Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Sneak in a little nutrition

I know, it's 12:34 a.m and I'm still awake. And I don't even have the excuse of my kids still being awake or anything like that. I'm just here, by myself, thinking about life. Don't get me wrong, I am tired, but there's just too much going on in my mind right now. So since it will probably be a waste of time to even try to go to bed at this moment, I decided to share a little something on here.

Today I was thinking about my kids' nutrition, it's funny how they go through fases. My oldest daughter used to be a really good eater and my youngest a very, very picky eater. Well, that hasn't changed much but my youngest IS eating a lot more. He used to eat very little, if any food at all. I nursed him until he was a year old, and that's pretty much all the nutrition he got up until that point. He never liked any baby food, except for some occasional pureed fruit. He wasn't just picky, he was, and still is, a very MESSY eater. It's funny how I still get fooled thinking he has eaten pretty much all of his food only to find most of it on the floor. And that happens pretty often. I should've learned not to get my hopes up before looking down by now. But I guess us mothers never lose hope when it comes to our children. WOW. How deep. Okay, nutrition! Geez. It's late!

Well, the other day I was at Anna's house and we were talking about our picky eaters and she mentioned how her son absolutely LOVES pizza. And since he's a very picky eater, she decided to make a pizza but throw all kinds of veggies on top. Pretty smart, eh? And since it was a pizza, he ate it! I haven't tried this yet but I'm pretty (almost) sure my son wouldn't eat it. He's THAT picky. He would just look at it and make a grossed out face or if he dared to try it he would probably spit it all out (and maybe even gag a little). But I will try making this and will tell you all if I was right or if I was right. Okay?

After that day, I started thinking about other ways I can make healthier foods that my children (or more specifically my son) WILL eat. There is one book called Deceptively Delicious  which I really want to get. A friend of mine suggested it. Have any of you read it?

  Also, I found a couple ideas on the What to Expect website. I've probably mentioned this website on here many times before but it's got some great information. For the entire article, click here.

If you just want to stay on this page and keep reading, here are the tips they give you:
  • Slip in some veggies. Add finely grated vegetables (carrots, beets, zucchini work well) to rice, cottage cheese, or even macaroni and cheese; they add a little color and a lot of nutrition.
  • Say cheese. Boost the calcium quotient by grating mild cheeses such as cheddar, Colby, or Monterey Jack over veggies, or mixing cottage cheese into pasta.
  • Redo the recipe. You can hide almost any veggie inside a meatball. Whenever you cook chopped meat, toss in some grated vegetables (again, carrots, beets, zucchini). They add a mild flavor, lighten the texture, and up the nutritional ante. Serving tomato sauce? Whether it's homemade or from a jar add in some finely chopped peppers, carrots, parsley, or beans, and cook till the veggies soften. If you like, run the sauce through the blender or food processor to totally hide the additions.
  • Get fruity. Mash super-nutritious blueberries into pancakes to make "bluecakes"; make whole-grain raisin muffin-cakes with cream cheese "frosting" — this muffin trick works just as well with carrots, pumpkin, and zucchini.
  • Sundae best. Layer pureed (or finely chopped) fruit with yogurt or cereal in a tall parfait glass. Or make a banana split for breakfast with a quarter of a banana, a dollop of yogurt, and a sprinkling of cold cereal.
  • Pizza time.  Sprinkle small pieces of soft-cooked (or roasted) veggies on top of homemade or store-bought pizza.
  • Bake it in. For a real treat, make (good-for-you) cookies together. Look for healthier recipes such as oatmeal raisin or ginger snaps made with whole grains. Or grate zucchini or carrots into the batter of plain cookies or muffins to boost the fiber and vitamins.

Now you probably already know many of these. But I want to know more! Even MORE sneaky! So tell me what is YOUR secret to making your picky eaters eat healthy? Please share! =)

I think I can sleep now. Sweet dreams!


Simone said...

Aline, este livro é super legal. Tem em português. Eu comprei no Pão de Açúcar. bjs

Aline Carson said...

Okay, about the pizza thing, I just thought of blending all the vegetables with the tomato sauce and then with the cheese on top they wouldn't even notice anyway. Ha!

Anna said...

Aline, that's what I do, I make my own pizza sauce and put in tons of veggies in it, carrots and broccolli are my usuals and then I blend it all, so he never even knows it's there.

Also, I started making juice with our juicer I put carrots, apples oranges, beets, today I even put spinach in it! Since it always ends up being really sweet because of the apples and oranges, and he never sees the color, he always drinks it right up. I usually give this as his mid morning snack... it fill him up and it's packed with good stuff!

Also, I have found that the less variety I put on his plate, the more he eats. If I put too much stuff for him, he just plays with it. So I keep things simple. Grilled chicken strips and cucumber sticks. PB sandwiches and apple slices.

Rebeca Price said...

THANK goodness rachel is not picky, and I think I'd suffer a lot if she was....but I already do most of these things you listed just in case in some point she decides she doesnt want this or that anymore.
Here at home we eat absolutely everything and I am always sneaking things inside regular other things. For example, I love soy protein (proteina de soja) but my husband is not so fan of it. I use it (the ground version) just like ground meat and if I use half meat and half soy protein, no one can even notice I used the soy protein.
I ALWAYS put sherreded carrots on my sauces specially bolognese sauce. Brocoli florets or carrots on rice. I cook beets with beans and it also adds lots of color to it, besides all the nutrition.
Juices are my favorite. Rachel loves juices too so if you tell her it's juice, she'll drink it.
For chicken, I open the breast like a butterfly and fill it with spinach cheese sauce (frozen spinach with cream cheese, butter, milk and cheese). DELICIOUS!!!

Rebeca Price said...

oh yeah, here's something my mom did a LOT for us: when making a pancake batter, add carrots or beets. It will give such a fun color to it and ALSO tons of good stuff!!! we loved the different colors our pancakes had!!!

2 + 2 = 4 said...

I am one to be totally against Jessica Seinfield's book. I find the whole sneaking thing horrific and it sets terrible precedence to a kid's eating habits.

At our house, I strive for great food. I buy good veggies, I cook delicious meals. If someone doesn't want to eat...guess what? They go to bed hungry....but, guess what finds them in the morning for breakfast? Their dinner from the night before. They have to try 3 bites (swallow and stay in) before they can eat anything else.

Research upon research has said that a kid has to try over 100 times in order to like something. One of my twins is an example of that...she just finally decided that she likes broccoli.

My .02 cents...