Picky eater, sneaky foods
For Christmas, my in-laws gave me The Sneaky Chef, by Missy Chase Lapine. This is one of the two cookbooks that came out last fall with recipes for how to hide vegetable purees in a variety of foods to get a little more nutrition into kids. (The other one was Deceptively Delicious, by Jessica Seinfeld, and there was some discussion over whether she stole the other person’s idea, and got a lot more attention because of who she’s married to.)
I’m not morally opposed to sneaking vegetables into my kids’ food — I’ve been known to put pureed black beans into brownies when I was desperate to get some fiber into D’s diet — but I haven’t actually used the cookbook very much. The main problem is that both cookbooks (I took the Seinfeld one out of the library at some point to compare) assume that all kids will eat things like macaroni and cheese and tomato sauce, and D won’t. When you’re talking about a kid who eats his peanut butter without jelly and doesn’t like ketchup, there’s not a whole lot of opportunities to disguise food. A few weeks ago, I did make sweet potato puree when I was making sweet potatoes for myself, but then I never got around to using it before it got all yucky and moldy in the fridge.
So, this morning, since the boys had off from school and I decided to work from home rather than hazard the ice, D asked if I’d make pancakes. So I decided to try the chocolate chip pancake recipe, which involves a mixture of white and whole wheat flour, wheat germ, and ground almonds. I made some with chocolate chips, some plain, and some with blueberries.
Both boys loved the chocolate chip ones. Neither would eat the blueberry ones — and N usually adores blueberry pancakes. They said the plain ones were ok, but not as good as my usual ones. So, is it worth it to add the chips as a bribe to get them to eat some extra whole grains and protein? Maybe occasionally, and especially if the alternative is bisquick, which is pretty low in nutritional content. But Julia’s Oatmeal Buttermilk pancakes have just as much whole grains, and taste a heck of a lot better.
Oh, and having a book called "The Sneaky Chef" isn’t so sneaky once you have a kid who is old enough to read the title and ask what’s the ingredient he’s not supposed to notice.