Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Deceptively Delicious "Aunt" Bites

*Pledge: I solemnly vow that this post will neither ask you to puree anything, nor shall it call for ingredients that lead you on a wild goose chase throughout your local grocery store.

If you are a mom, I'm not telling you anything you don't already know when I say getting children to eat their vegetables is an ongoing battle war. And being the mom of a toddler has it's particular challenges considering the things they like today are often the same things they thumb their nose at tomorrow. Never mind that you just spent 20 minutes valuable hours of your life cooking it. Time you will never get back. EVER.

But I'm not bitter or anything.

My little man is famous for declaring he wants scrambled eggs, only to balk at them after they are cooked. I'm not sure what it is about those pesky little eggs, but apparently the idea of them is more appealing than the reality.

Which unfortunately is the same way I feel about exercising, but that's another post in and of itself.

Recently my mom gave me the Deceptively Delicious cookbook. And that is such a fabulous concept and all, but let's just be real for a minute. A person who considers it a good week if she cooks two meals for her family is not very likely to spend large quantities of time pureeing endless amount of vegetables, to then sneak into recipes that she can't even decipher the ingredients for.

Especially if that unnamed person is the same girl who had to call her sister from the grocery store in tears a few years back when she could not find the "brown onions" that her recipe required. For the record, I still think that cook book should have been more specific in clarifying that "brown onions" was a directive, NOT an ingredient.

That said, cooking meals can be a bit of a whip in and of themselves, but throw in creating nutritious snack foods and it is just more than any mother should have to bear.

All in all, I have to say that my son is a pretty good eater. He likes relatively healthy things and give or take a few chicken nuggets, he gets a decent range of nutritional value for the most part. However, the thing in particular that currently makes me the most crazy is trying to work vegetables into his diet. It's like my husband trying to convince me that my car is not a trash can.

It's just not practical.

So when I remembered an age old favorite snack from my childhood, I began to feel somewhat hopeful. Setting my expectations fairly low, my goal was simply to bring the horse to the water and see if he would drink. As it turned out, my little horse not only drank, but lapped up the entire river. In laymen terms, Park was a big fan of the "ants on a log" that my mom used to fix me, which is simply a stick of celery covered in peanut butter with raisins on top.

He ate 4 full "logs" before declaring that he was all done because "the fire ants bit my tongue, Mommy!"

Which then reminded me of a little girl my mom once taught years ago, who when asked which aunt would be picking her up from school that day replied, "Well, I'm not sure, but I know she's not the ant that bites me."

All that to say, I hope you find success in adding this deliciously nutritious snack to your repertoire of weapons when fighting the vegetable war. To ensure victory, perhaps you should consider calling them "Non-biting Aunts on a Log" when introducing them to your children.


Anonymous said...

This post cracked me up! A good laugh and a great snack food idea- you just can't beat that. Thanks for sharing.


Heather said...

An oldie but a goodie, indeed!

Stretch Mark Mama said...

I'm right there with you! I have a similar series going on at my site as well. Stop on by!

Kelli said...

That is my kind of cooking!!!

Lori said...

Yes, I must admit I bought the book with hopes of deceiving my toddlers into eating more veggies. Yet it still sits on my dresser under a stack of books. Unfortunately I can't try your cool recipe because Taylor's allergic to Peanut Butter. I'm telling you it is a pain.

Tara said...

My little guy is allergic to PB too grrr :( Maybe Cream Cheese would work?

Brittani's Holding Little Hands said...

Lori and Tara,
A good PB substitute that I have used before is almond butter. (Almonds are the one nut on the entire planet that it is impossible to be allergic to) Cream cheese sounds like a good one too, though. Hope this helps!

Ingram Gang said...

What a co-ink-a-dink (did you ever use that term growing up?), some friends and I were talking about these little critters last night.
How funny that you wrote about them :)
I do need to try this with Noah. Point and truth, I don't eat my veggies like I should so I don't offer them to him like I should.
I have the same cookbook. I've made a whopping total of 1, yes one, item. (and it was banana bread, that shouldn't count)
Also for your friend who's son is allergic to PB, yogurt might be another good substitute. Just a thought.

fullheartandhands mama said...

Too cute and clever.

I picked up that book at the library. I'm not sure why since I haven't even cracked it open yet. Maybe once Baby Girl starts eating "solids," I'll make extra of her food to fool the big kids. That, of course, is a BIG maybe.

fullheartandhands mama said...

Okay, I'm back to say the "brown onions" gave me a much-needed laugh. Thanks. It also made me recall a kitchen mishap of my own. I linked to you in my post.

Thanks again for the laugh and a clever tip.

Tiffany said...

"Brown onions," you are too funny. My lil' man used to be so good at eating his veggies. He would ask for "geen beans!" And maybe this is just a stage..hopefully or maybe his tastebuds are changing, but I thought that only happened every 7 years or so. Lately he asks for bread- just plain bread. Oh well, my mom once told me I went through a phase where I asked for sunshine sandwiches (aka bread w/ mustard and mao mixed.) She said she finally asked where this was all comming from and I told her that that's what they gave us at daycare. Needless to say, she was a little upset and probably would have pulled me out, if I was still going there! Good luck on the veggies. If you have any break-thrus, please share! Blessings!

Lisa said...

Hi! I found you on Full Heart :)

My kids actually love fireants on a log (I use dried cranberries)--if they like peanut butter, maybe put a dollap of peanut butter on the plate with carrots (my girls seem to love this) and maybe cucumber sandwiches--two cucumber slices with cream cheese in between.

My advice on veggies--just keep putting them on the plate and offer lots of variety--my oldest daughter is now a huge fan of cold kale and sauteed baby bok choy :)

Mari said...

Ha! Ha! Brown onions! That sounds familiar!!

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Anonymous said...

last few days our group held a similar talk on this topic and you point out something we haven't covered yet, appreciate that.

- Laura