Friday, July 6, 2007

Veggie Tricks



No peas. No broccoli. No zucchini. My kids just seem to be hardwired to reject most vegetables, particularly the green ones. And Ellie won't eat orange food either (yuck, carrots). So I have resorted to vegetable trickery . . . with mixed results. In my experience, here is what has worked and what has most definitely not worked.

A New Twist on the Familiar
Ellie loves pancakes in the morning . . but my sweet potato pancakes with cinnamon honey butter (recipe from Cookie Magazine) were a huge flop. They were delicious and I happily ate the whole batch myself, but they were too orange for Ellie's discriminating eye. S0 much for a little vitamin A in the morning.

Tough Choices
Sometimes I will chop some mixed vegetables up very small (the Cuisinart accomplishes this nicely) and mix them in with the things I know they love to eat. For example, my kids love macaroni and cheese so I sometimes put a little bit of chopped broccoli in the cheese sauce. This usually meets with protest ("why my noodles look green?"), but Ellie will sometimes decide to take the bad with the good. Other times, she will spend twenty minutes picking our every offending piece.

If You Won't Eat Them . . .
My latest approach involves tricking them into drinking vegetables. Whole Foods sells a product called Vruit, which claims to provide a full serving of vegetables in each eight-ounce serving. It comes in a variety of flavors (many of which surreptitiously contain beet, celery and carrot juice). But both Ellie and Brendan seem to love it. V-8 has a similar product called V-Fusion which they will also drink. It isn't a perfect solution, but I figure it is better than nothing.

But now I have taken this trick too far. I bought carrot juice last week and mixed it with a little regular juice, which worked until Ellie saw the bottle with the damn carrots on it. Horrified, she asked, "Why you do that? Why there be carrots in that juice. I already tell you I no like carrots."

And periodically, they will both surprise me. Brendan ate about half of a sauteed red pepper last week. He tolerates my "kale pesto" over buttered noodles. Ellie has been known to inhale mixed salad greens (but only if served with Daddy's homemade vinaigrette). And last night Ellie was out on the porch eating basil right off the plant. That counts as a green veggie, right?

1 comment:

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