The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

On The Table

January 9, 2013

Amanda Stone: Healthy deceit does no harm

JOPLIN, Mo. — I've said it before, and I'll say it again: I love being sneaky. I get immense satisfaction from making a meal as packed with nutrients as possible, while keeping it edible and, preferably, delicious.

It's a pet peeve of mine when someone won't try a certain food. As a child, my best friend claimed to hate mushrooms. My family told her we were having fried chicken for dinner, when we were actually having fried morels. She loved them. I remember giggling with delight. Food deceit started early on in my life.

My 4-year-old has always been a great eater. Lately, it's become more challenging to get her to eat her fruits and vegetables. Like her momma, she really only wants bread and cheese. And olives. But unfortunately, I don't think they really count as a vegetable. What a shame.

I take great pleasure in sneaking in vegetables wherever I can. I've read about how sneaking in veggies doesn't teach the child to actually eat vegetables. I took that argument into consideration, and decided I would rather my kid ate the veggies without the use of bribery. I want her to have a healthy relationship with produce, with no lingering childhood ill will toward vegetables. As a result, my daughter doesn't know that her oatmeal isn't supposed to be tinged with green, which is a result of a frozen pureed cube of broccoli.

Your reason for sneaking veggies in is irrelevant. Yes, it's great for the kids, but it's really great for everyone. Try it for a stubborn adult, too. Once you start doing it, you'll see that your meal is just as yummy. It doesn't have to be a temporary thing to get your kids to eat their vegetables. It can be something that's standard. It's also a great way for you and your spouse to get some extra fiber and vitamins.

Why wouldn't you want to throw some carrots, cauliflower and peppers into the food processor to add to your ground beef? Once you add some seasoning, no one will be the wiser. Try adding cauliflower to your boiling pot of potatoes next time you have mashed potatoes. Puree some veggies and a couple of cloves of garlic to add to your spaghetti sauce. I hope you feel as giddy as I do from the deviance!

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