" foods in our home and I certainly do not hide anything. It's hard to hide food when it's a piece of chicken, veggies and brown rice.. My son either eats it, or not. He will not go hungry.

    Answer by olgabillman07 at 4:30 PM on Feb. 8, 2011

  • I'm not going to complain or judge someone for doing that. In my opinion, they're at least making an effort, which is more than I can say for a lot of parents. You can't expect every mom to do everything perfectly. For all you know, a mom that disguises healthy food does something else better than you do. As long as they're trying their best to keep their children healthy and happy, I think that's good enough. I really don't get why some people have to dissect each and everything that parents do.

    Answer by LovingSAHMommy at 10:11 PM on Feb. 8, 2011