A Lesson Found in the Cheeto Dust


Hi Mama.

Your kiddo doesn’t like vegetables either? Welcome to the club.

My son, Ollie, is two and despite my husband and my best efforts? He doesn’t like vegetables unless they are in the form of salty, crispy potatoes.

Broccoli? Forget about it.

Carrots? Nope.

If it is green or leafy or not a carb, Ollie doesn’t want anything to do with it.

Now, if you want to talk Cheetos or crackers or pop-tarts? He’s down for that discussion.

To further add to the hot mess express, we are a vegan household.

That’s right-no animal products. No meat, no milk, no cheese. I know, I know. We’re crazy.

In our efforts in attempting to convince Ollie that vegetables are delicious, we bought those chicken nuggets that also have veggies hidden in them somehow. He won’t touch them-even with ketchup. That blue box of mac and cheese that supposedly has a serving of vegetables in it? Don’t even bother boiling the water. Those Instagram accounts telling you to hide the vegetables in muffins or cookies? I would have better luck bathing a cat than convincing my child to eat that muffin or cookie.

It got to the point where I just wanted him to even entertain the idea of a vegetable being on his plate without a level five meltdown happening. I didn’t care if he touched it or ate it or even looked at it- as long as he could leave it on his plate? Winner, winner, chicken dinner.

I honestly felt like I was failing as a mom. Why my kiddo wouldn’t eat things even after doing everything “right” according to internet sources was beyond me. We did the repeated exposures, the minimal seasoning, the dipping-makes-it-fun. I fell into the trap of comparing myself to moms with babes that ate everything they were given-I fell prey to the highlight reel trap.

And maybe you have too, mama.

Let me be the first to say that you are not failing. Our kiddos are just ones with refined palates and know what they like. It isn’t a bad thing-knowing what you want in life is something that eludes so many people.

Ollie loves fruit. So, in my shifting of mindset, I remembered that fruit has a ton of the same nutrients that vegetables do. Ollie loves dairy-free yogurt-so sometimes I sprinkle some granola in there for extra love. Ollie adores peanut butter toast, that’s fiber and iron and protein…winning!

I know it’s hard when social media shows us how we, as mamas, are seemingly failing. I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve thought that more times than I can count. It is this never-ending spiral of wanting the best for our kiddos but also having to pick our battles-for our own mental health. We shouldn’t feel like we need permission for our kids to eat what fuels their bodies – and what keeps the peace at the dinner table. No, we aren’t short-order cooks but maybe embracing the stage of life we are in wouldn’t be a bad thing. It’s peeling a banana instead of fighting about broccoli.

Hi, I’m Rach. I have Cheeto dust on my leggings right now, my son doesn’t believe vegetables are good, and I see you.

I see the hard work you put into feeding your family. The grocery list that tries to accommodate your family while maintaining your budget. I see you trying to make sure your kiddo eats a balanced meal.

I also see you, at your wit’s end.

Even though you don’t need anyone’s permission to give yourself a break-I’m telling you to give yourself some.

You’re doing the best you can, mama.

Eventually, maybe, possibly someday? They’ll eat the broccoli.