Wednesday, March 16, 2011

My child refuses to eat healthy food

See that handy dandy little device? KitchenAid calls it a food chopper. It is my vegetable hider. I just picked it up recently and have had great success. There are also a series of books called Sneaky Chef. If you check out the website you will find some free recipes.  Taz has just plain flat out decided he is not eating anything healthy and tries to do a refined carb load whenever possible. I tried preparing healthy meals and leaving the choice to him. He has only grown worse as a teen, which I realize all kids do. But it is like he has declared war on healthy food. Fine.

I've figured out the art of hiding veggies. The key is to pick veggies that blend in color wise with what you are preparing. If your kids like mac n cheese? Easy peasy. I switched to whole wheat pasta, low fat cheese and when I make the cheese sauce, I pour it in the chopper with some cooked cauliflower. NO ONE COULD TELL. Toss some bread crumbs in a little butter and sprinkle on top and put it in the oven until crunch. In any spaghetti sauce I mix fresh spinach, fresh tomatoes, peppers, onions. Put them in the chopper until they become liquid. The only complaint I have about the chopper is that it is a little small so I sometimes have to do more batches, but it is only around $30 and you can't beat that. It is well made. Any food that contains sauce can also contain hidden vegetables!

There are some benefits besides the nutrients he is now getting. ALL of us are getting the added nutrition, not just Taz. He himself says "Wow this is really good" every time I do it. It makes the food more flavorful. It is giving him some taste for these veggies so as an adult, he may taste them and say "This reminds me of something".

Never, never, never quit! If what you are doing doesn't work....stop doing it...and do something else. If you don't know what to do. Ask a mom on here. Email me at If I don't know I will find someone who does. We are in this together ladies.


Tara - SanitySrchr said...

Is this like a "mini" food processor?? I love this idea of hiding veggies. Thankfully my kids don't have the veggie husband does.

Brenda said...

Yes. It turns it into liquid.

marythemom said...

I used to do this the "lazy way" with baby food (easier to hide), but honestly the options on baby food are not as good as when my kids were babies. Used to be you could get plain spinach or squash. I did learn the hard way that too much pureed spinach (green) added to tomoato sauce (red) can make the sauce look an unappetizing brown. Now I love using frozen veggies because they're always fresh and don't go bad before I get a chance to use them.

I make things like "Spaghetti Confetti." I chop frozen mixed veggies (broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots - not peas and corn which are grains) in the blender until they are confetti-sized pieces . The kids can see the colorful "flecks" of veggies (maybe), but they're too small to pick out.

When sneaking in veggies, I often tell my kids that chopped spinach is "spices," and I throw in a little parsley or tarragon or whatever to keep it from being a lie.

I also love to bake with pureed veggies. And I use fat free yogurt to replace almost all oils. When baking you can use applesauce or pureed squash, but it does add a flavor and if you use it to replace more than half the oil it makes the bread or muffins much denser. Yogurt can replace equally without effecting the texture. The kids love all the baking I do - they think they're gettting lots of sweets (I also add powdered milk for extra protein, only cook with whole wheat white flour, and often add 5 grain cereal to a lot of things - breads, cookies, meatloaf, hamburgers...).

I like to add grated carrots to things like oatmeal cookies - texture is a little like coconut.

Mary in TX

Brenda said...

GREAT stuff Mary!

Journey By His Grace said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Journey By His Grace said...

I'm not sure how I found this blog, but I just wanted to thank you for sharing your triumphs and trials on here. My husband and I are going on a little over a year of raising our 4 yr old son with RAD. We (and God) have accomplished much but we still have quite a journey ahead. Thank you for your candidness and positive outlook. Your faith is evident and refreshing. = )