My Little H will eat anything.
Unless it's supposed to be eaten and is served to him on a plate.
Rocks? Eaten them.
Sand? His digestive tract is well exfoliated.
Grass? Dirt? Small twigs? Money?
Check, check, check, and $0.37.
When my parents were watching the kids he ate the TIVO button off of our remote:
Then, he devoured part of a flashing super ball:
My parents were horrified. See, no one really believes me when I say Holden is a goat until they experience it for themselves.
At our local farmers market, he got a free stress ball shaped like a stalk of broccoli.
As for actual edible things, if it doesn't involve french fries or come from Starbucks, he's not touching it.
So let's summarize: If it's real food, Holden won't eat it. If it's fake food or anything inorganic, he will. Real broccoli? No. Fake broccoli? Yes, please.
Enter Deceptively Delicious. It's a new cook book written by Jessica Seinfeld, wife of Jerry Seinfeld and I had the opportunity to review it for the Parent Bloggers Network. The whole premise is tricking your kids into eating healthy foods. It's based on pureeing vegetables and hiding them in kid friendly foods.
I tried the mini pizzas first. They're made on small pita rounds and layered with spinach puree, tomato sauce, and low fat mozzarella. My husband and I loved them. The kids refused to eat them. They wouldn't even try them. Because the pizza didn't look enough like Papa John's.
That's OK, I'll try it again until the little scamps actually put some in their mouths because I know they'll like it.
Next, I tried the lasagna. It involved pureeing cauliflower and hiding it in low fat sour cream to make a ricotta like filling. Both kids loved it. Holden even ate, like, 2 bites. That's a feast for him. Hollis ate his entire serving. I didn't think it was quite as yummy as my regular lasagna recipe, but my lasagna is far more fattening and not nearly as healthy. Plus, I couldn't taste the cauliflower. I loathe cooked cauliflower. I'll eat it raw, but cook that stuff and put it under my nose and I may throw up on you. It's the only vegetable I won't eat. But DD got me (and the boys) to eat cauliflower, so that's saying something.
I tried a few other things: macaroni and cheese laced with cauliflower, grilled cheese mixed with something that escapes me right now) with varying degrees of success.
Next, the desserts.
I tried brownies first. The recipe calls for pureed spinach and pureed carrot. I didn't have any carrots in the house, so I used pureed pumpkin (something used in some of the other recipes.) I'm a diabetic and am consequently a freak about not using much sugar in our food, so I substituted the brown sugar in the recipe for the Splenda brown sugar baking mix, used bittersweet chocolate, which is also low in sugar, and I used whole wheat flour.
The brownies made according to the recipe have 133 calories and 3 grams of fiber per serving. The way I made them, it comes out even lower and I calculated each brownie to be 1.5 Weight Watcher's points. T and I both thought they were pretty good, but they don't really taste like brownies. They were more like chocolaty pumpkin bread (maybe I should have followed the recipe), but the boys ate them. Even my goat eats them. And for the record, I couldn't taste the spinach.
I also made some blueberry cream cheese muffins. The muffins have pureed blueberry and spinach and the cream cheese filling has squash. Again, I used Splenda and low fat everything. They're pretty tasty. Even so, the boys would only eat a few bites. But hey, the goat had 2 bites of muffin. That's monumental seeing as how the muffin didn't come from S-T-A-R-B-U-C-K-S.
The Deceptively Delicious recipes do take a bit more time, but not terribly more. The biggest time investment is making pureed veggies. I cheated. I bought frozen, cooked them in the microwave, and pureed a whole bag at a time. Because the recipes call for purees in 1/2 cup measurements, I froze leftover purees in freezer bags in 1/2 cups. I have lots of pureed squash, spinach, cauliflower, pumpkin, and blueberry waiting for nights when we're in a rush.
I don't intend to stop serving my kids vegetables in the usual way. I think that's important to help them develop healthy eating habits. I also doubt that we'll be cooking out of the book every night. But I've liked the healthy versions of enough of the DD kid friendly recipes that I'll definitely be incorporating a few into our usual meals. And maybe I'll feel slightly less guilty about Holden eating only a brownie in 24 hours if that brownie contains two servings of vegetables.
Would I recommend it? Hell, yes! Anything that gets Holden to eat something that's healthy (and actually edible) is worth it.