Deceptively Delicious

>> Monday, March 8, 2010

I am having a hard time getting Caden to eat his vegetables lately. He is actually a big eater when it is something he loves, like pasta or fruit or just about any carb. He won't drink any milk (besides his "dursies" which he calls nursing), not even almond milk or Pediasure, so I have to get creative with getting him his calcium too. Lucky for me, he will still eat YoBaby yogurt. I have been re-reading the Jessica Seinfeld book Deceptively Delicious for some ideas on how to sneak in some vegetables into Caden's (and Lucas' diet). I got the book when it first came out, mostly to see what kind of recipes she had to offer since there was so much buzz about it. I have no problem with hiding nutrition in food my kids will eat as long as I am also offering them vegetables that look like vegetables to get them accustomed to eating things that are healthy. But in this stage with Caden when mealtime can be such a battle, I am up for doing just about whatever it takes to make sure he is getting the nutrients his growing body needs. Some of Seinfeld's recipes are pretty easy but most of them require a good amount of prep work with pureeing the vegetables before hand. I just don't have a lot of extra time for that. So when my friend Allison told me her idea of putting shredded carrots into pancakes, I had to try it. And even though you could clearly see the carrots, you couldn't taste them and Caden ate them right up! Three big pancakes to be exact! I loved seeing him shove the "pan-pakes" in his mouth with a smile- him thinking he was getting something super-yummy for breakfast and me thinking I was finally getting some beta-carotene and vitamin A in his little body.
I am now on the hunt for more ideas like this- ways to incorporate hidden nutrients in foods they love without all the prep work of pureeing. I will probably do some of that too, but any other recipes would be greatly appreciated. Anybody have some ideas?

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Anonymous March 8, 2010 at 6:01 PM  

I found juicing got ::me:: consuming veggies I never would have eaten served on a plate or in a dish if I had any choice about it :-) But that'd probably be hard with him!

BUT the thing I started doing that's gotten me managing to sneak things in the diets of some others around me (obviously not my kid) was using the pulp from the juicing - and/or using a food processor to practically disintigrate other veggies - and using them in all sorts of dishes.

It's especially very easy to hide that in ground beef or turkey in various dishes where, even if they realize something else is in it, it doesn't seem "offensive" like some people find them eating them outright. Plus it seems to disguise the taste because it's so well mixed into other things.

Oh, and Mel had great success just renaming things for her kids - "veggie tale meatloaf" (and just shredded carrot, onion, squash, and/or whatever else was the in fridge or at the little farmer's market - she doesn't get a lot of variety over there) or "crazy cupcakes" (really just muffins made very wholegrained things mixed with whatever forest berries she could pick) got them eating the same things she tried and they refused - the fun name and "oh, can you find any tomato like Bob the Tomato in your ______" (whatever dish that applied to).

Someone was talking about doing "meat cupcakes" (flatten biscuits into muffin pans and put ground meat with veggies mixed in into them - and then some mashed potato for "frosting" on the top) would also allow you to find ways to make regular foods seem more fun and yet in new format that might get them eating it.

We did something similar as "meat cupcakes" but called them a "birds nest" and cooked the biscuits as you would per directions but on the BACK greased part of muffin tins, and then did make your own tacos in them (cook the taco meat and have all the toppings prepared) - also got us eating things we'd never normally put in a regular taco but thought was "essential" in a birds nest. LOL

Good luck!

Maybe you need a change of San Diego...and those things will be more appealing :-D (Hey, gotta try, right?!)

Love ya!

Tracy March 8, 2010 at 7:43 PM  

I do smoothies with veggies thrown in and Nathan thinks it is his "superman drink". Best part with that is you can throw in super healthy stuff like spinach and kale and the fruit covers it right up. Anything with dip is also a hit for us so we do raw veggies with hummus or dip and at least a few bites are had. Sweet potato pancakes are pretty easy as well. Could you use baby food for any of the Seinfeld recipes? Probably not the best, but better than no veggies at all!

Atwood-Family of 4 March 8, 2010 at 10:00 PM  

I recently used regular old canned pumpkin (it's 100% pumpkin) and mixed it w/ pasta-it blended right in w/ either a cheese sauce or a red sauce. just a few table spoons (in my son's food) otherwise you can start to taste it more strongly. They also sell already pureed winter squash-just defrost it and it's ready to go. You may want to freeze the pumpkin or squash in ice cube trays and then can pop a square into a dish he already likes.
You could also just buy baby food (pureed) and put that in the recipes instead of having to puree it up yourself. I will say though, from making baby food for both my children, it only takes about half an hour to cook, puree and freeze a big batch (like 2 trays worth) of food. it's easy and not at all time consuming. Good luck!

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