Dietitian Mom On TikTok Claps Back At Shame Over Veggie Straws

If you have a picky or hesitant eater in your home, you know the struggle is real. Sometimes, just seeing your kid eat, no matter what it is, can feel like a win. You’re doing your best, so it sucks to log on to TikTok and see people shaming parents for giving their kids the occasional processed or snacky food. One example? Nutrition “influencer” Bobby Parrish coming at moms over buying, of all things, Veggie Straws.

According to Parrish, parents feeding their kids this popular snack are “being swindled.” In one video, he pulls a bag of Veggie Straws from a grocery store shelf and shows the ingredient list to the camera (as if parents are too dense to read nutritional labels or understand how ingredient lists work). His takeaway: Veggie Straws offer very little in the way of organic vegetables and, in his opinion, are fried in “inflammatory” oils.

Don’t worry; the story doesn’t end there. Andy Miller, a mom and dietitian who debunks many TikTok health claims, has entered the chat. “These are not vegetables, and we are aware of that,” she starts in a stitched video response to Parrish. Then, Miller speaks her mind for all the mamas out there just trying to keep their kids fed.

To start, Miller breaks down why kids are so drawn to those darn Veggie Straws, saying, “This cucumber is cold, slimy, and has an inconsistent texture. Different types of cucumbers taste different. And these are all characteristics that kids do not like.”

“On the contrary, [Veggie Straws] are predictable,” she explains. “These are known. They have the same taste, flavor, color, and texture every single time, and your kid knows what they’re getting. Kids like routine and predictability.”

The big kicker, according to Miller? Veggie Straws provide sustenance. “Even though these are basically composed of a bunch of starch and oils that are not inflammatory, carbohydrates and fats are macronutrients, and calories still support growth.”

For the mic-drop moment, Miller adds, “Sometimes just getting your child to eat anything is a success. So, leave us alone.”

It’s safe to assume most of us don’t believe Veggie Straws have any significant quantity of vegetables in their composition. But Veggie Straws serve multiple purposes for parents, many of which other moms pointed out in the comments section of Miller’s video.

“The best thing about veggie straws is it has the word veggie in it, which has made my child not be so afraid to try actual vegetables on occasion😂,” shared Gigi Dub.

“My kid eats these because he likes them, and I let him bc they’re at least better than other chips,” said Cave.lady.

“Veggie straws are the only thing that kept my now 10-year-old alive from the ages of 1 1/2 to 2 1/2,” shared Kezunehop.

“As a mom of an allergy kid, finding safe foods is the difference between getting enough calories or not!” commented Cjobinjohnson.

Other parents remarked that their kids’ pediatricians condoned getting calories where you can with picky eaters, and they noted how nice it was not to get shamed over it.

“I cried to our pediatrician bc my daughter would only eat chicken nuggets,” said Shelby Cobra Darling. “He said, ‘Sounds like a nice protein-rich diet.’ It helped. A lot.”

Dad Hugh Hastings added, “Our pediatrician always told my wife and I if you get one good meal in your kid a day, you are doing okay. Let them eat what they like and try to expand variety a little at a time.”

“Told the pediatrician what my son eats, and her response was, ‘Well, that’s a good amount of protein and dairy. Try to find a multivitamin he likes to help with the rest’ 🙏,” said Not So Crafty.

While there’s no denying that almost anything found outside of the produce aisle won’t be as healthy, the fresh stuff isn’t always an option for many families. For one, Parrish lists alternatives he deems healthier — but most are considerably more expensive and potentially cost-prohibitive to parents struggling to stay on budget with the rising cost of groceries.

Plus, processed foods offer something fresh foods sometimes can’t: consistency. Consistent yummy flavor, texture, and shape appeal to kiddos.

So, your kid wants to eat grilled cheese with that plastic-wrapped cheese twice a day, every day. It’s better than starving. Dino nuggets and goldfish only, please? Again, it’s better than starving. You’re feeding your child, and that’s what is most important.

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