Okay, if you have those dream children that eat every bite put in front of them, move on. You are a perfect parent and I suck in comparison to you and I don't wanna hear about it. But if you, like me, have kids that balk at most vegetables and routinely ask, "How many bites do I have to eat?" then you may be interested in what I have to say.
A little more than a week ago I found Jessica Seinfeld's cookbook, Deceptively Delicious, on sale at Barnes and Noble. I was intrigued. She proposes that she hides vegetables in her children's food without them even knowing...and they LOVE it. She has a brownie recipe containing spinach.
I don't even like nuts in my brownies. Spinach?!
So I brought it home. Well, first I paid for it, then I brought it home. And I couldn't wait to get started on my evil plan to lure my children into actually ingesting vegetables unawares.
The first recipe we tried was Chicken Nuggets with pureed sweet potato in the breading. Sounds weird, I know. Now, the trickiest part is actually sneaking in the sweet potato without them noticing, which I will tell you, if you're kids are always wanting to help cook, is no easy feat. But once I presented the finished product no one was the wiser. In fact, my little ones went wild over these! In fact, I was quite surprised at how good they were.
Our next recipe was Pancakes with sweet potato puree. Another hit. Last night it was Italian Meatloaf with carrott puree and Mashed Potatoes with cauliflower. The potatoes were excellent and though the meatloaf had a nice flavor, the texture was a little mushy, which turned my kids, and myself, off. However, with enough ketchup, you can disguise almost anything.
You might be thinking, as I did, that if you trick your kids into eating vegetables, they will never learn to eat them knowingly. However, she addresses this issue as well and never suggests that you stop serving fresh vegetables on the side and even as crudite while you are making dinner. But if you know they are getting at least some vegetables - however deceptively - then you don't feel like you have to spend the meal nagging and negotiating with them about eating. Personally, I hold the belief that kids are kids and eventually grow up and stop complaining about onions and peas. I eat loads of stuff now that I wouldn't touch as a kid.
Of course, I still don't do liver.
All in all, I highly recommend this book. So far, the recipes have been simple, kid-friendly and tasty. What more could you ask for?
And now I'm off to make Banana Bread with cauliflower.