I am a big fan of the recipes in the Deceptively Delicious recipe book. If I can get more veggies into my kids’ food, I’m all for it. I’m not necessarily a fan of “hiding” the veggies from the kids though. I puree veggies and fruits and mix them into our foods very frequently. And I do tell my boys about it…after they’ve tried it! You know kids, if I say “Here try this, it has spinach in it!” They are going to instantly hate it. But if they try it and like it, then I happily announce what it’s laced with. If I ask the boys if they like their dinner, Chandler never fails to ask, “Why what did you put in it?”
If you start early enough your kids should have no problem with being veggie eaters, but not everyone does. It’s so easy to fall into the habit of making a box of mac and cheese for lunch instead of serving raw veggies and real cheese. I didn’t start early enough myself, so my kids are set in some of their ways. But it’s never too late! Start slowly introducing healthier options to your kids and teaching them about how important healthy eating habits are. We’ve made huge progress over the past few years as we assume a healthier eating lifestyle. And here is one big way we do it!
Mostly, I puree butternut squash, spinach, carrots and sweet potatoes. It seems like a lot of work, but really, a couple of hours of kitchen work is so minimal when compared to the health benefits! So here’s how I do it:
Squash: Cut in half, scrape out the seeds. Place flesh down on a baking sheet and bake at 375 degrees until mushy. (These are technical cooking terms, people, stick with me.) Let cool and then scrape the skin off. Puree in food processor until nice and smooth.
Carrots: Cut up into quarters, steam. Let cool just a bit so you don’t burn your hands! Puree!
Spinach can be steamed until just wilted, then pureed.
Sweet potatoes can be roasted in the oven whole, cool, then scrape out of skin. Puree!
See? Simple! I like to do it all in one day. That way I only have to dirty up the food processor once! I will then place the purees in one cup portions into the freezer, ready to be added to whatever I wish! I also will leave out some of the purees to add to some of my freezer meals, like chicken pot pie, chili, etc. Which I will show you all about soon!
Try it once, just once! If it’s not for you, find another creative way to get those veggies into those kids!
*If you have babies in the house, save the purees for them too! SO much cheaper and healthier than buying the jarred kind!