Monday, May 9, 2011

Hide 'n Seek...veggie style

I hide veggies in my kids' food fairly often.  So often that my 10 y/o now likes to scan the recipe I'm using, inspect her food for hidden specks of green, and will ask "did you add anything"?  Said in a tone that suggests I'm adding some secret toxic ingredient.  I know some people argue that kids need to learn to appreciate the taste of vegetables and if you sneak them in foods they are not learning to appreciate the true flavor or learn proper nutrition.  To those people I say "do you have kids?!"  Because if you can tell me how you can get your angel of a child that eats everything you put in front of him/her when starting baby foods one day, who all of sudden, one day decides that he/she will no longer be eating the strained green beans that they devoured the day before....please fill me in.  In my experience, with all three of my children, they had very definitive likes and dislikes from an early age.  Just because I fed them green/orange/yellow veggies as soon as I could, did not ensure that those good eating habits would last.  They all loved squash in pureed form, until one day...they didn't.  And wouldn't.  I don't care how much I conjoled, pleaded and played airplane, they just decided they didn't like lots of vegetables after a while.  And I mean really, who wants vegetables when there are Cheerios in this world?  So, what do you do?  Well, if you are like me, you start mixing the vegetable with a fruit....and so the sneaking in of veggies begins.  I would still try the plain vegetable first, b/c I have read that it may take trying something 10 times before you like it, but when it was refused, I would mix.  Now, that works pretty well until they start feeding themselves.  Then you have to get even more creative.

Like hiding vegetables in cookies, or breadMuffins work great for this too.  I've not been quite as successful in our main meals, but I keep trying.  I put spinach in a lot of stuff, it's one of those vegetables I've made peace with and accepted as part of my life.  Like grey hair and laugh lines.  (ok, maybe not grey hair.  Thank you Miss Clairol.)  My kids are not quite there yet, but we're making progress!  2 out of 3 kids will drink a spinach smoothie!  I was so excited!  And the other night they ate this....
This is my version of a calzone.  My oldest does not like any kind of red sauce, so this works well for her.  We had ham, mini turkey pepperoni, different cheeses, and yes...hidden under all that cheese - spinach!  I really thought they would not eat it, b/c you can actually SEE the spinach.  However, I was shocked pleasantly surprised, they all liked it!  Or they were starving, b/c all 3 ate it.  Score!  I used this pizza crust, made with half whole wheat flour.  Somehow, I deleted the picture of the cooked calzone, but just pretend it was a really pretty shaped calzone.  (it wasn't, it was sort of lumpy and lopsided, but that's beside the point - they ate it!)

I didn't have to hide my spinach.  Because I'm a big girl now.  Too big, I need to lay off the pizza :P

Do your kids like lots of vegetables?  If not, how do you make sure they have a balanced diet?  It's an ongoing struggle around here.  For that matter, do YOU like veggies?!  I'm slowly learning to like more and more.  I have my garden to thank for that.  And my sister.  And food blogs :D  You'll be bombarded with garden pics soon, I have baby lettuce, spinach, carrots, onions, green beans, cucumbers, watermelon, cantoloupe, and waiting on several other things to pop up!  Love it!

Hope everyone enjoyed Mother's Day weekend!

3 comments:

  1. I don't think most adults would drink a green smoothie, so I think that's a success right there! I think tricking" kids into eating veggies is great! Eventually, they'll be mature enough and smart enough to know it was a brilliant idea on your part, and they're healthier and more adventurous for it! Even if it takes another 20 years or so ;)

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  2. I definitely plan on tricking my kids into eating veggies if they won't do it of their own accord. I am going to become the puree'd veggie master. Just you wait.

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  3. That calzone look great! I tried to sneak spinach into our sloppy joes last night, but I didn't chopped or cooked it down enough. It was even a little much for me!

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