Thursday, January 27, 2011

Trying a Little Deception

Everyone who knows us, knows I struggle daily with Tia's food issues.  It started when she turned 3, and continues now that she is 5.  I had all but given up on the issue, and stopped trying to get her to try new foods.  Then I started noticing all the bruises on her body.  She bruises easily, and A LOT.  A sure sign of iron deficiency.  That makes sense since she has never eaten meat (seriously, NEVER) and the only veg she'll eat is plain Romaine lettuce.  Where would she get iron?
When I brought up my concerns at her physical, the doctor suggested getting her actively involved in cooking, which should spark her interest in trying new things.  Um, sorry to break it to you doc but we've been doing that since she was old enough to stand on a stool.  She loves to cook.  She doesn't love to eat.
Remember a couple of years ago when I got to go see the Oprah show?  Jessica Seinfeld was the guest that day and she was promoting her new book "Deceptively Delicious; simple secrets to get your kids eating good food". 

The audience didn't even get the book that day, but, I digress.  My hubby later bought the book for me and I have used a few recipes here and there.  Not a lot of success in that department either.  Tia is not fond of trying new or different things, so no matter how much you mask that pureed cauliflower, she's likely not going to try it.
In my moment of desperation, and my need to be a great mommy, I decided to give the book another try.  I picked out a coffee cake recipe because it called for chopped walnuts, which happen to be pretty high in iron.  The picture in the book looked wonderful.  I got the kids excited about the recipe by going to the store and picking up some of the ingredients, like mini marshmallows!  We made it together, except for the part where I had to add pureed butternut squash.  I had to send them out of the room and add the squash when they weren't around.  If they saw it go in, that would be the end of the experiment.  Here's what our finished product looked like.

Hello!  We're trying to deceive our kids, so what's up with that orange squash in the middle!  My husband asked why I didn't mix it all in the batter and my answer was "I followed the instructions of the recipe!".  I guess I figured it would all melt together and you wouldn't be able to see it.  I thought for sure there was no way the kids would even try it.  Well, that's until I remembered what a good liar I am.  They asked what the orange stuff was and my very straight faced answer was...
"That's the mini marshmallows.  Don't you know they turn orange when you bake them?".  They bought that hook, line and sinker!  Tia didn't eat her whole piece, but she did eat the crumbly top which was loaded with walnuts (which I put through a food processor so she wouldn't know there was a nut in there!).  She even ate most of the squash because of course she thought it was melted marshmallow.  She hasn't been interested in having another piece though, and I guess that's OK.  At least she tried it which is a great improvement.  Gia has had 3 pieces.  No complaints from her.  The rest sits in my freezer, probably to be lost forever.

Later today we will try the recipe for "Peanut Butter and Jelly Muffins".  I already mixed the carrot puree with the peanut butter after they went to bed last night, so they wouldn't be able to see it.  They can do the rest of the mixing and baking.  I'm hoping for the best and will post pics tomorrow.

Good god this responsible parenting thing is a lot of work!

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