Monday, November 24, 2008

Deceptively Delicious

Today, I was preparing to write a post about Jessica Seinfeld's Deceptively Delicious cookbook. It wasn't going to be pretty, but now I have changed my mind.

I bought this cookbook in an effort to try, once again, to get my kids to eat healthy foods. Actually, I would settle for not even that healthy, but just something outside of the standard three-meal rotation in our house: peanut butter & jelly, pizza and pasta with butter and Parmesan cheese.

Phillip won't eat meat, with the exception of McDonald's chicken nuggets, which he reminds me "don't really count." Other than that limited amount of meat, he is a self-proclaimed vegetarian. He has been having dizzy spells and the doctor is pretty sure (given the information he provided) that it has something to do with the fact that his diet is almost all carbs.

Sam refuses food most often simply to be difficult. And Andrew just does whatever Sam does. As I usually start preparing dinner (often with Andrew's help), he immediately starts asking, "we aren't eating that, are we?!?" No, most often they don't eat what I am cooking. I make up to three meals. Ours (the adult meal), Phillip's and then Sam and/or Andy's. I decided long ago (and I have written about this before) that I would not let food become an issue at our table. So, I don't argue.

Our latest tactic is they have to try one thing on the table and if they don't like it, they can politely ask for something else--but only after they try something. Usually this doesn't go great. They might try, but never decide to eat what we are having (of course not, because they know they will still get what they really want to eat).

So, enter the cookbook.

I spent Saturday creating the purees (the basis of her meals--kid-friendly food secretly containing servings of veggies). I made two dishes. One was meatball soup. Who was I kidding. They won't eat soup to begin with, what made me think they would like this I have no idea (I think one of them said they thought it looked good). I also made something called rice balls. Rice, pureed chicken, squash and cheese rolled in ground crackers and cooked in a bit of oil. Nope. Didn't fly. I asked Jeff if he thought Borders would take it back if I told them my kids wouldn't eat anything out of it.

The pureeing was just like the baby days. I made all my kids foods. Squash, pears, apples, sweet potatoes, potatoes, everything...I steamed, cooked, pureed and froze almost everything they ever ate. I made tofu nuggets and served them kiwi rolled in wheat germ. They loved avocados and almond butter. What happened? Where did I go wrong?

I have no idea, but tonight--tonight I claim a small victory. Sam wanted pancakes for dinner. Wait! There are pancakes in the cookbook. I whipped them up and guess what? They loved them--even with the 1/2 cup of sweet potato puree, which of course I didn't tell them about!


Anonymous said...

You are a woman on a mission! Good luck and keep trying.


Anonymous said...

Wow! You'll have to send me the recipe for the sweet potato pancakes. Anything smothered with syrup -- and my kids will eat it. Thanks for the laugh, too. Sounds like our house! I tried "healthy" spaghetti noodles ONCE -- needless to say, I'm back to "normal" noodles...

Amy Mc

Kathleen said...

I have mixed emotions about her cookbook too...more bad than good. I struggle daily with Abby just to eat, much less healthy. We do the "no thank-you bites" She has to taste it and then if she does not like it, she can say no thanks. She is pretty good about it however, nine times out of ten, she says sweetly, "no thank-you" So hard, you want them to have a good base...ahhgh...Atleast I have Madeline who eats anything and everything I put on her tray!! For now...........