While going over my toddler's finicky eating habits with a new friend, she suggested I get a copy of Deceptively Delicious by Jessica Seinfeld. You know, the recipe book that was all the rave in 2007. Needless to say I'm a little behind the times. Anyway, the book is chock full of creative ways to disguise healthy foods in kids' meals. This is accomplished primarily through pureeing fruits, vegetables, meats, etc., which kids would normally reject, and tastefully pair them with staples. E.g. pureed cauliflower with mac and cheese, carrot in homemade ketchup, pumpkin and yellow squash in chocolate chip cupcakes, and the list goes on. Most of these items sound yucky (particularly the beet in pink pancakes), but so far, so good.
For breakfast this week, I made Peanut Butter and Jelly Muffins with Carrot. My son doesn't care for peanut butter (or carrots) that much, and I happened to have a super large jar of the stuff, so this was as good a start as any. Much to my surprise, the little bugger loved the stuff and asked for more. That day, he must have eaten nearly three muffins. Doesn't sound like a lot, but for him, that was spectacular.
Seeing the food pairs, inspired me to create some deceptively delicious meals of my own. I did this to some extent before when mashing bananas in his pancakes and avocados in his scrambled eggs (who has time to puree everything?), since those two items he will actually eat. Today, I happen to have some already pureed whole wheat pasta with tomato sauce (thanks to BeechNut Stage 2 baby food) that my daughter absolutely refuses to come close to her. I thought instead of throwing it away, I'll incorporate it into mac and cheese, my son's favorite. See, deceptively delicious and cheap. Beat that Jessica Seinfeld.
This brings me to another point. Will baby food purees substitute for these receipes in a pinch? Afterall, they're wholesome, readily available and hella convenient. I tried the books website http://deceptivelydelicious.com/ to contact the author, but the link redirects you to Oprah's website. There haven't seem to be many updates since 2007. Oh well, I guess I'll have to break out the food processor.