If You Can’t Beat Them, Trick Them!

Chocolate chip cookie.
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I have a son who refuses to eat anything but pasta with white sauce or pizza. And of course anything with chocolate in it. We have tried everything. He does end up eating the healthy stuff because he knows there are consequences in the end but sometimes he starts gagging and once or twice he has actually been sick. Now I think this is him being over dramatic but, needless to say,this is not much fun for anyone!

My daughter on the other hand has only recently decided there are things she doesn’t like (which is really unusual). But she will try ANYTHING! The rule in our house is you can’t decide you don’t like something without trying it first. At 2 years old we were in a restaurant and they had olive past on the table which she tasted and loved. At a party when she was barely 3 she had small wasabi crackers (yes, hot green stuff) and thought they were fantastic. She loves mozzarella with oil and vinegar. She eats tomatoes in salads and LOVES red and green peppers.

I complain about S but to tell you the truth he is exactly like my husband and myself. There are foods I didn’t taste till I had my children (when I had to taste them to prove a point) and there are still things I have never eaten. I have to say I agree with S. There is NOTHING in this world better than a big bowl of pasta with parmesan cheese.

I can see J as the type of person to grow up liking the taste of caviar and truffle oil (YUCK) but at least I hardly ever have to worry about her eating habits. Baby B is (God willing) on the same track as J. Or at least he hasn’t figured out how good all the other stuff is.

So, our new nanny and I (with some help from Jessica Seinfelds’ book Deceptively Delicious) have decided to trick the kids into eating healthy. We started out with cookies, lovely traditional chocolate chip cookies with carrots (our additive), chick peas and we substituted the sugar in the recipe for honey. Then we had home-made strawberry ice-cream (yoghurt, strawberries and honey basically). and for dinner tonight, macaroni with white cream sauce (made from cheese, and puree cauliflower). Next we will add a tomato sauce (with puree spinach of course) to either a pizza or some chicken or something. There is also a chocolate cake with beet root which I personally am dieing to taste (don’t think I have actually ever tasted beet root!)

I did tell them, after they finished their plates and rated the pasta as 10 out of 10, what was actually in it. I also told them that we will be incorporating veggies into many more of their meals. I can trick them into trying it and liking it but if they don’t know what they are eating and why then I’m not actually changing their eating habits am I.

Any sneaky food ideas you can share?


  1. A classic sneak is chopped spinach in chocolate cupcakes. Thaw frozen, chopped spinach and squeeze dry. Add it to the cake batter and bake as usual.

    Also, you can substitute applesauce for the oil in cake and muffin mixes.

  2. Love it!!! Will experiment with the apple sauce that’s brilliant! I see ur in the Easter province as well. The humidity is killing me!!! How are you coping?

  3. “The Sneaky Chef” is another cookbook you may like! I make their “Masterful Mac ‘n Cheese” with cauliflower and squash purée, but sounds similar to yours! I also make their breadcrumbs — 1/3 whole wheat breadcrumbs, 1/3 seasoned Italian breadcrumbs, 1/3 wheat germ and 1 tsp salt. They also suggest watering down juice with green tea.

    My favorite concoction is pureed lentil soup. I put carrots, onions, garlic, mushrooms, brown rice and kale in with lentils and chicken broth. I purée it in the pot, and she gets all those veggies! (And it tastes good!)

    Good luck being sneaky!!

    Jen :)

  4. With my kid’s, the only way I could get them to eat veggie’s, was to under cook them. If the carrots, green beans etc had a bit of crunch they would eat them. Also for some odd reason lemon-pepper spice on just about any thing made it good to the kids. One of my son’s refused to eat chicken, didn’t matter how I cooked it. Until one day I baked chicken that had been rolled in bread crumbs and lemon-pepper, he fell in love.

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