Juicing. Chopping Into Bits. Pureeing. Whatever It Takes.

I’m a proud owner of Deceptively Delicious. I often chop up vegetables into bits and pieces, so that they aren’t recognizable to my family. I am thrilled when my kids (and my husband) have no clue about the mass amounts of vegetables I’ve snuck into their dinner, and they tell me how GOOD it tastes. The best is when I’ve put fish into a dish, and my husband (who claims to dislike the stuff) eats it and doesn’t know there’s fish in it, until I spill the beans.

Yeah, I’m sneaky.

Some would call me dishonest. Why won’t I slice up the veggies and “make” my kids eat what’s good for them? Others might say I’m only making the situation worse.

I don’t think so.

You see, both my boys started out in life with no aversions to food. I can’t say the same for my husband, although he’s really coming around. He thought sushi was disgusting before he met me. The boys were given a wide palette of foods, and most were accepted with open arms. They weren’t picky eaters, and considered vegetables as a delicious side dish to whatever else I’d prepared. Then they got out of that phase. My 8-year old recently told me, “Mom, there’s no good food in the house”. He was staring into a fridge abyss of vegetables and fruit, and the pantry boasted whole wheat. After going to school five days a week, he has witnessed what others bring for lunch. He’s told me about the mini-cookies, candy, bags of potato chips, and puddings galore. I allow him to eat those things, but not on a daily basis, and he doesn’t understand why. He doesn’t care when I tell him that eating healthy is good for his body, his mind, and keeps him from getting sick. That won’t register with an 8-year old, you know?

Mealtime is a constant battle. “How many bites before I’m done, Mom?” He’s almost always referring to the salad, and if it’s not the salad, it’s cut up veggies. I’ll even supply the ranch, but he doesn’t want it. When I tell him a specified number of bites, he’ll make them small bites. Really small bites. My 3-year old has picked up on this habit. Gone are the days of eating broccoli. That used to be his favorite veggie. He won’t even touch it now, not if big brother won’t. I’ll slice up carrots, and cucumbers. Bell peppers of various colors, and it won’t matter.

I had to think outside the box. I bought theĀ Deceptively DeliciousĀ book in an attempt to get some healthy foods into my boys’ bodies. And my husband’s, although he’s a fantastic salad eater. He loves the stuff. They all love the Meatball Soup recipe the most. I’ve also taken to crock pot meals, where I can chop up the veggies using my little chopper, and it makes it more bearable for the kids. They rarely notice what’s in the crock pot, other than the meat, and the flavors.

a very inexpensive chopper- bought mine for $5 on sale

a very inexpensive chopper- bought mine for $5 on sale

My latest venture is juice-related. My husband purchased a Breville for me, and I love it! We all love it! My kids are fascinated with juicing! Just this morning, my little guy asked that I juice something up. Part of the fun is including the kids, from step 1. I let them choose the fruits, and we work on what vegetables they want. They have noticed how even kale can be juiced undetected, so that always goes into our juice. Along with carrots. Cucumbers. Celery. They see it going in! There’s no anguish or squirming from them, or from me! After I wash the produce and chop it up, that’s the best part. Placing the produce into the juicer. Afterwards, they help me by scooping out the top layer of pulp, and then we stir the juice up, and my boys like adding ice. The little guy will sit at the table, spoon in hand, and “eat” the juice and ice mixture.

Depending on the day, mealtimes are still a battle. They’re kids, and they’d love it if we switched to an all candy and cake diet. There’s only so much I can do. I’m no miracle worker. I’m just a mom trying to feed her kids healthy foods, whether that’s juiced, puree, or chopped up into tiny indistinguishable bits. Whatever it takes.

carrots, kale, apples, strawberries and lemon. He's one happy kid!

carrots, kale, apples, strawberries and lemon. He’s one happy kid!

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9 responses

  1. I know there’s fish in it. I always know if there’s fish in it.

  2. I love Deceptively Delicious, it’s an awesome cook book. There is only so much time in a day and frankly at the end of it I’m to tired to fight with my children over how much veggies they have left. I could do what my dad did and make them sit all night at the table until that last bit of spinach is gone but I choose to forgo that route and instead incorporate it into dishes that I know they love. It saves time, hassle and most importantly my sanity.

    1. I feel the same way! I get tired of the fights and the bickering. I mix it up- some nights we’ll play the “how many bites” game, other nights I just blend it all up so the veggies are unrecognizable. Like you said- it’s nice to save on our sanity!

  3. So great that you are getting creative to make sure that your whole family gets everything that they need in their daily diet. Good for you in not giving in! I know it must be challenging! My husband claims to not like fish either.

    1. LOL! Mine swears he’s always able to tell when he’s eating fish, but when you mix it with other meats? Makes it a little difficult. ;)

  4. It’s tough. I had a heck of a time with my 8yo because of his egg allergy we didn’t diagnose until he was 4. He was SOOO suspicious of everything. To this day he really avoids anything that is all mixed up together. However, he started embracing veggies after we grew a garden. It’s like they were “his”, you know, and he would eat them, even okra. If we grow it, he’ll eat it. Then his brilliant babysitter told him if he wanted to be a better Uno player he needed to eat more veggies but it would only last 24 hours, ha! Your guys will develop a taste for veggies over time and you have to pick your battles for sure. Funny when it’s with the hubby too, LOL!

    1. I have a friend who went through something similar with her 3 year old. He had food allergies (still does, but it’s getting better) and so he was only given limited foods, so now her son doesn’t want to eat anything! I love your garden idea! I am so doing that this year! I want to grow my own veggies, in the hopes that it will motivate all of us to continue to eat healthy and really enjoy what we’ve grown.

      1. I’m glad your friend’s son is getting better. My son’s egg allergy is so extreme and to both whites and yolks, I don’t know if he’ll outgrow it or not. The result was nausea or vomiting, so it took a long time to figure out what was causing it. He’s picky, but the funny thing is what he actually likes is whole foods like meat, veggies or fruits, whole wheat bread or sweet potato, dairy and he can’t eat most sweets unless we make them at home egg-free so he isn’t even that fond of sweets! So I try to look at the positives, LOL, but yes the garden really helped. I was amazed at how well it worked for him. He has a very analytical brain so I’m thinking he must think, I grew it so it must be good, ha!

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