Kaia “stocks up” on vegetables at So Kong Dong in Fort Lee, NJ

Kaia is almost 2.5 years old, and knock on wood, she still enjoys her vegetables. She does not enjoy ALL vegetables (does any human?) and definitely has her favorites and her lesser liked and touched ones. She has strong preferences about vegetables being cooked (she hasn’t eaten any cucumber since before turning one and still refuses any type of salad) and does not like thick sauces on any vegetable (or protein, for that matter). And she also seems to know when she hasn’t had enough of them.

While at So Kong Dong in Fort Lee yesterday, as soon as our server brought an array of delicious banchan to our table, Kaia’s eyes immediately stopped on the little plate of lightly dressed and blanched sesame studded broccoli. She asked for it immediately and proceeded to eat two plates of it all by herself. It was almost as though she was “making up” for not having much veggies during our Pennsylvania long weekend trip. I’ve read that some toddlers actually do this subconsciously, but a lot of my colleagues and friends who also have toddler-age children (who hate vegetables) would beg to differ here.

Some of my colleagues, who occasionally watch my private Instagram stories, have jokingly accused me of “mom-shaming” by posting videos of my toddler happily and voraciously eating massive amounts of Chinese greens while they can barely get their kids to eat a single bite of any vegetable. All I have to say is: I’ve reinforced vegetables (and foods) of all shapes, colors, and sizes since her first bite of solid food when she was six months old; I have been really intentional about not sending her the message that vegetables are gross or lesser than her carbs or protein. I’m just doing my best as a parent. I can just hope that peer pressure doesn’t eventually take over and have her suddenly go on a vegetable strike or decide she hates vegetables.

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