Monday, September 26, 2011

Eat Your Veggies!

Excuse my little blogging hiatus. Last week kicked my butt with back-to-school activities and general busyness. But I'm back and I have to tell you, the day I've been dreading has arrived. Sweetie Pea has decided that he's not into vegetables anymore. The 8 month old who greedily gobbled up squash, sweet potatoes, edamame and spinach is now an (almost) 14 month old who'd rather feed them to the dog. I have diced those veggies into microscopic pieces and I'll be darned if he can't find them and pick them out. Of anything. But on the plus side, the dog is really healthy ;-)

Hubs and I try to eat as healthily as possible, and we did so even before having a baby. Unfortunately for me, having a child kicked my (adorably) neurotic Type-A personality into overdrive when it comes to things like nutrition. I'm pretty obsessed with making sure Sweets gets a rainbow of fruits and veggies, lean fresh meats, whole grains and dairy products. When he started rejecting every vegetable in sight, I decided to get sneaky. 'Cause I just can't let him not eat vegetables. It goes against everything in me.

I give you, Exhibit A:

If you haven't heard of these books, they are totally devoted to helping you hide pureed veggies in your child's favorite meals. Since I made all of Sweetie Pea's first foods, I am well-acquainted with chopping, steaming/roasting, pureeing, and freezing veggies, so this strategy was right up my alley. One trip to the farmer's market, 3 hours, and every ice cube tray I owned later, I ended up with this:

If there is a vegetable apocalypse in the next 30 days, I think it's safe to say we won't starve. Behold what was formerly 1 large butternut squash, 3 HUGE red peppers, 2 lbs of carrots, and 4 sweet potatoes the size of my head. 

Now why, you may ask, would I give up 3 hours of my life to pulverize poor, innocent veggies? Because if I had to make a vegetable puree every time I wanted to sneak it into something, I would never do it. This way, my nutrient-laden deception is as easy as pulling a few cubes out of the freezer and defrosting them. And being the Type A that I am, I couldn't wait to test out the vegetable guerrilla warfare. My first attempt was the "Masterful Mac and Cheese" from The Sneaky Chef. It is full of multi grain noodles, carrots, sweet potatoes, colby jack cheese, and a crunchy topping made from crushed bran flakes, wheat germ and parmesan cheese. The best part about it is that it does not require you to make a white sauce. I loathe making white sauce (seriously, who has all day to stand there whisking so it doesn't scorch? Not me). 

And? ZOMG. It was to die for. I nearly ate myself sick it was so good. As for whether Sweetie Pea liked it, I give you Exhibit B:

Yeah, that'd be him licking his plate

Score. Fueled by this early success, I road-tested another recipe, "Breakfast Cookies," also from The Sneaky Chef. No veggies in this one, but they are chock-full of whole grains, ricotta cheese, cinnamon and wheat germ (which apparently is super healthy. I've never eaten wheat germ a day in my life prior to this little experiment). 

And again I say, OMG. So delicious I had to force myself not to eat the entire batch this morning. Sweets gobbles them up and I have to remind Hubs that they aren't anytime cookies, they're for breakfast! 

So if you're in a similar situation with your child, I highly recommend giving these books a try. I checked them both out of my local library (along with a DVD of the "Will and Kate" Lifetime movie that was on the new media rack. I know, it's going to be bad. I'm ok with it ;). I can't say that every recipe will be a winner, but I can say that tonight, I'll lay my neurotic little head peacefully upon my pillow, knowing that my kid willingly ate his fair share of ((secret)) vegetables. 

1 comment:

  1. i am totally getting these at the library!!!! i STILL have squash puree in the freezer from LAST YEAR and would love to use it!!! [not to mention like 500 squash fresh from the garden this year that i'm trying to give away to every victim i can think of].