Raise your hand if you have a picky eater in the house? Does every meal seem to be a battle of patience and bribing? Do you spend most family dinners trying to sweet talk your little one into eating a new vegetable, or anything other than chicken nuggets? I have been there! Almost every parent has (or will be at some point). Over the years I have learned a few sneaky tricks to get my way.
I admit being a badge-wearing member of the “Sneaky Mom’s Club.” I hide a lot of things from these children of mine. I have a bag of little to-do tricks that allow me to get what I want without having a mommy meltdown in the process. Of course, my kids have no idea how many times I have tricked them into doing what I want. It’s a well-guarded secret in the house and now I am sharing it with you.
These are my most effective recipes and tips to get my picky eaters to enjoy a good balanced meal, or as close to one as I can get most days. Here are my little, sneaky ways to include a veggie in their favorite foods.
Grilled Cheese Quesadilla with Carrots
Puree the carrots until smooth. Mix in sharp cheddar cheese. Sneaky Mom Tip: using a strong cheese hides the carrot taste! Make sure everything is well blended. In a medium high pan with nonstick cooking spray cook like a grilled sandwich. Either a tortilla folded in half or two tortillas cut into triangles works.
Spaghetti with Spinach
Spaghetti is a simple meal many families enjoy at least every other week. Spaghetti comes with so many cooking options. You can buy the sauce or make it from scratch at home. You can bake spaghetti with lots of cheese or meat. Or, you can do it my sneaky mom way and add an extra serving of baby spinach into the sauce.
The best part of the sneaky mom tip is, you don’t need to change how you make your dish. Simply add a cup of spinach pureed into the sauce and cook it however you’d like. Spinach is one of those leafy greens that absorbs the flavors around it. Here’s another sneaky mom tip: Buy the veggie noodles instead of regular pasta.
Remixed Sloppy Joes
Okay, this takes a little prep time but trust me it’s worth it. Take one can of homestyle butter biscuits and flatten them out into a disc. Brown whatever meat desired and mix together the sauce and one can of crisp corn. Spoon the filling into the center of the biscuit pinching the ends together to make a hot pocket. Don’t overfill the goal is to have a decent sized puff. Bake according to biscuit directions.
Get your picky eater involved in cooking.
My daughter loves to help me cook. Snapping green beans, picking greens, mixing batter, she loves it all if her hands are moving, and she is spending time with mom. Her twin brother who is my picky eater likes figuring out what I am doing. Sometimes having him help me cook an easy meal encourages him to try what he has made. This sneaky trick is great when using fresh vegetables and fruit or mixing ingredients for pastry. That way it is dual purpose: they make their healthy treat and eat it too. Sneaky mom win!