Back when my son was a toddler I bragged about how perfect my child was — he loved vegetables! It was absolutely no chore to get him to eat his broccoli, spinach, avocados, basil, arugula — you name it. If it was green, he ate it.

Sometime around his third birthday and continuing to present time, my son has no use for green things. I essentially have failed as a hippie, veggie-loving household. Somehow I created a carb- and dairy-loving kid.

These days, I try to use the powers of the kid kingdom in my favor. I have scoured the kid pop culture universe far and near and come up with a few things that sometimes work in my favor. Rebranding is key! Somehow, the grosser the name, the more inclined he is to eat it.

Shrek Pasta

To you and me, it's really a pesto pasta sauce, but to my kids it's Shrek Pasta! Rebranding is a mom's best friend. My version of a kid-friendly pesto is as follows:

In a blender, mix in: Parmesan cheese (half cup or to liking), equal parts spinach and basil, olive oil, and pine nuts (my husband sometimes uses cashews as they are cheaper). Blender should be filled to the the very top! My kids will do a slight bit of garlic as well — but no more than a clove. Blend and serve on pasta.

This is my No. 1 way to get spinach in the kids.

Godzilla's Broccoli Forests

My kids love gardening but try as I might, it doesn't translate into automatic joy when they see broccoli on their plate. I almost always serve broccoli with rice and plant the broccoli in the rice like trees. Make your own eco-system! Then I invite them to be Godzilla and stomp on them like a monster on Tokyo.

Ghostbuster Smoothie

We have a pear tree, so with pears and bananas as the sweet base of the smoothie, I add in spinach or any green I have (sometimes organic celery too) and make a smoothie in favor of a regular juice they might drink. One banana, one pear, and as much green stuff as possible. This is usually very successful. Sometimes I add non-fat organic yogurt to it if I'm really going for ooze and slime.

Creature From the Black Seaweed Lagoon

It's really just Wakame (Seaweed and Miso) Soup, but after my daughter informed me that seaweed in soup looks like black sludge, I had a new angle when trying the soup on my son. Black Lagoon it is!

Energy Pods

Somehow, I've been able to convince my son that a Japanese cucumber salad is actually discs of energy needed to get to the next level. Banking on his experience in any number of video game and Pokemon scenarios, I've gained success in Cucumber Salad! Recipe is simple: Sliced cucumbers, rice vinegar and a hint of honey mixed and chilled in fridge for an hour.

How do you get your kids to eat the greens?

This post was included in the Healthy Eating — Nutritious and Delicious blog carnival.