Thursday, January 27, 2011

Food for Kids...Hide A Veggie and Jazz It Up Every Once And A While

Cooper has always been the best eater, and it has been my joy to cook for him.  I remember steaming veggies and blending fruit when we were introducing him to flavors and getting all giddy watching his little face contort and scrunch up as he figured out what he liked and didn't.  So fun.

Well, as a two year old, he has become a little pickier, and I think partly due to my becoming a little lazy with cooking.  As my arthritis seems to be coming and going over the past months, the meals I have been cooking and the food I have been preparing haven't always been the balanced, exciting, and healthy meals I was getting accustomed to making.  I think he got used to being a normal kid as far as eating habits go!

I started getting a little creative, like many moms with wee ones do, and just wanted to share two little ways I try to hide a veggie or jazz up something ordinary for Cooper.  Super easy and pretty obvious actually, but I always think it's fun to see what other moms are doing to help their kids enjoy their food.

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Mac and Cheese (Hidden Veggie)

Amy's Rice Macaroni & Cheese, Gluten-Free, Organic, 9-Ounce Boxes (Pack of 12)

Cooper loves Amy's Macaroni and Cheese made with organic, gluten free rice pasta.  We've had Kraft macaroni and cheese and other brands too, but this just happens to be our favorite.  I have to say, it's creamy, and I always have a few in the freezer for Cooper...and myself.  When it's a rough day, and I'm not up for spending a lot of time in the kitchen, I still want to make sure he gets more than mac and cheese in one sitting.  So, when I cook up this mac and cheese in the microwave, I try to add in a veggie that won't distract him and make him say no!  As he loves corn on the cob, corn cooked up from the freezer is not his favorite.  Because it's orange and seems to hide very well in the corn, I pull out a small portion of frozen corn and add it in.  Voila!  A little hidden veggie that won't cause alarm!  

Don't get me wrong, I always like to put the steamed or cooked or raw veggie on his plate too, all by itself.  I've never been shy to discuss with Cooper what he is eating and use words that might excite him about the food.  He seems to respond very well and is always up for at least "tasting" whatever it is I've made for him.  I don't want to take away the opportunity for him to decide what he really likes before I make up his mind for him.  I have the cookbook Deceptively Delicious, and it has some awesome ideas in terms of incorporating veggies in all kinds of meals and desserts.  But being deceptive is not my game plan from the start, and I am all about introducing Cooper to flavors and textures with him developing a joy, healthy understanding, and love for food.

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Jazzing Up the Cheerios

Trix Cereal, 10.7-Ounce Box (Pack of 6)  Cheerios Cereal, 14-Ounce Box (Pack of 4)

So Cooper loves cereal...LOVES!  I try to change it up each morning and throw in all the other breakfast options, but cereal is his FAVORITE!  Cheerios with bananas is a gold standard around here, but to jazz it up a bit I like to addd some colorful Trix.  Remember Trix?  Trix are for kids!  So instead of caving in and letting him have a whole bowl full (or ever really giving him that option to start with), I sprinkle in the fun and give some new life to his Cheerios!  He loves it!

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If you haven't seen these fun food resources yet (kind of kid inspired), check out... - What\

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 If you have wee ones of your own, how are you helping 
them foster a healthy love and enjoyment of food?  

Blessings to you,

1 comment:

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