Saturday, January 22, 2011

Secretly Sneaking in the Veggies

I have three toddlers. Riley is an excellent eater, Sophie is a good eater, and Piper...ugh (said with a heavy sigh)...not so much. Piper doesn't like anything with pasta or spaghetti sauce, no beans of any kind, anything with tortillas, and most things with rice. She refuses to eat green beans, peas, carrots, corn...and on and on. We've cut out her snacks and tried the "Well, she'll eat when she's good and hungry" theory to no avail. It's ridiculous. But, if I were to give her a muffin, goldfish crackers, cheese, or chocolate milk she'd down it in twenty seconds and want more. Piper is skinny. She's healthy and average in height, but she's certainly slimmer than both her sisters because she's just too picky.

A year ago I bought the book Deceptively Delicious: Simple Secrets to Get Your Kids Eating Good Food by Jessica Seinfeld (Jerry's wife and mom to three little ones). I tried and liked several of the recipes, but then fell off the wagon and haven't made any in a long time.

Jessica Seinfeld is absolutely adorable - not that we're close or anything; I've just seen her on several interviews and think we'd make great friends in real life. Her cookbook is cute, clever, and full of great tips and recipes for secretly sneaking pureed vegetables into meals. The Today Show's nutrition guru, Joy Bauer, gave the book her stamp of approval and has nutritional advice throughout the cookbook too.

Look how cute Jessica is with her littlest boy. (I like the bag too.)

So, I'm going to start using these recipes again so I can make sure my kids, especially Piper, eat more vegetables. Today I'm stocking up my freezer to have the purees on hand. I'm making butternut squash, cauliflower, and carrot purees. They'll last us two weeks or more because you only add about 1/2 cup of one or two purees to each meal. Though it's not much, it certainly beets (pun intended) not adding any vegetables at all. Plus, it's simple.

A few of her recipe ideas are to add 1/2 cup cauliflower puree the next time you make mashed potatoes. The butter, milk (or buttermilk), and salt completely cover any cauliflower taste. Since both the potatoes and the cauliflower are white, you're the only one who knows they're in there. You can smile while your kids gobble up their taters and you don't have to battle over eating other veggies. I love it! You can also add sweet potato or squash puree to French toast, pancakes, muffins and so forth. I've added sweet potato puree to the coating I use on homemade chicken strips too. Though not in her book, I do add Low Sodium V8 to most of my soups.

I'm excited to start using Jessica's recipes again to help me get out of the dietary rut we've been in lately. Have you ever used vegetable purees in foods? Just this past week I heard Jessica released a new cookbook. I'll have to see what that one is all about.

Happy sneaky cooking!


  1. Pureeing veggies and storing them is a great idea. Now where is my ice cube tray again...

  2. I own this book and it seems like a lot of extra work...I'm only 25 weeks along so I won't be needing this for awhile...but do you find the recipes easy to make and not take forever?

  3. Emily,

    We eat most of our meals at home. I'm a stay-at-home mom and find it easy to throw the veggies in the steamer while I'm doing other things. When I'm cooking dinner in the oven, I throw in some sweet potatoes or butternut squash on the other rack and puree them in the food processor later. Once you have the purees made and stocked up in your freezer, it's easy to add to any recipe. I've made some of Jessica's recipes and really liked them. I also realized I can add purees to lots of recipes not in her cookbook. It was like a little lightswitch went on - ahah!

    Congratulations on being 25 weeks along. What an exciting time in your life!


  4. I have this book, too, and loved it for a while. Like you, though, I fell off the wagon. Now that my 3 year old son has started disliking veggies (I knew the day would come eventually), I'm going to have to pull it out and get back on track.