As some of you may know, my son has turned his back on all things meat.
The fact that he is allergic to dairy and typically gluten free, adds another level of stress. Not really stress, just an additional consideration.
At this point, he is asking a lot of questions about where various food items come from.
Sure, this interest is good and I should approach this as a learning opportunity; however, I don’t want anymore foods put on the are-you-kidding-that’s-where-THAT-comes-from list.
I can’t afford honesty right now, so I’m taking more of a ninja approach…Sneak the protein in the food and get out!
I decided to resurrect a recipe that I used several years ago. It was a chocolate chip cookie recipe that included garbanzo beans.
The garbanzo cookies went over well, a frequent repeater, until a preschool teacher said, “Wow! Garbanzo beans in the cookies? How healthy!”
And that was the end of that.
Here’s the problem with bringing back an oldie but goodie, I didn’t remember the changes that I had made years ago, until it was too late.
1. Mash the garbanzo beans to better disguise them.
2. Make them small so you only get one or two beany parts in a bite.
3. Add extra oatmeal and extra chocolate chips.
As I opened the oven door after just a few minutes, I quickly realized all three of these forgotten additions.
As you might have expected, these didn’t go over well.
The bean cookies resulted in some disappointment from him ( I wanted really good cookies) and frustration from me (I wanted you to think they were good cookies)!
This won’t be my last attempt at ninja nutrition!
Ha! There are brownie recipes made with beans, too. I have a bunch of kid-friendly vegetarian recipes if you’re ever at a loss.
Send them my way, mama!
Those sneaky beans. 🙂
You can grind up beans (especially garbanzo or white or cannellini beans) and hide them in a variety of kid friendly foods. Our spaghetti sauce involves blending any veggies we need to use up together with the tomato sauce. I think Deceptively Delicious and The Sneaky Chef both have this theme though I’ve never actually looked at either one.
Can he eat eggs? That’s how our kids get a good share of their protein because they are cheap. The only two forms my son will eat are egg salad (very plain) and deviled eggs. I remember when I was a kid my sister would only eat eggs hardboiled and sliced using one of those wire egg slicers by her.
Remember that a lot of gluten free recipes are actually pretty high in protein depending on what flours they use. We make some pumpkin/ oatmeal/chocolate chip cookies that are essentially a meal replacement. 🙂 We never actually bake them because we all like eating cookie dough so we freeze large batches as plops of dough and thaw one or two cookies per person for a hearty snack.
We often serve frozen peas still frozen as a snack (they are fun to eat).
Nut butters/seed butters can be snuck into things. Even our favorite dessert, edible playdough, is choc full of protein thanks to a nut/seed butter base. Chocolate peanut butter (we make our own with peanut butter and cocoa in the food processor) is great on bananas or apples and when it starts to get dry, the kids just eat it like candy. No sugar added to that one.
We make smoothies with hidden protein (blender girl has lots of good ideas and a chart for what components to put in a blender so it’s easy to mix and match. Only big fail so far was when something possessed my husband to stuff in a bunch of parsley from the garden. Otherwise everything has been yummy, probably because we usually add a good amount of cocoa).
When I was a kid, my mom let us eat anything we wanted during any meals in which we didn’t sit down together as a family so long as we could prove it had protein and calcium and we fixed it ourselves and cleaned up after. I don’t know why she picked the calcium. Our rule is just the protein.
Try just adding up how much protein he’s getting for a few days. We eat very little meat and I hate HATE beans served in any way recognizable as beans and we only have problems getting enough protein when my hubby is in one of his low moods and doesn’t feed us real meals. 🙂 Though using homemade stock helps a lot too since we’re not actually vegetarian, just broke.
Awesome ideas!! You’re a genius! Would love those pumpkin choc chip cookies recipe 🙂
Thank you! You have given me a lot to think about!
I’ll try to remember to send it to you soon. I’ve been laid low with pyelonephritis on the heels of a foot infection from the fall but still trying to work so am getting a bit behind on things. 🙂
Feel better soon!! 🙂
I recently found GF black bean spaghetti noodles by “Explore Asia” – it has 23 grams of protein and 11 grams of fibre per serving. It was at Costco. And my picky kids ate it after I told them it was Halloween noodles (b/c the pasta is black).
Cool! Did you try it? What did it taste like??
I am so all over ninja nutrition!!! My son won’t eat veggies and a billion other things so I hide ingredients too!! Also Lord help me when Tucker realizes that chicken nuggets are chickens.
I know!! Who says knowledge is power?! 🙂
I have tried so hard to “hide” foods. I’m over it. Now, I just yell, “eat it or starve”, or something to that effect.