Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Rethinking My Full Disclosure Policy

I’ve always been a full disclosure kind of girl. That is, when it comes to feeding my kids. I’ve been a Mom for almost 7 ½ years. And, during that time, I can count on one hand the number of times I attempted to hide a vegetable or something I wanted my kids to eat in the food I prepare for them. Needless to say, I’ve never been a fan of Jessica Seinfeld’s Deceptively Delicious cookbook, which is filled with secrets ways of getting kids to eat good food. Why hide a carrot by pureeing it beyond recognition and then spoon-feed it to your kids? They’re unknowingly chomping it down in a sauce and never getting the opportunity to learn how to experience the different flavors and textures of foods. Sooner or later, you’ll want to stop hiding the food, and you’ll be left to fight the carrot (or whatever food) battle with them. My mantra is to let the kids know what they’re eating. Let the kids crunch on a carrot, not one hidden in a sauce. Put food on their plates, meal after meal. They may not eat it the first time, the second time, or even the tenth. But most likely, they eventually will.

However . .  today my full disclosure policy left me with half-eaten muffins scattered throughout the house (see photo at left). You see, I made Sweet Potato Muffins. To me, they were delicious. But when I answered the “What’s for snack?” question at school pick-up with full disclosure: “I just made sweet potato muffins,” I realized the kids thought differently. Their silence let me know that perhaps I was a bit too honest. My hopes were further dashed at home when I saw their faces as they grabbed the muffin and brought it cautiously to their mouths.

I do have to say, Addison gobbled them up without a complaint. Keely started to eat one, but like the other two, she quickly realized that this just wasn’t the muffin she had hoped for. They were moist, they were almost creamy in the center, just like the kids like. The problem was that those sweet potatoes weren’t in the only form my kids will eat sweet potatoes – fries.

I now sit here wondering if I hadn’t fully disclosed the muffins as ‘sweet potato’ muffins things would have been different. If I had stretched the truth and said something along the lines of “Halloween spice-flavored muffins,” would they have gobbled them ALL up. I may never know the answer to this question because my kids have a very strong food memory. If I tried to slip these muffins past them within a 2-year period, they would see through my ruse.

It’s now the morning after, and the same pile of half-eaten muffins sit on the counter, yet I’m not ready to trade in my Full Disclosure Policy for the Deceptively Delicious Policy. I will, however, be sure to add an addendum to my approach*

 * if required, use the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell Policy.

Don’t let my kids dissuade you from trying these. I like them, Greg likes them, and Addison likes them . . . and that’s 50% of my household.

Happy baking!


Sweet Potato Muffins

1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp salt
¼ cup light olive oil or canola oil
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 large egg
1/3 cup low-fat yogurt
1 tsp vanilla
¾ cup shredded carrot
½  cup mashed roasted Beauregard, Garnet or Jewel yams
2 tbsp sesame seeds
1 tbsp pumpkin seeds

Preheat oven to 375 degrees G. Place paper liners in the cups of a 6-cup muffin pan.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger and salt. In another bowl, combine the oil, sugar and egg. Mix in the yogurt and vanilla. Stir in the carrot and sweet potato. Add the wet ingredients to the bowl of dry ingredients, and mix just until blended. Spoon the batter into the muffin cups, filling them to the top. Sprinkle 1 tsp sesame seeds and a few pumpkin seeds over the top of each muffin.

Bake 22 to 27 minutes, until the muffins are lightly colored and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes in the pan, then un-mold, and cool completely on a wire rack.

Makes 6 muffins

Source: 12 Best Foods Cookbook, by Dana Jacobi, 2005 Rodale

1 comment:

Patty said...

oh, this post rings so true and close to my heart! I deal with this same issue with regards to feeding my two girls (4 and 2). they may be young, but they can't be fooled! I try not to hide anything in their food by pureeing it, but there are battles, for sure. any of them have proven to be successful, but I am still working on a handful of food issues...i'll get there!