Thursday, November 18, 2010

Eat Your Veggies!

I recently read an interview with the author of a baby food making website I frequent. In the interview, she admonished parents for trying to sneak vegetables into their children's food. Instead, she challenges parents to get their kids excited about vegetables by discovering new, tasty ways to prepare them. I don't know if I agree or disagree with this. With twins, I often put myself in the "whatever works" camp--it's just easier sometimes. And--I'm not quite certain how to get nine month old twins excited about vegetables short of dressing up like a carrot and dancing a jig.

I'm still pureeing the majority of the girls' food, so I mix protein, fruits and vegetables together and turn on the food processor. They eat some finger foods after their puree for "dessert". The girls have surprised me on more than one occasion with what they will eat, both pureed and non. I thought I'd share a few of our non-puree successes.

Kale Chips

Probably the most surprising was the kale chip. My husband came home from work one day talking about kale chips. It just so happens that I know to make kale chips. For those who don't know, there are three different varieties of kale--curly, tuscan and red. We used red, but tuscan would probably work the best. The recipe is super easy. Kale chips just sorta melt in your mouth--the girls, Hadley especially, loved them!

1 bunch of kale, washed with the ribbing cut out
Olive oil--about a tablespoon, give or take (enough to coat the leaves)

Mix the kale and olive oil with your hands then take the individual kale leaves and lay them out on a baking sheet. At this point, you can sprinkle them with sea salt and/or pepper if you want. They have sort of a peppery flavor on their own. Bake at 250 degrees for 30 minutes if you're using tuscan kale, and about 33 minutes if you're using red or curly kale. Aren't they pretty?

Broccoli and Cheese Nuggets

This recipe I adapted from here. I used fresh broccoli instead of frozen, and whole grain baby food rather than bread crumbs for added iron. I make a bunch of these, freeze them, and defrost a few at a time for the girls as needed. Yes, the girls do love their broccoli. Who knew?

1 big bunch of broccoli--steamed and then pureed
1 cup whole grain baby cereal
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese
2 tsp fresh chopped oregano (1 tsp dried )

Mix ingredients together, and shape into nuggets on greased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes, flip them, and continue baking for another 10 minutes.

Zucchini Pancakes

The pancake has become my friend around here. It makes a quick, easy finger food for the girls. I can make them ahead of time, freeze between pieces of wax paper, and thaw individually as needed. Then, in a flash, I can use a pizza cutter to quickly cut them into bite-sized pieces.
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup white flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp ground savory
1 tsp marjoram
2 eggs
1/2 cup pureed winter squash or carrot
1/2  cup shredded zucchini (I leave part of the peel on)
1/2 cup shredded cheese (we use cheddar or mozzarella)
2 cups milk
3 tbsp butter

Mix ingredients together and cook in the skillet. Make sure to use olive oil or cooking spray to coat the pan between cakes.

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