Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Notes from the Field: "How To Deal with a Picky Eater" or "Payback's a Bitch..."

Never did I ever think that at this point in my life I'd be writing about how to feed a child.  But last week my mother came to me with a dilemma.  As he nears two years old, my nephew, love of my life, has decided that he's just not that into food.   What kid doesn't love to eat?  I thought.  I mean, I had to be denied food as a kid.  Hell, I requested baccalà at a big family party at 15 months because I thought it looked good.    

And that's when I remembered that when you're little, and you upset your parents, they use that line: "Just wait to you have one of your own." My nephew, like his parents, is brilliant.  He is compassionate and loving, with the curiosity of a little engineer and the timing of a comedic actor.  But for him, being a fusspot does run in the family.  Legend has it that at the turn of the 80s, my big brother so abhorred food that the only way they could get him to eat it was to make French toast, cut it up in shapes, rearrange it differently and call it "English toast."  And he still had one over on them. 

Baby can not live on O's alone.  He needs greens, fiber, protein and more, conveniently hidden in something fit for his little wandering hands. Sounds like a perfect recipe for a muffin.  Carrots, apples, zucchini, bran, yogurt, agave, eggs and flax are just some of the healthy goodies inside these little "cakes." They're just sweet enough for little tastebuds, and pack the punch of all the food groups.  

George Bernard Shaw said "There is no love sincerer than the love of food."   I look forward to the day when baby, like his father, finally decides he likes food.  We'll teach him about the finer delicacies, the worldly fares and everything in between.  But for now, let's just get him to eat his veggies.   

Apple-Carrot-Zucchini Bran Muffins

(Makes 24 mini-muffins)

1 cup whole-wheat flour
½ cup oat bran
¼ cup old fashioned oats
¼ cup ground flaxseed
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon salt
1/8 cup organic cane sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
2 eggs
½ cup fat-free greek yogurt
¼ cup agave nectar 
1 tsp vanilla
½ cup apples(sweeter variety, I used Honeycrisp), shredded
½ cup carrots, shredded
½ cup zucchini, shredded
¼ cup agave nectar 
¼ cup dates (optional)
¼ cup toasted pecans (optional, not for baby)

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and grease/flour 2 minimuffin cup pans (24 muffins) well.
2.  In a small bowl, mix the dry ingredients: flour, oat bran, oats, flaxseed, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt, sugar, baking soda and baking powder.
3.  In a mixer, gently beat the eggs.  Mix in the rest of the wet ingredients: yogurt, vanilla, apples, carrots, zucchini, and agave.  
4.  Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.  Do not overbeat.  Bake for 16-20 minutes.  Let cook for 5 minutes in the pan and remove, to let cool completely on a wire rack.

1 comment:

ohrabe said...

You are a rockstar aunt! And I am going to save this recipe!