The Psychology of Vegetables


1 picky 56
I don’t like it!!!

How many times do parents hear that refrain from their children when it comes to eating vegetables?

And how tiring is it for you to tell your kids they have to eat their vegetables? We use every trick in the book: “They are healthy for you.” “They will make you smart.” “They will make you strong.”


What if I told you there was an easy – if slightly under handed – way to get your children to try vegetables?

New research out of the University of Chicago tells us that children won’t eat vegetables simply because they know they are healthy.

Young children automatically make the assumption that if a food is healthy it will not taste good.

1 ex 3Young children assume that if a food is good or healthy for them it automatically in their minds must taste horrible! In their young minds a healthy or good for you food cannot be delicious too. So they won’t eat it.

So according to this study the best way to get young children to eat vegetables is to say they are tasty, or, even better yet, say absolutely, positively nothing at all.

How did the researchers figure all of this out?


The researchers completed five experiments with 270 preschoolers in which an experimenter read picture stories about a girl who had some food for a snack. In some stories, she was interested in the food because it was good for her, in others she was interested because the food was tasty and in some stories, there was no reason mentioned in the story for why she was interested in the food. In each case, children ate more of a food when no reason for eating it was mentioned or when it was presented yummy, than they did when they thought the food were good for them. [Emphasis mine.]


How do you get your children to eat vegetables?
Do you think the idea expressed in today’s post is a good idea? Do you think it would work?
Featured Recipe    State Fair Subs



While Ohio’s 2014 State Fair is over many state’s fair are either this week or soon to come. Some State fairs are in October. One is as early as February.

The recipe below is the original recipe from Taste of Home.

I have been making this recipe for years. It is very delicious.

The first time I made it I followed the directions to a “T.”

It was a colossal flop.

The main problem was the recipe calls for sprinkling cheese on top of the sub, then wrap in aluminum foil and bake.

The foil stuck to the cheese making the subs difficult to remove from the foil when done. I tried different ways to keep that from happening, but nothing worked.

If you see the picture with this recipe on line it looks like the cheese was just sprinkled on the sub when it got out of the oven. Their picture did not look like mine.


After trying several ways to avoid that problem I now I cover the bottom sub with the top sub.

I also use Italian bread now for two reasons. One, the French Bread I find in stores is so small I have too much filing left over. I do not have that problem with the Italian Bread.

Despite these issues I still love the taste of these subs.

Plus who does not like State Fair foods?  Right?

However, for me this recipe is still a work in progress.

I use the best Italian Sausage you can get in the states – Bob Evans. Some times I can find it in a roll of its own. Some times I can only find the sausage links. If all I can find is the links I take the skin off the sausages.

Bob Evans sausage is THAT good.*

* I get no remuneration in any form from anyone to say that. This is just my belief. My taste buds tell me so!

This is what you will need to feed 6 people:

1 loaf (1 pound unsliced) French bread **

2 eggs

¼ cup milk

½ teaspoon pepper

¼ teaspoon salt

1 pound bulk Italian sausage

1½ cups chopped onion

2 cups (8 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese *

* None of this low fat stuff for me. I use real mozzarella.


Here is what you do:

Cut bread in half lengthwise;


carefully hollow out top and bottom of loaf, leaving a 1-inch shell.



Cube removed bread.

NOTE: I do not cube. The bread comes out in big chunks when I remove it, so I just tear it up and place in a bowl.


In a large bowl, beat the eggs, milk, pepper and salt.

Add bread cubes and toss to coat; set aside.



In a skillet over medium heat, cook sausage and onion until the meat is no longer pink; drain if needed.




Add to the bread mixture.


Place the bread on aluminum foil large enough to wrap the sandwich in. Spoon filling into bread shells………


………sprinkle with cheese.


Put the top half of the sub on top of the bottom half.


Wrap each in foil. Bake at 400 F for 20-25 minutes or until cheese is melted.


Remove from oven and unwrap.


Cut into serving-size slices. Serve with fruit or a salad.


Bon appétit!!!

2 loaves Italian Loaves                       $2.99

2 eggs                                              $0.36

¼ cup milk                                        $0.48

½ teaspoon pepper                            ——

¼ teaspoon salt                                 ——

1 pound bulk Italian sausage               $2.99

1½ cups chopped onion                      $0.68

2 cups mozzarella cheese                   $2.99

Total cost = $10.49
Cost per serving (6) = $1.75

Quote of the Day

Most vegetables are something God invented to let women get even with their children. A fruit is a vegetable with looks and money. Plus, if you let fruit rot, it turns into wine, something Brussels Sprouts never do.

P. J. O’ Rourke

The Bachelor Home Companion


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6 comments to The Psychology of Vegetables

  • I HATE when the cheese sticks to the foil! So annoying! Kids eating vegetables? Ha! Just put ’em out and if they eats ’em they eats ’em. I don’t worry too much. Kids will eventually eat and enjoy vegetables.

  • I don’t like it when someone lists a recipe but the photo is of something different or a different method. That stinks if you ask me.

    My kids were picky eaters so I had to employ every strategy I could think of. My daughter didn’t like anything.. no sweets or healthy. I began making drawings with the food and hiding things in the food and that worked pretty well.

    • Roberta

      It sure does stink when a recipe does not look like the ingredients, doesn’t it? Too many photos of food in recipe books and in magazines look so fake and not like real cooking. Makes many beginner cooks think they are not good cooks. So they give up. And that is so sad. 🙁

  • Emmie (@Emmie12750)

    Food stylists are paid to make food look pretty for the camera. And to frustrate home cooks, it seems. *frown* I’ll bet they wrapped the subs without cheese, baked them for 20 minutes, then unwrapped them, added the cheese and put them back into the oven UNWRAPPED for 5 minutes to melt the cheese. I prefer your method, Roberta, it saves a step!

    My husband and his twin brother were notoriously picky eaters as children. They still are, but have added a few items to their lists of acceptable foods as they’ve matured. I’ve learned to hide things, and accept there may be a pile of mushrooms or some other offender on the side of DJ’s plate after he’s pulled them out. 🙂

    • Roberta

      Well said, Emmie. And I bet you are right on what happened in the picture with the original recipe. Tricks.

      You are wise, Emmie. Some times we just have to accept the foods others do not like. That is love. 🙂