What’s in a Name? – Food Subterfuge For Toddlers

Gastrokid reader, Amy, recently told us how she convinced her kids to eat tofu by calling it Princess Cheese.

That got me wondering of the many other fictitious names we come up with to persuade/con our little ones into eating what we know is good for them and they are convinced will taste like, well, okay, tofu.


First up: Broccoli masquerading as……..Little Trees. This worked like a treat in our house with D for about a year. After that he just saw green and knew something wasn’t right!

Do you have any good pseudonyms for food?

Let us know and maybe we’ll be able to compile a Con Your Kid Into Eating Well guide.

- Matthew

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9 Responses to What’s in a Name? – Food Subterfuge For Toddlers

  1. magpie says:

    We often make haste of leftover vegetables and meat by baking them into a quiche. We call it cheese pie. Our two year old daughter, who never met a cheese she didn’t like, loves the idea of pie for dinner.

  2. lynlea wellman says:

    have you all read the great charlie and lola tome (by lauren child) on this topic: “I Will Never Not Ever Eat a Tomato?” (peas are “green drops from greenland,” carrots are “orange twiglets,” tomatoes are “moon squirters,” and so on.) no matter what we call it my son still won’t eat green peas and tomatoes. he is crazy about tofu though. and i would recommend finding a place that makes it fresh. (we make regular journeys to “san jose tofu” in san jose, ca, where upon ordering the tofu is fished out of a large vat of the stuff made that day.) you’ll never go back to store bought again. we just add it to any hot noodle soup – no cooking necessary.

  3. Jennifer says:

    For many years we referred to brussel sprouts as “muscle sprouts” always while striking a Popeye-bulging muscle-type pose.
    Recently I made a seafood lasagna and in an effort to get my lasagna-hating kids (weird, aren’t they) to eat it I continually referred to it as a “layered pasta dish with shrimp and scallops” hoping it would fool them because they are used to seeing a red sauce lasagna.

  4. Cindy Moore says:

    When I was a kid my dad told me brussel sprouts were “baby cabages” and especially good for kids to eat. I still love them.
    When my daughter was little I said we were having au gratin potatoes for dinner. She heard “old rotten potatoes” and to this day still calls them that.

  5. Sharon says:

    We have indeed used “trees” as a pseudonym for broccoli with our kids. Clementines somehow have become “juicy moon fruits” with the little ones. My husband is still trying to persuade the kids to eat Brussel sprouts, termed “personal cabbages” at our table.

  6. Brandon says:

    Little trees worked for me as a kid, so did little lettuces for brussel sprouts, and “what Popeye eats” for spinach. Unfortunately, I must have been a gullible kid because none of these worked with my own kids.

  7. Jen says:

    My son refused to even try peanut butter until one day I decided to cut a peanut butter sandwich with a large dinosaur-shaped cookie cutter. I told him the peanut butter was “dinosaur guts” and he happily ate the whole thing.

  8. Sarah says:

    My son, will try anything you put in front of him, the stranger the better – except squash. We’ve abandon all hope on most types of squash, except for Yellow Squash, which we must call Yellow Zucchini, and Pattypan. We can sometimes get away with mixing the winter varieties with potatoes and carrots, but never on their own, and they must never be mentioned.

  9. Alice Levy says:

    Get your kids to watch any of the “Land Before Time” movies and any kind of greens- broccoli in particular- will instantly become “green food” (leaves or trees). When I was little I used to scarf insane amounts of broccoli and even spinach/other leaf-looking foods while pretending I was a dinosaur :) I’d ask for it specifically so I could make little forests on my plate.

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