While I don't claim to be the first to have thought of ways to deceive your children into eating things, nor the most famous (I think that honor goes to Jerry Seinfeld's wife), I am pretty proud when one of my tricks work. And, last night was one of those times. Currently Conner is a very picky eater. Well, I should say he is very selective in what food he will even try. I'm pretty sure if he tried more of the food that I gave him he would find out that he actually liked it. I mean have you ever heard of a kid who doesn't like hot dogs? Elizabeth on the other hand is ready and willing to try most everything put in front of her. A few vegetables aside, that girl is a pleasure to feed.
Last night I decided to make a simple baked ziti knowing that pasta, tomato sauce, and cheese shouldn't be too exotic for Conner to try. But you ask, where is the meat? Well, I wanted to eat this meal too so no meat allowed, unless it was faux meat but that stuff is usually pretty unappealing. And then, a moment of brilliance came to me. What if I blended up some silken tofu with the tomato sauce? Not only would the sauce end up creamier, but the tofu would add some protein to the dish and wouldn't add much weird bean curd flavor. And I'm happy to report, it was a success. Creamy sauce, added protein, no taste of tofu. And Conner actually ate it! It was a happy dinnertime at the Hatzis household last night.
Also, another way that I have deceived my children in the past (just referring to food here people), is with what I call green curd smoothies. I know, the name makes it sound delicious, right? Well, here's the secret to hiding some nutritious foods into your kid's smoothies. Flavored silken tofu and kale (or spinach, collards, really any type of green leafy vegetable). The tofu adds some protein and by blending up the kale in the smoothie, your children won't even know that they are eating vegetables for breakfast. Here is a general recipe that I use to make two smoothies:
Two or three pieces of kale, stems removed
Cup of frozen berries
1/2 cup flavored silken tofu (you don't have to use the flavored kind but you might need to add a bit of sweetener if you don't)
ground flax seed
and sometimes for fun I might just add some oats
Blend, add ice if the smoothie is too watery. And, I really have never measured any of these things so they are all guesses. I also recommend that you don't measure (because that is more work than you need) and just eyeball things. You really can't mess this up.
For another recipe which uses silken tofu to make a creamy dreamy oatmeal, check out my friend's recipe on her blog. She's always cooking up something yummy in her kitchen.