Tuesday's tips: Getting kids to love 'Veggies'

If you were hoping to find the secret to getting your kids to eat their vegetables, you will be disappointed. I don’t have a clue how to make that happen. So if you know, please feel free to pass on your words of wisdom.

However, I can tell you there is one type of veggie my children have consumed in large quantities for almost 15 years, “Veggie Tales“. I was first introduced to these quirky talking vegetables at a preschool mother’s group, MOPS International, merely a year after my oldest daughter was born.

From then on, “Veggie Tales” has been as much a viewing staple in our house as Disney. I’m not sure what we enjoy more, the silly songs or the refreshing lessons like being thankful, honesty, serving your community and believing in yourself. Although there is a strong religious theme throughout many of their stories, they are non-denominational and have opened up many conversations in our house about our beliefs and respecting others’ beliefs. I think it is important to expose our children to all kinds of belief systems and ideas so they can hopefully build a world view that accepts and embraces diversity rather than rejects the diversity of our communities. Plus, many of our family favorites are their non-religious based stories and music, especially the music.

It was nice to have alternatives to our household music staples like Raffi or Laurie Berkner.  Seriously, who can go wrong dancing and singing around the kitchen, listening to Bob the Tomato and Larry the Cucumber sing songs like “Achy Breaky Heart” or “La Bamba“?

Recently I have been purging excess from our closets and basement. Video tapes (yes, we still have a VCR), CDs and DVDs must breed in the dark, multiplying almost daily, because I was shocked to find stacks buried under the dust bunnies of our playroom. I started putting everything in piles to donate, keep or lend to friends when both of my girls came to survey the mess. They were a little concerned I might be getting rid of something important.

“You have to keep Disney!” my 15-year-old stated.

“And  Dirty Jobs!” my concerned 11-year-old added.

They both jumped into the pile when they saw their beloved stack of “Veggie Tales” in the donation pile.

“Oh no! Not Madame Blueberry!” they both cried, “Not The Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything!”

By the time the girls had dismantled my pile, there wasn’t much left to donate. In fact, now they are asking to add more “Veggie Tales” to our collection. (Thank goodness for Netflix streaming.)

And somehow “Veggie Rocks” has made its way back into the CD player.

The newest “Veggie Tales” movie, “MacLarry and The Stinky Cheese Battle,” will be released the end of July. Although I haven’t had the chance to view this new movie, according to a recent press release:

“MacLarry and the Stinky Cheese Battle features the Veggie gang in a make-believe land where ancient Scotland and ancient Rome are in the midst of the silliest prank feud of all time, where the tools of battle are pies and water balloons.  This latest action adventure features a full cast of fan-favorites, including Larry the Cucumber as MacLarry, Bob the Tomato as MacBob, and Mr. Lunt as the mischievous Pompous Maximus. At the core of this new story is the lesson of getting along with others – a value that is top of mind for parents of preschoolers.” 

Emily Okaty Wilson
Emily Okaty Wilson is a freelance writer and blogger. Her writing style is conversational, from the heart and sometimes funny, focusing on being a wife, mother, and craft addict. As a self proclaimed procrastinator, she ran her first half marathon at age 40, proving that it's never too late to live the life you imagined. Some of her work has been featured in MomSense Magazine, The Livingston Parent Journal and BlogHer. Her blog is called My Pajama Days, where she documents everything from personal struggles with depression to talking to her kids about sex.