I’d love to be able to tell you that my kids are vegetable chow hounds. I have blog with “vegetables” and “kids” in the tag line after all, shouldn’t it follow that I get to tell tales of my little posse begging for broccoli, beans and beets? Shouldn’t I be writing posts about how easy it is to get your kids to eat fruits and vegetables? I could even use lots of exclamation points!!! I could say “all you have to do is try!!!!”
That’s what some people might like to call “Irony”.
Getting these girls to eat a decent amount of fruits and vegetables every day can be a real struggle. They can both tell you how important fruits and vegetables are for growing strong, healthy bodies and having lots of energy – there is no shortage of conversation on this topic around here. Or maybe that’s the problem? Maybe I should shut up about it and just focus on setting a good example.
Or! Maybe I could write a children’s book where children who refuse to eat Brussels sprouts are chased down by rabid, pitch fork carrying squirrel ghosts!! Pitch forks with a row of Brussles towered on each tine!!!!
That’s what some people might like to call “Creative Parenting”.
I really do like to believe that we try all the right things. I let them pick out foods they might like to try when we hit up the produce section. They’re with me for farmer’s market shopping sprees and come along for CSA pick ups. The love to help me cook. They listen with awe and disbelief to the stories I tell them about how much they loved vegetables as babies. They play an active role in growing vegetables here at home. I know some kids have to try something 20 times before they start to like it, but man – there are only so many ways I can prepare or times I can be shot down before I give up offering a banana for crying out loud.
I will give a disclaimer here that Thing 1 has a larger vegetable repertoire than Thing 2. Really, it’s the littlest of the little gals and the three items on her list of Fruits and Veg-a-tabuls I’ll Consider Eating Only When There Are No Other Options that I am most concerned with.
I really don’t like the “sneaky chef” approach, for one) I’d rather they just ate the damn vegetable without having to jump through a bunch of hoops and two) (perhaps more pertinently) they don’t fall for it.
Thanks though to a slew of birthday celebrations in recent weeks and a fateful slice of carrot cake that happened to be slathered with a thick layer of cream cheese frosting, Maxine came to excitedly discover that she’ll eagerly eat this orange root crop when it is surrounded with processed grains, butter and sugar.
That’s what some people might like to call “Compromise”.
I’ll overlook some flour and sugar if it means we get to add carrots to the list of acceptable vegetables you’ll eat, kid. We’ve got a deal.
In an attempt to find some sort of healthier alternative to carrot cake, I got to work in the kitchen. Not a whole lot healthier mind you, but still – it’s progress. You do remember I said she’ll only eat three different produce items, right? Three. Peas, apples and raisins.
And now thanks to these muffins, we’re up to four.
Apple Apple Not Carrot Cake Muffins
1/2 c oil (I used canola)
1 c sugar (if close your eyes when you dump it in, you can pretend you didn’t add it at all!)
1 1/2 c unsweetened applesauce
2 1/2 c flour (I used a mix of whole wheat and white)
2 apples, peeled and shredded (skin on!)
1 carrot, shredded
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
Stir together oil, sugar and applesauce. Add in shredded apples and carrots and mix well. Whisk dry ingredients together in a larger, separate bowl and then add the fruits and veggie mix in with the dry ingredients and stir until well combined.
Line muffin tins and fill cups 3/4 of the way – this recipe makes approximately 18 muffins.
Bake at 350 for 25 – 28 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean.
Alternatively, you can oil and flour a 9 x 13 inch cake pan and cook for 30 – 35 minutes, or a loaf pan and cook for 45 – 50 minutes. I went the muffin route as I made these for a dozen kids for one of the aforementioned birthday celebrations. Every muffin disappeared, and my conscience was not the least bit concerned.
Who’s that kid? That can’t be one of mine. She’s eating carrots for breakfast.
Nevermind. That’s definitely my kid.
Hey wait! That’s my kid!! Eating carrots for breakfast!!!
See? All you have to do is try!!!!