As I mentioned in my last post, even though he was a champion eater for the first part of his life, my son started developing his own ideas about what he would and would not eat when he was about 15-months-old. There will come a point in my son’s young life when Mama shuts down the restaurant and he learns that he will either eat what is served or go hungry. But for now, I still battle with him and trick and cajole him to eat his vegetables. Mostly, I sneak them.
One way to sneak them is to make a pasta sauce that is loaded with vegetables. I serve it over spaghetti and J loves it. It’s probably his favorite meal.
I make fruit-vegetable purees and use them in several different ways. They taste more fruity than vegetable-y, so he usually eats them happily, without a fuss. I make a large variety of the purees in advance, freeze them in 1-ounce portions (using an ice cube tray), and keep them stashed in my deep freezer. Then I thaw them as needed and spread them on toast, or put them in yogurt or hot cereals.
For example, his breakfast most week-day mornings is a boiled egg along side a bowl of an oatmeal-quinoa combination cereal (my husband or I cook breakfast on weekend mornings, but he still gets his cereal). The cereal has 2 cubes of a fruit-vegetable puree mixed in and he loves it. I use different puree combinations so he doesn’t get bored with the same old stuff. And the best part is, before 8am every day, he’s already had at least 1 good serving of vegetables.
These are some fruit-veggie combinations that work great together:
- (5) apples and (12 oz.) broccoli
- (4) bananas and (16 oz.) broccoli
- (5) apples and (1/2 lb) carrots
- (5) apples and (12 oz.) green beans
- (1) banana, (1) zucchini, and (1) yellow squash
- (4 oz.) mixed berries and (2 oz.) spinach
- (1) peach and (1) squash
- (5) pears and (8 stalks) asparagus
- (8 oz.) peas and (4) pears
- (5) pears, (2 oz.) kale, and (2 oz.) spinach
- (8 oz.) strawberries and (1/2 lb) carrots
A few hints:
*Where possible, don’t peel your fruits and vegetables. Of course, some must be peeled, but if it’s safe to eat the peeling, leave it.
*You can steam your fruits, but it’s better to roast your vegetables. Steaming vegetables tends to bring out the bitterness, while roasting them tends to bring out the natural sweetness.
*Add spices! I like to add allspice, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, nutmeg, or any combination of those spices to any of the above recipes.