Getting Real With Wanda Morrissey

I had no idea what other mothers were complaining about. What do you mean your child won’t eat his vegetables?  Just put them on the plate and he’ll eat them – my son does. I had no problems feeding Jeffrey, my son. I made all his baby food and he ate everything I gave him. He never fussed or turned up his nose. I thought I had the world’s best eater. I was silently patting myself on the back for obviously doing something right while wondering what all those other mothers had done wrong. I was happily oblivious to what was going to happen next.

Sometime not long after his 2nd birthday Jeffrey decided that he no longer wanted to eat his vegetables. My first reaction was that he must be sick; my great eater always ate unless he was sick. Except he didn’t look sick or act sick.  What on earth is going on?, I asked myself. Maybe it’s a phase. I’d heard that sometimes kids don’t eat much for a couple days, just make sure that they get lots to drink and everything will go back to normal. Yeah, that had to be it.  That wasn’t it. As the days slowly dragged by, with every meal turning into a battleground, I realized that my Jeffrey, my fabulous little eater, had turned into one of those kids – he was a picky eater. I wasn’t patting myself on the back anymore; I was racking my brain to find a solution.

I logged on to the online mommy community that I’m a member of to see if I could find any help there. It was there that I first heard about sneaking vegetables into food. Lost in a debate about whether or not sneaking veggies into a child’s meal was lying to them or not, was a post from a mom who used purees to sneak veggies into meals. She said she used a cookbook called Deceptively Delicious by Jessica Seinfeld. Several months had passed by this time and I knew my son couldn’t live off peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and yogurt forever; I was willing to try anything. So, off to the library I went to find a copy. The library didn’t have a copy. Now what? I asked myself. I started poking around the shelves to see what I could find. As I glanced at the numerous titles that lined the shelves my eyes were drawn to the word ‘sneaky’ in bold lettering on one of the spines. The book was The Sneaky Chef to the Rescue: 101 All New Recipes and Sneaky Tricks for Creating Healthy Meals Kids Will Love by Missy Chase Lapine. Could this be the answer that I was looking for? I took it home to find out.

I read the information provided in the first few chapters of the book and decided it was worth a try. I picked out a few of the recipes that I thought we might like and bought the necessary ingredients. I spent one afternoon pureeing carrots, sweet potatoes, cauliflower, zucchini, broccoli, spinach and peas into different puree combinations that I then divided into ½ cup portions and froze. The next night I tried my first sneaky recipe and it worked!  Jeffrey ate it, my husband loved it and so did I. I tried others and the ones we liked have worked their way into regular rotation.  There were a few that didn’t work out so well but the successes outnumbered the failures.

Now I sneaky everything. I keep a variety of purees on hand at all times and put one or two of them into every meal I make. I always serve an extra vegetable, as a side dish, and slowly Jeffrey has started to try them (he still refuses to chew carrot).  But I’m not going to give up my sneaky ways. I find it’s a great way to get in all the recommended daily servings of vegetables and, not only is, Jeffrey eating his veggies but my husband and I are eating better because of it.

Thanks, Sneaky Chef!