Cooking for Kids

Hiding the Good Stuff

So I am the type of person that likes to experiment with food. I honestly can't remember the last time I used a recipe to make a dish. I know that you have to use a recipe for baking, but my son is not a big fan of sweets and I don't have the time to make bread (although I happen to love how my house smells with bread baking in the oven).

Why do I experiment? I would have to say that the experimentation comes from the fact that I love trying new things and also, I don't make that much money, so I have to figure out how to make a flavorful meal without necessarily having all the ingredients on hand. I look through my freezer and pantry and find what I have and I know I always have spices on hand, so I use those to create the flavor. I can honestly say that I have not created anything that I haven't instantly loved. 

I'm a single mom and my son is not necessarily the biggest fan of trying new things and doesn't have such a refined palate yet, but we are working on it. I experiment to be able to give him healthy meals without him immediately seeing something he doesn't like and turning his head and saying he doesn't like it. My son does not like cooked spinach, which I don't necessarily enjoy unless I have some lemon to go over it, but I know that it's something that can be easily hidden in different items. I have hidden spinach in lasagna, all I did was add it to the cheese mixture, and then once it was added and all mixed together, my son was eating spinach and he never knew it. 

Want your child to eat zucchini? Make zoodles. I have a mandolin that I use in order to make the thin slices, but then once you add the noodles into whatever sauce you make, it can become indiscernible. I am lucky in the fact that my son is the type of kid who has always enjoyed fresh fruit and vegetables, he just doesn't like them all. His favorite snack, an entire tomato, he will get the tomato and eat it like an apple! 

I have found that this is my best way to be able to get him to anything new. Yes, it sounds bad to deceive your child, but really if we didn't, I don't honestly think kids would try them. 

Now don't get me wrong, I'll still get vegetables and attempt to get my son to try them, but usually he spits them out. We have found some that work well for him, but there are others that I have to figure out some way to hide them to get him to eat them. Luckily, this is only with vegetables, when it comes to fruit, he eats it like crazy. How many kids do you know that will eat grapefruit without any sugar. My son will take the peel off and eat grapefruit like crazy. I mean, he tried it for the first time when he was about a year old (I have never laughed so hard while trying to get him to drink some water) and he didn't like it then, but now I have a hard time keeping any for myself.

I don't know how else to get my son to eat the good stuff, he would much rather eat junk food. His favorite meal is steak and mashed potatoes. Luckily, he also loves broccoli. Every year for Valentine's Day, I make him his favorite, steak, mashed potatoes and broccoli. However, this year he chose asparagus. The fact that he chose something new made me one happy parent. He has asked to try Brussels sprouts, which I will happily make him, and I'll try anything else that I can get my hands on when it comes to healthy fruits.

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