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Vegging Out with Rachael Ray

Deborah Skolnik

From the how-cool-was-that?!-files: Last week, I got to hang with Rachael Ray here in New York, at a party to celebrate her tabletop line. I got a chance to see some of the holiday dishes she's rolling out, and man, are they cute: colorful trees and even her trademark little owl. Just as I was oohing and aahing over the plates, Rachael herself came by. So I seized the moment, got this snap, and asked her a question: How do you get kids to eat their veggies? She didn't bat an eye before giving me her answer:

Make healthy food a fashion choice. "Say to your child, 'Would you like tonight's veggie to be red, green, or yellow? What do you think would go best with the main dish?' " Once he's been cast in the role of dinner stylist, it's harder to snub that spoonful of peas!

Do some reasoning...with seasonings. "Also ask your child how the veggie should taste; should you make it spicy, cheesy, taco-flavored? There are lots of ways to dress up produce so it has a flavor he enjoys."

Give veggies some extra a-peel. "Let your child help prep the veggies while you're cooking." Depending on his age, he can peel, shred, or even slice 'em with a kid-safe knife. 

Sounds good? Then what are you waiting for: veg out tonight!