Hide the veggies!

I don’t usually take notice of TV commercials, unless it’s Super Bowl time, but last evening as I was waiting for Jay Leno to come on after the evening news, one caught my attention. It was for Chef Boyardee or something and apparently it has veggies in it. In the commercial, the mom doesn’t want the kid to know and when someone starts to say something, she obnoxiously bangs around pots and pans. The commercial made me wrinkle my nose and raise an eyebrow. Why are we now hiding veggies from kids? When did this movement start?

So pretty and colorful, why would anyone want to hide the variety of vegetable colors and flavors from children?

When I was little, my parents encouraged veggies and they were in plain sight for the meals. I wouldn’t say my parents hid veggies from me, but they did give them alternate names so I could identify them better. Broccoli was called “little trees”, cauliflower was termed “snow trees”, spinach was “leaves”. Carrots were always carrots, black olives were always olives, pickles were pickles and most other veggies were called by their name. I don’t consider this “hiding” the veggies, because they were in plain sight but just called something more easily identifiable to a 4 year old. They were served right alongside the main dish at meals and I usually went for them first because I typically got to decide that part of the meal for the family. I turned out just fine, without having veggies hidden in my other foods.
I ask again, why would a parent hide veggies from their child? Why haven’t you been introducing the kid of vegetables since solid foods or earlier? Is it really going to help in the long run that the child eats canned pasta products to get his/her veggies since there’s still so much other junk in there? I admit, I’ve made zucchini bread and carrot pancakes, but I never made them as a disguise for the veggie. If Mr. Boyardee and the like called their products something with a veggie in the name I might feel better. Spinach spaghetti, carrot and pea ravioli, anything besides “oh here let’s hide veggies in this product.” Veggies never did anything wrong, except be delicious and healthy, why are companies trying to hide them and make them be quiet?
Do you hide veggies from your children? If you don’t have any children, would you hide veggies from them? Can anyone tell me the appeal of hiding vegetables from children?

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