Friday, January 25, 2008

Sneaky and Deceptive

Did you, like me, receive or buy one of the cookbooks aimed at getting healthy food into your kids' stomachs without them knowing? Kelly gave me The Sneaky Chef for Christmas, thanks again. I told Ridge to tell Eric that I wanted Deceptively Delicious for Christmas but he didn't relay the message to him. I understand that the books are nearly the same as far as recipes go.

I've tried several recipes, pureed lots of vegetables, and I've been really pleased with the results. I've enjoyed the food and it has given me a new perspective on cooking for my picky household. I've started putting the pureed mixes into nearly everything I cook in hopes that somehow, the kids are eating more vegetables than before. I put the orange puree (carrots and yams) on sandwiches, the boys like meat and cheese with ketchup so I hide it under the ketchup. No complaints yet. I made chocolate shakes with the purple puree hidden inside (blueberries and spinach) but of course Laine saw the minuscule fleks in it and wouldn't drink it anymore. The chicken tenders made with the green puree (spinach, broccoli and peas) were great but Ridge started picking off the breading that had all the healthy stuff hidden inside. How do they know?

I'm just going to document a few things about my silly eaters.

To his credit, Ridge has gotten a lot better over this year. He seems to have outgrown his hyper-gag reflex and hasn't thrown-up on his plate from gagging for a long time. He won't eat a whole plate of vegetables but he will eat his token bite without throwing up anymore. Ridge likes to eat Top Ramen everyday after school. I've started putting the white puree (zucchini and cauliflower) in it and he still eats it up. Ridge loves pasta, especially with white sauce, and rice with teryaki sauce. He doesn't like syrup on his pancakes (I didn't either when I was little) and would rather have cold cereal for breakfast than anything else. He prefers water to every other drink and has only in the past few months discovered that he kind of likes Sprite. He wouldn't drink soda at all before.

Cannon loves hot dogs and soda, he would eat them for all three meals if I let him. He doesn't like rice at all, consistency issue, or pasta, though he is getting better about trying his pasta. He hardly ever throws up, can gag and keep his food down like a champ. We have table battles with him often about one bite of rice, or one bite of broccoli. He just hates it. He is my best vegetable eater but that doesn't mean he likes them all.

Laine is my worst eater yet. I know that part of this is my fault because I didn't make her eat everything when she started getting picky, but she does have some weird issues. The worst is that she doesn't like bread, can't even stand to touch it. That makes lunch hard. She does like crackers, especially Ritz and Goldfish. She likes plain pasta, used to like mac and cheese but then went off that. Used to eat cheese and eggs but now won't eat those either. Likes rice but only if it has "dip" on it (aka Ranch dressing). No meat yet. Eric forced her to try the chocolate pancakes I made the other night (another sneaky recipe) and she threw the biggest fit but got it down and ate the rest of her bites with me feeding her. How could she not like it when each piece was covered with powdered sugar? She likes yogurt but not with bumps (no fruit). She likes cereal. And her favorite thing of all is warm chocolate milk.

Sommer is going to be my best eater, she has to be. They all started out great and then got worse. Ridge used to eat California rolls with me. But I'm not giving up. Sommer is my only child to get homemade baby food with all this pureeing I'm doing. So I'm going to keep at it because it makes me feel better about my mothering. And it helps me get my vegetables too.


Team Biddle said...

I love the idea of sneaky pureeing (I hope that's a word)...I want to buy that book. Andy is a horribly picky eater, and if I could put some healthy stuff in without him knowing...bam, healthy Andy!

Isn't it interesting how different each child/person is with regards to food?

You are a great mother... :)

Lark said...

You'll have to bring some recipes with you when you come...I have been really interested in doing this too! I'm glad to here it works.

Kristin R said...

Wow, I thought my kids were picky eaters! Thanks for making me feel better! ;) I'm glad to know some of the stealthy-ness (I prefer that to sneaky) is working. I've been meaning to try those kinds of recipes, too. I sure am sick of frozen peas or corn or carrot sticks at every meal, but those are the only 3 my kids will eat!

Torrie said...

i have found that my kids really like things i wouldn't eat, but that my mom in law has shown them.
my kids like brussel sprouts, artichokes dipped in melted butter, spinach dip, asparagus with hollindaise <(sp?) sauce,
when i think vegis i think corn, carrrots- but to my surprise they like yellow squash cooked in the microwave, i have found fondue to be quite helpful too. cheese fondue w/ raw carrots, baby corn, long string beans and brocoli,chicken strips in lettuce leaves- just keep trying
they'll learn.
one more thing- i like how jessica seinfield says to still put vegis on the childs plate so they learn that vegis are important afterall, because if they don't see them they think they don't have to eat them.

Davidsonfieldville said...

my Kate won't touch a vegetable..except corn, she actually TRIED corn and liked it but thats it. So the Sneaky Chef is the answer for me right now. I still put a little lettuce or broccoli on her plate, ya never know, she might eat it someday...but until then, she's getting spinach pureed into her food!

Torrie said...

i forgot to say...
i buy baby food when i don't have any time for puree
i dipped chicken tenders in a garden vegi baby food with spinach in it- then the breading and baked it.
just an idea..

Laura said...

You don't sleep but you still find time to puree vegies? You are great! For my kids, I lump the fruit count in with the veggie count when we are adding up their 6-8 servings of fruits/veggies a day total so we can come close. Otherwise they would be seriously deficient in their "healthy food" count. I also count flavored water as a fruit. So you are doing way better than I am! My kids do love salsa, so that counts as like 2 or 3 vegies, right??!!! I love this post. I think I'll have to copy. ;-)

Laura said...

One more thing--you forgot to mention Laine's maine staple: Grahm crackers and milk. At least that's all she ate at my house last summer. I remember cousin Afton saying, "Why do I have to eat this? Laine is eating grahm crackers." All the cousins were jealous of her meals--even Uncle Matt was jealous. :-)