Secret ingredient foods

Is it right to sneak fruits and especially veggies into the food your childen eat?

There is a lot of buzz-ing about this topic all over the media and especially the internet. My opinion, you do what you need to do when you have a picky toddler that will NOT eat veggies. With all of the talk about hiding things in food for your children, we have gotten into the act. The Sneaky Chef (which we own) and Deceptively Delicious really made us think about things.  (Not going to touch the other controversy associated with these two books)

NHL, now 4, was an amazing veggie eater. How many kids do you know that would order broccoli and mushroom pizza? Unfortunately, this is not true anymore. Over the last year NHL has become very picky, especially with veggies, he still LOVES fruit and will gobble that up over almost anything. Just yesterday we had to stop him from eating all of the pomegranate seeds – he loved them!

Last week JL decided to make pancakes (a NHL favorite) and put in a secret ingredient.  The reason behind this was pancakes are not the best option when doing Weight Watchers (lots of points). So there was lots of fibery bulk with the mystery ingredient.The mix itself was wholegrain. He tossed in chunks of banana (NHL likes those) and the following:


We were pleasantly surprised as adults with the results. We were full fast and had plenty of left overs. We even made NHL a special pancake with some chocolate chip tossed in. Here is the victim little guy trying them.


This week the plan is to try whole wheat pasta with special cheese sauce with veggies in it . . . .from The Sneaky Chef. It includes sweet potato or yams and carrots, as well as zucchini and cauliflower. We shall see how it goes.

C’est Moi


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  • Kmelion says:

    Why not take him shopping with you and let him choose the ‘veggie of the week’ to try? You can have him help you prepare a dish with that veggie.

  • TheAngelForever says:

    Kmelion: He does go shopping with us. He’ll claim he’ll eat things, but it always ends in a fight. We have rules now just for a few bites or no snack later. So we’re decided to try to get some into things in addition to the regularly served veggies.

    Oh and he makes dinner most evenings with JL. Right now they are in the kitchen making something out of the Sneaky Chef called “Cinnamon Sugar Rattle Snacks” Basically they are chic peas with cinnamon and some sugar baked on them.

    C’est Moi

  • Nancy says:

    I have no problem sneaking veggies onto foods. Veggies aren’t so much a problem with Alex, he has his little oddities with other things like he won’t eat tomato sauce even though he used to. But he loves broccoli, zucchini, string beans, corn on the cob… He used to like carrots and peas but lately won’t eat them. Though he’ll eat raw baby carrots, just not cooked.

    He won’t eat spinach, but he likes broccoli, so when Jon made a spinach quiche a few weeks ago, we told him it was broccoli and he ate it. Actually he refused to eat it at dinner, was excused, and then when confronted with going to bed hungry or at least trying a bite of his dinner (all we ask is he try it without spitting it out – he has to chew and swallow), he decided to try it. And he ate his entire slice!

    All that is to say that we do what we can, and I see absolutely no harm in it.

  • TheAngelForever says:

    Nancy: You are so lucky. NHL was like that and over the last year he has gotten SO picky. Before this he would eat almost anything – with tuna being the only exception.

    I think purees are going to be a big part of our life with him now. There are still some veggies that he will eat, but they are few and far between. It also changes depending on the phase of the moon and tilt of the Earth. You just never know what he’ll do and it just isn’t worth the fight. We have a rule that you must try something first and after so many bites may say “no thanks” to that item.

    LOL – Too funny about the quiche. We have done similar things and it has worked nice as well. The problem these days is he likes to cook with daddy and sees what goes in some times. The purees will just be color to him and he will not know what they are.

    C’est Moi

  • Tara says:

    I say hide whatever you have to! I see no problem at all. I grated up some carrots and put them in pancakes. I asked the kids to identify the special ingredient. They couldn’t do it!

  • TheAngelForever says:

    Tara: Welcome to my blog :) I love your bracelet – so pretty!

    Hmmm. . . . carrots in pancakes now that is an idea we may have to try. Glad to hear your kids could not identify secret ingredients either.

    C’est Moi

  • kailani says:

    That actually looks really good! We’re definitely pancakes lovers here. I may have to try it out!

  • TheAngelForever says:

    Kailani: Thanks for stopping by my blog :)

    The pancakes were really good (mind you I am NOT a pancake fan). We have made them twice now. Once with bananas and one time with strawberries. Let me know if you try them.

    C’est Moi