Thursday, March 27, 2008

Sneaky Mom, 0, Toddler, 1

First of all, I am not a big fan of the current cookbook craze that teaches parents to "sneak" healthy foods into their kids' diets. I can't say too much about the books themselves because I have not read them, but just on principle, I don't like the premise. I've always thought it best to teach Luka (and now Cas too) about how foods are good for our bodies and how we can eat to be strong and healthy. far as Luka goes, that was all fine and good for the first 2 1/2 years of his life. I was always so thrilled when he chose fruit and vegetables over candy, or tofu over the meat offered by well-meaning relatives. Then he turned 3. Apparently 3 year-olds like to test and assert their own independence, and one of the ways Luka likes to do this is by eating very little food. He would live on cheese if I let him. Despite the dilemma that produces for me trying to transition to a vegan diet, all cheese all the time is horrible for his little digestive system. So last night, while reading the section on children's nutrition in Becoming Vegan by Brenda Davis and Vesanto Melina, I once again came across the recipe for Sneaky Dad's Pudding. I had seen this recipe many times before but had never considered it, again because I don't care for the whole "sneaky" premise. But...desperate times call for desperate measures (or rather, toddlers screaming for cheese call for desperate measures) and I decided to give it a try. Luka loves to help out in the kitchen, so I invited him in to make chocolate pudding. He added all the ingredients and mixed it all up in the trusty Magic Bullet, and commented several times how yummy it looked. Once it was all done, I put it in a bowl for him and he actually seemed excited to eat something other than cheese for once. But did he eat it? No. He just looked at it thoughtfully for a minute, then told me I could have it and could I please go get him some cheese. Cas ended up gleefully eating the sneaky pudding, so at least someone reaped the nutritional benefits. So back to the drawing board...I am hoping this is all just a stage.

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