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New tricks for old recipes

September 3, 2009

As I posted yesterday, Queenie is a picky eater and picky eaters are the worst when trying to make sure they get all of their veggies and fruits and meats as well as introducing them to new flavors. (I am being optimistic by thinking that this is a “control phase” for my toddler instead of a prelude to her grown-up eating habits.)

So I started really watching what she will and will not eat. Chucks of meat are out. Doesn’t matter what meat it is, it cannot be in chucks, it must be ground up and placed into a sauce or casserole type deal. Potatoes, rice and pasta are a hit. Perfect. We can work with that. Peas are all in. Green beans not so much. Apples sometimes, strawyberries always, banana possibly every other day and sometimes grapes, cheeries and other berries. Always orange juice (100%, not from concentrate. More expensive, but only oranges). And milk is definitely a go.

But my newest trick is grating up carrots, zuchinni (mostly peeled), eggplant, onion, celery, et before sauteeing it. The smaller pieces make all the veggies get lost in the rice, pasta or sauce and doesn’t really give her a chance to pick them out. I grate up carrots or pumpkin or squash and mix it in with meatballs or meatloaf to add tenderness as well as vitamins. For mashed potatoes I add califlower when the potatoes are about half-way done, then mash them all up together with milk, butter and salt. The califlower actually adds a wonderful flavor to the potatoes and no one ever notices, not even my ultra-picky SIL!

My MIL is a great cook but I notice that there are times when we will go days without eating a single vegetable at her house besides potatoes. Honestly, I group potatoes in with carbs and don’t count them as a veggie eaten. I notice the toll it has on my body as I try to eat balanced everyday and I notice the toll it has on Queenie’s diapers as well! My goal is to always have one to two veggies and/or fruits in every meal. There is no reason to serve spaghetti without a veggie mashed in or a pizza without a possible green in there. It is amazing what Queenie will eat when it isn’t obvious it is there. Or, shall I say, it is amazing what she won’t spit out or refuse all together…..

Breakfast is one of the hardest meals of the day. She isn’t really into sweets and will only devour a doughnut or other pastry when really hungry. She likes banana or pumpkim bread, but only the first day it is made and we have to be careful to make sure the butter is melted into it otherwise she only eats the butter. This goes for toast as well. Pancakes are sometimes a go as well as churros, but I don’t like giving her churros, that is really more of an abuelo thing. Breakfast is still something I am trying to hash out, and if anyone has suggestions, let me know! And snacks are sometimes hard. There are days when she won’t eat anything and I end up offering her ice cream just to make myself feel better. In the end I know the best thing is for me to lead by example. So many days have gone by in the past when I realized that I was so concerned with how many fruits and veggies she ate that I hadn’t eaten anything more than a cookie and piece of cake all day (exagerated, but you get my point!). I try to lead by example by placing the same things on my plate, if not healthier, and many times she wants to try my stuff. She doesn’t always take a second bite and sometimes (like with bleu cheese) it gets spit out right away, but I hope I am at least making an impact.

Once again, I can’t wait for bribery to become an option!

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