Sneaky Mommy


The following nugget I am about to share with you is not one I can claim as my own brainchild.  It is a Pinterest find, but an absolute gem in the picky toddler eating games I am currently eye ball deep in.  If you are in my current predicament, you also have a toddler who refuses to eat many things put in front of him or her.  I could take the path of eat it or go hungry.  He has gone hungry.  And then I thought, why don’t I get creative and,  dare I say, sneaky?  Yes, I decided to trick my son into eating healthy fare.  Thus far,  it seems to be working out deliciously!

Here is one of the super healthy and super sneaky picks! Spinach muffins! I have changed the recipe to suit our tastes, but it is essentially the same.  They are awesome. And they freeze beautifully!


Serves: 12 muffins

2 cups whole-wheat flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup canola oil
3/4 cup almond milk
1 (6 ounce) bag fresh baby spinach
3/4 cup mashed banana (from about 1 to 2 bananas)
2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350°F and line one 12-cup muffin pans with paper liners.
Whisk together dry ingredients in a large bowl: flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.
In a blender, place oil, milk, and spinach. Blend on high for about 30 seconds or until completely puréed. Add banana and vanilla; blend on low just to mix.
Pour puréed mixture into dry mixture and fold together with a rubber spatula until completely combined.
Fill muffin cups about 3/4 full and bake 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.


These days, I call most everything cake, apple sauce, yogurt or ice cream.  Yes. I do.  These muffins are now affectionately called “breakfast cake” in our house.  O gobbles them up.  Now you could certainly change out the sugar for apple sauce.  I already reduced the amount of sugar from 3/4 cup to 1/4 cup. The key is to have really over ripe bananas.  There is no denying it is a great way to trick your toddler into eating some very healthy spinach packed “cake.”  Right now, that is what is working for me.  Complete and utter trickery.

Another act of misrepresentation is my veggies and fruit purees I put in re-usable pouches.  The pouches are sold by WeeSprout and are fantastic.  They come in different ounce sizes.  I ordered the medium size of 5 oz…they are perfect.  I steamed a bunch of carrots, spinach, pineapple…..puréed it and added some organic unsweetened Apple sauce.  I do the same with beets, greens, etc.  Any combo of veggies and fruits is spectacular.  My son is none the wiser.  We can add proteins, grains, you name it….and I get to decide the nutrition he gets.  He thinks he is having an apple sauce or yogurt pouch.  He is happy.  And I know he is getting the nutrition he needs.  For now it is a win….I’ll take it. So I can still serve him new things and not worry too much that he doesn’t touch it.  Eventually he will.  My doctor says it can take up to 15 times for a child to try a new food.  (Oye!) So while we navigate that bumpy terrain, I’m sneaking in the vitamins, fats and minerals he needs to develop.  Sneaky Mommy.  :))

Until next time, keep fighting the good fight and remember, behind every great kid is a mom who is pretty sure she is screwing it up.  Thanks for reading! Xo

Bon Appetit Baby


That’s it.  I’ve had it.  It is time to reign in my picky eater and broaden his horizons.  I will expand my child’s palate or die trying.  Ok, that is a bit dramatic.  But I mean, come on! I refuse to accept that I must only give him pasta,  PB&J, or yogurt, as these are the foods he eats willingly. In my short sightedness to get him to eat, I started giving him only things that he liked.  Day after day….and now it has turned into my toddler refusing to even try anything that looks different.  It is ridiculous. It is my own fault.  And it is time to end this craziness.

I’m not supposing this will be easy.  It is learned behavior on his part, that I have indulged.  He does seem to have an issue with textures, but instead of helping him through that, I let him avoid it.  I could kick myself.  (Hindsight, right?). Now that he is well over the two year mark and in the throws of being a toddler, he can absolutely eat anything and in my opinion, should.  My husband and I are adventurous eaters.  We enjoy different foods, spices, wines and whatnot.  It is unacceptable to me that I will raise a child to be a pedestrian eater.  It just won’t jive with our rhythm at home.  He will need to learn to eat what we eat, and it starts now.  Did I say I know this is going to be difficult?

When O was a baby, the doctor, and pretty much everyone, said, “He will know when he isn’t hungry.  He’ll stop himself.  Babies know when they are full.”  Well that may be true, but I’m not convinced a toddler knows.  My son would eat as many graham bunnies as I gave him.  He would also prefer them for dinner, if I’d allow it.  His new tactic when he doesn’t want to try something is to say “All done.”  So I’ve now started to say, “OK, all done.”  I’ve stopped offering anything else.   Down he goes from the table.  Dinner is over.  No second chances.  He will go to sleep with an empty stomach.  My hope is that he won’t let himself go too hungry.  Right? Harsh, I know.  But I refuse to be a slave to a finicky child.

Last night, we had roasted summer vegetables and turkey kielbasa over brown rice.  It was actually very nice.  O only ate some of the rice.  I wanted him to at least taste the meat and vegetables.  Mind you, there were sweet potatoes and carrots in the veggie mix, which he likes, but because they were in chunks he would not even try them.  Really? It’s maddening.  So, once the rice was picked over, he asked for apple sauce, which was denied.  He followed up with a wail and an “All done!”  I make no fuss over it.  I simply say “OK, all done.”  I take him out of his chair and send him on his way…hungry. Eventually, the stubbornness will yield to hunger, right? Are you thinking that I am a horrible mother now?

In France, children O’s age, sit down for a three course meal, daily.  They eat all sorts of fish, fruits, vegetables and cheeses.  When I say vegetables I don’t mean brocolli with cheese sauce, either.  There are no special dinosaur chicken nuggets sold in grocery stores.  And there aren’t special kid menus in every restaurant featuring the same items: pizza, mac and cheese, and a hotdog.  They are taught from a very young age how to eat and how to appreciate food.   International data collated by the International Association for the Study of Obesity show that 15% of children are overweight in France compared to a whopping 30% in the U.S.  So who is doing it right?

I believe that food is part of our education as people of a civilized society.  To appreciate different tastes and textures is one of life’s pleasures.  Sharing a meal with family and friends, is to be part of something.  It is a learned sense of community and belonging.  Eating is something we need to do for the rest of our lives.  Perhaps it should be something we are educated about and learn to do well.  Anyway, that’s this mama’s two cents.  I’ll let you know how my struggle goes.  Did I mention I don’t anticipate it is going to be easy?

Until next time, while I’ll be rocking in a corner back and forth, keep fighting the good fight, and remember, behind every great kid is a mom who is pretty sure she is screwing it up.  Ah, my life story!  Bon Appetit!