7 Things A 7-Year-Old Could Convince Congress Are Vegetables

Ah, pizza. My favorite new addition to the vegetable family. As Robin Marty wrote last month, counting the tomato paste on pizza as a vegetable will help schools to meet the “two vegetables a lunch” requirement for school lunches. In conclusion, she wrote:

So, check your school lunch menu next year. Between pizza, french fries and a side of ketchup, your student will likely be eating so many vegetable servings at school you’ll hardly need to worry about what they eat at home.

Don’t worry though, there is lobbying happening on the home front too. My 7-year old is becoming quite the health-washing expert. Having heard my explanation several times about how Nutella is not the health food the company pretends it is, he has been charting his own career path as an advertising executive or food industry lobbyist by putting his own spin on his favorite foods.

Which foods will he be presenting to Congress next to go along with the unlimited pizza and potatoes? Read on…

Photo credit: callme_crochet on flickr


“Did you know that chocolate is a vegetable? It comes from a bean, so it is a vegetable.” This is the story the 7-year-old told me over breakfast. If chocolate is a vegetable, I guess I get to count coffee as a vegetable too, right?

Photo credit: Chocolate Reviews on flickr


Popcorn is made from corn. Never mind that corn isn’t the most nutritious vegetable and brush aside those concerns about GMOs. Let’s put popcorn on the school lunch menu. In reality, we do enjoy a popcorn snack here and there at our house, made from air popped organic popcorn, not the stuff that is soaked in oil and salt.

Photo credit: jessica diamond on flickr

Maple Syrup

It comes from maple trees, which have leaves, so it is pretty much the same thing as a green salad.

Photo credit: surekat on flickr

Pickle Doritos

Apparently Congress wants kids to eat more green vegetables. These pickle-flavored green Doritos are a great way to help kids get both their cucumber and their corn.

Photo credit: Annie Urban


Yes, I know that Reagan came up with this long before my 7-year old did. But he wasn’t born yet in the Reagan-era and he certainly prefers to consume his tomatoes in the form of ketchup. If only it didn’t come with an equivalent volume of sugar (or high fructose corn syrup — wait, corn is another vegetable!) and other junk.

Photo credit: overthinkingme on flickr

Onion Rings

For the adventurous 7-year old, there are fancier vegetables like deep fried onion rings. A serving of those, with a serving of fries, and a serving of ketchup and you’ve got three vegetables in one sitting. Amazing.

Photo credit: stevendepolo on flickr

Vegetable Candy

A school meal would not be complete without dessert. This mix of candy corn and candy pumpkins looks like it gives a good mix of orange, yellow, white and green vegetables. Great way to top off the meal and get kids energized for an afternoon at school.

Photo credit: Juushika Redgrave on flickr

What Else?

That list is just a beginning. Do your kids have any favorite “vegetables” to submit to Congress for review?

Image credit: USDAgov on flickr

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Huber F.
Huber F.3 years ago


Phillipa W.
Phillipa W.3 years ago

most of what we eat as junk food could be and should be actually healthy. If they cooked it properly and it was kept safer and the sugar and salt weren't so mercilessly used as fillers, then all of a sudden junk food could actually be food. But really, technicolor food full of colourings isn't necessary, and why the excessive use of preservatives? You'd think there weren't any people who need food now and we couldn't store it when it's out of season or something

Lucy H.
Lucy H.3 years ago

Tomato sauce is not a vegetable? Come on, people! It comes FROM tomatoes. Yes, tomato sauce IS a vegetable and pizza CAN be a healthy choice - if you pile it with vegetables. That eliminates school pizza which is most likely covered with lots of cheese food and no vegetable beyond the tomato sauce.

As Uroosa K points out, most foods start from plants. But instead of decrying the "stupidity" of classifying them as vegetables. They are vegetable based but most of what is being pushed as vegetables are, in fact, carbohydrates. It's time to specify the kind of vegetables that should be counted towards a serving of vegetables. A friend of mine taught her daughters that there should be something green with every meal and that jello did not count. I think that's a very good place to start.

Malgorzata Zmuda
Malgorzata Zmuda3 years ago

To jest śmieszne, śmieciowe jedzenie nie można traktować jako porcji warzyw, tylko dlatego, że zawiera ich mikroskopijną ilość, tak samo jak cukierek zawierający odrobinę soku nie może być traktowany jak owoc. Jakieś "tęgie głowy" musiały się o tym namyśleć...

Katherine Head
Katherine Head3 years ago

OK, while tomato sauce itself is healthy, as it has concentrated nutrient stuff, I don't know the details, it is definitely NOT a vegetable, and pizza is definitely NOT a health food. Come on, Congress!

Marian G.
Past Member 3 years ago

Perhaps using the terms, raw and unprocessed would have been better... but hilarious article nonetheless.

Anne Ortiz Talvaz

Wine, spirits, tobacco, marijuana, heroin, Britney Spears.

Mandi A.
Amanda Adams3 years ago


ashley p.
ashley p.3 years ago

my science teacher got mad at this. it made me laugh. besides, i dont even like the school pizza. its disgusting.

Uroosa K.
Uroosa K.3 years ago

All food comes from a plant so basically that means all food is vegetables or fruit! God save us from this stupidity.