We like to eat in my house and no food group goes un-molested. The favorites seem to be breakfast meats (that includes kielbasa, the finest and most versatile of casing-clad meat products) and breads (biscuits, pancakes, loaf breads). That is not to say that we don't hit it hard in the veggie department (and fruit… but who doesn't like fruit?) as well, it’s just that tastes vary so much there. Take Sass. From the first moment the All-Hallowed-Broccoli passed his toothless little gums he pledged his undying love and unwavering masticatory attentions to its cold-loving crowns. The boy will pick broccoli (or green beans) over a cookie. We've tried it and it’s true. Sprinkles, on the other hand, is completely uninterested in the verdant greens of the light seeking veggies and has chosen instead to pledge her allegiance to the dark loving tubers. (A child after my own heart considering that I too had an almost unnatural affinity for a mashed potato as a baby. Yeah…. As a baby… *Ahem*) She will continue to shove potatoes and kielbasa in her mouth until her little belly is straining at the highchair safety belt, belch loudly, and then reach for more. I worry that her one-sided-veggie-ness will become nutritionally problematic. Not with her iron intake (have you seen her go after a pot roast?) and not with her calcium intake (we are actually considering buying our own cow…. That is how many gallons of milk we go through in a week.) but with all the other important nutrients her little body will need to keep up its astonishing growth rate. Last night at the table I watched her idly play with a bit of cooked spinach I tried to feed her, (she was putting it in her mouth and then slowly pulling it back out but never actually chewing) and I realized that helping her develop her taste buds may be a bit tricky.
I have found myself “sneaking” veggies into things, something I have never had to do before, in an attempt to widen her plant-eating palette. Peas into every casserole, zucchini finely chopped into pasta sauces… but, in truth, I am only creating one, huge culinary lie. Now, we lie to Sass about what he is eating all the time! Green Bell Peppers have been called “Crunchy Green Beans”. Black Olives have become “Black Pickles”. But we lie to get him to put the food in his mouth and expose him to the flavor and it usually works. With Sprinkles, all the veggie-sneaking is just a desperate attempt to make sure we don't have to start grinding up Flintstones to put in her milk in the morning. Why is it that she will eat meat spiced with Cumin, Adobo, Curry, Thyme, or fresh garlic but acts like broccoli is the most vile and odious of poisons? Broccoli? The most delicious of all the green vegetables? It’s not like I am asking her to eat brussel sprouts (Yummm!) or anything…. She gives me the “Are you trying to kill me, Woman?” look if any of the offenders from her ever growing list of “Things That Aren't Potatoes” ends up anywhere near her food pile on the table at dinner time. It is a battle and I think I am loosing…. Badly.
Do any of you have any tips on working with picky eaters or any guerilla-veggie recipes to share? Because I think if I put peas in anything else Hubs is going to have an intervention….
C'mon Sprinks... Don't be a hater!
Everyone needs a little love...