Little S has become quite the picky eater. He started out devouring everything and anything I put in his mouth or in front of him. Then all of a sudden he didn’t like anything. Thank God for cereal or I think my child would starve to death!
The last couple of months the blender has become my best friend. I have pureed, pulsed, and blended a variety of different combinations trying to find just the right textures and tastes for my picky child.
Now, I know I am not the first to blend up vegetables and put them in my child’s food. Its not a new concept. There are books that are dedicated to tips and tricks. But I wanted to share some of my successes, and perhaps some of my failures, over the next few weeks.
One of the few foods that my child loves is mac n cheese. I know of only a handful of kids who doesn’t love the gooey goodness that comes out of the blue box. But I hate to feed it to S because it has so little nutritional value. So here is what I did to add some benefit to this yummy food.
Veggie Mac N Cheese
1 Blue Box of Mac N Cheese
2 Cups of California Frozen Veggies (Broccoli, Cauliflower, and Carrots)*
Milk and Margarine, according to directions
1 Cup of Cheddar Cheese Chunks (the smaller, the faster the melt time)
1. Start by boiling water and cooking the noodles according to the directions on the box.
2. While the macaroni is cooking, cook the frozen veggies according to the package directions. You want them to be soft but not too overcooked because they will be cooked some more later.
3. Use a blender to puree the veggies. The broccoli is the hardest to puree. I don’t have a food processor but it might be easier to get a better consistency with one. You are going for a paste that is similar to baby food. Remember to include some water when using the blender.
4. In a second pot add the amount of margarine required by the box. Once it melts add the milk, veggie puree, and cheese chunks. Keep an eye on this mixture as you don’t want it to get to hot and scorch the milk. The idea is to blend the flavors.
5. If desired, add the cheese powder from the box to the pot of puree. This will help enhance the cheese flavor and add the taste kids are familiar with. However, the cheese powder is pretty high in sodium, so if you are watching your sodium intake it might be better to skip the packet and just add more cheese.
6. Drain the cooked pasta. Pour the cheese/veggie sauce over the macaroni and stir together.
7. Serve to your hungry little munchkins.
I always put a small amount into a little bowl for my little S and stick it in the freezer while I am getting the table set and drinks made for the rest of the family. That way, by the time we are ready to eat it will be cool enough for him to handle himself.
I’d say it was a hit! He couldn’t get enough of it. And little did he know he was eating those undesired veggies!
What are your favorite ways of hiding nutrients in your kids’ favorite foods?
*NOTE: This is my favorite mixture because the veggies are easy to blend and do not have too much flavor. They work wonderfully with a variety of different recipes. But there are tons of different options out there, and the majority of them would work wonderfully. Or if you have some baby food on hand, you can always skip the blending step and use it instead. I have successfully used baby food in the past but be warned that adults will not like it as much. So if your goal is to feed the whole family the same thing (as is mine) it might be better to simply make your own puree.