I’m not a chef. I’m just a mother standing in front of her two-year-old asking her to eat something other than cheerios and cheese sticks – being met with a predictably decisive “no.” It’s a common game around here and I’m almost always the loser. Broccoli? No. Avocados? No. Green beans? No. Anything that’s not full of sugar and/or shaped like Dora? No. Well, that sure puts a damper on dinner plans.
I don’t consider myself a health nut. I mean, I buy organic when I can but I’m also a devoted fan of frozen pizza and mac n’ cheese. We grow a garden in the summer (complete with everything Savannah won’t consume) but we eat boxed food on occasion too (Tuna Helper, anyone?). I’m somewhere in the middle of the spectrum, one hand dumping chia seeds in my kids’ morning yogurt and the other mixing store bought cookie dough for their (and my) afternoon snack.
Until Molly came along, I never knew that some kids actually like peas and carrots. (Of course, the child will also eat crayons, soap, gravel, and dog food so maybe she’s not the best example of a good eater. Still, I’m sort of okay with letting her chomp on a bar of Zest if she’ll follow it up with some lima beans … which, you know, she usually does.) But what is a parent to do with the kids who’d rather give up dessert (oh, bribery, you were my last hope) than eat something green?
Well, I’ve discovered a solution – one I’m sure most of you already know about but in the off chance you, like me, are ten light years behind on all things hip and trendy, you should definitely take note. For the past few months I’ve (successfully!) been hiding Savannah’s veggies, thanks to none other than my devious cooking skills and trusted partner in crime, Mr. Food Processer.
Don’t like broccoli? No problem. Just eat this awesomely tasty, one hundred percent broccoli-less (wink, wink) spaghetti sauce. Not a fan of avocados? That’s okay – try this tater tot casserole (I promise, dear daughter, I would never ever sneak guacamole into it). I know you hate green beans; that’s why I made you meatloaf (“sans green beans”) instead. Sometimes I feel guilty for tricking the little angel but mostly I watch in evil amusement as she obliviously relishes every cauliflower-infused bite.
Kids. Sometimes you have to cherish their innocence and sometimes you have to take advantage of it.