Celiac Disease / Recipes / Uncategorized

3 Sneaky—And Gluten-Free—Ways I Tried to Trick My Kid This Week

gluten-free kidsIn a random stroke of my luck, my kid with the celiac will eat anything. She thinks fruit is a treat and swallows snap peas like they’re jelly beans. Then I have this other kid. He only eats white foods. I thought it was a phase, but we’re about a year into it and I’m realizing this is just his thing. I honestly don’t know how he’s grown so tall without a fruit or vegetable touching his lips, ever. It’s true for awhile I could get a Jamba Juice down him so he at least got some carrots and oranges along with the sugar load. And for a brief shining moment he was very into “green french fries” which was broccoli or avocado in disguise. But this kid just doubled down on his veggie hate and now he won’t even consider something fruit or vegetable related. Worse yet, he’s one year smarter and now he KNOWS what a fruit or vegetable is and can’t even be tricked with “nature’s candy.” Damn it!

I have now gone into full-on sneaky chef mode because I would hate for him to get scurvy. What could go wrong?

Oh, just a shit ton.

Since my own mother got around my fruit and vegetable avoidance by serving me raw carrots every night, I decided that we would find the one fruit or vegetable this kid would tolerate, then serve it to him non-stop. And how could he resist the fruit and vegetable porn of the Whole Foods produce section? I planned a very special mommy and me trip the market and sprang it on him right before I lifted him into the cart.

“All of this could be yours,” I explained, “You can have anything you want—in this section.” He took a quick scan and said, “No, thank you.” Sure he paused on the hairy coconut shell, and seemed almost interested when I showed him the shelled coconut meat and explained how they were the same thing, and wasn’t that amazing?  But he wouldn’t bite. Literally. And then he declared the baby bananas “cute” and I got excited again. Until he added, “But I don’t want to eat them.” I get it. I feel the same way about rabbits. I finally got out of the store with fruit gummys and considered it a win’ish. But it’s not. I know it’s not.

Still, I bought some zucchini and made some delicious gluten-free sneaky vegetable options. Did my kid eat any of them? No. But maybe you’ll have better luck. First up, was this zucchini hummus I made from Jennifer Perillo’s new and beautiful book, “Homemade with Love.” I thought I was going to capture him actually eating vegetables here –

gluten-free kid but alas, at the last minute he went full-on cracker, no hummus. D’OH. But I ate it, and it was delicious.

I wasn’t about to give up on zucchini though, so I pulled out my old standby of gluten-free zucchini muffins which both kids used to chow down on like there’s no tomorrow. What a difference a year-and-a-half makes. My son FOUND THE GREEN STUFF. Damn it. What is this kid’s problem? Sure, when I was his age I was able to identify an onion in any savory dish and gasp like someone slipped in cyanide to my potatoes au gratin, but I did not think that particular trait was hereditary.

These very specific sneaky moments of “Operation Anti-Scurvy” were also interspersed with big speeches about being a big boy, and how “all 4-year-olds eat vegetables and fruit,” along with pleading to just eat one grape. This kid won’t even eat red sauce on his gluten-free pasta so I can sneak in some goods there! What the holy hell, people.

Thinking back on my own childhood aversions to anything good for me, I realize there’s nothing I can do. Okay, so maybe I did pass on this picky eater thing to him, and he too will be in his 20s before he realizes that vegetables can be totes delicious. And hey, I grew to be quite tall and relatively healthy. Not counting this whole celiac thing, which I’m pretty sure cannot be as a result of my hatred for cooked fruit (which I still have). So I’m thinking I’m going to have to start counting french fries as a vegetable and plying him with vitamins. Unless one of you lovely peeps out there has a better suggestion. Please tell me you do.

20 thoughts on “3 Sneaky—And Gluten-Free—Ways I Tried to Trick My Kid This Week

  1. At Whole Foods I found dried fruit that is gluten, nut, wheat, and dairy free — it’s called “Just Strawberries n Bananas” . They have one with only bananas too. Maybe it’s a texture thing. Potatoes are vegetables in our home! Best of luck feeding the kiddoes.

  2. I was lucky to have the kid that has always loved certain veggies, but once he found out that zucchini muffins had zucchini in then they went on the “hell no” list. Then I realized that if I PEEL the zucchini before mixing it into something, like “spice muffins” he would never know it was there. It mught be worth a try for you!

  3. Have you tried spaghetti squash? The trick is to mix it with real spaghetti and don’t tell him. You can use bananas and applesauce in your baking too! This may sound weird, but giving him still frozen peas and calling them “green ice” worked for a kid I used to nanny. I’m hoping my 15 month old daughter keeps her love of fruits and veggies. Although, she has started to drop foods she doesn’t like down to the dog…

  4. I used to put a teeny tiny amount of pureed cauliflower in macaroni and cheese. Basically I would boil and then puree the cauli adding just enough cooking water, butter, and a dash of lemon juice to get a smooth puree. Then freeze it in ice cube trays with no more than a tablespoon in a chunk. I’d drop one of those in the sauce. As his gut has healed up, his pickiness has eased up a little bit each year to where, 4 years later, he will eat 2 (no more, heaven forbid!) pieces of roast broccoli or 5 sugar snap peas with a meal when I press him to eat some veggies. Carrots were never a problem. He started accepting tomato sauce on his pizza about 2 yrs post dx. He eats frozen blueberries and an apple almost every day. So, are you sure you don’t have another celiac? Maybe get him an EMA bloodtest. any positive EMA result seems likely to result in celiac in the long run even if he doesn’t have it full blown now. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22654448

      • I’m sorry… I was all wound up that day and could not edit myself. You don’t need prodding right now, that’s for sure. I get all panicky – “educate all the peoples!” – at inappropriate times I think. also, I luvs my fruits and veggies! I just think that analysis is pretty funny and probably explains how you (and many of my nieces and nephews) grew up fine barely ever touching any veggies. Cheers! I hope everything goes well and good luck!

  5. Wow. He IS hard core. I have yet (until now) to find a child who won’t bite..hell, even nibble…at the “you can pick ANYthing you want…just one thing” game. Good gawd. You have your work cut out, for shurz.

  6. Cauliflower is how my daughter is getting veggies into her own diet, because it can be cooked and then pureed and then disguised in mashed potatoes, potato soup and mac and cheese… (she was my non fruit and veggie eater growing up) If it grew out of the ground, but wasn’t a potato, it was a “no go”… She is a grown-up now. Married, thinking ahead to the time when she’ll want her own family… She decided to start trying to find way to make veggies palatable… The cauliflower thing works well for her. She swears she can’t feel it or taste it. (If she cooks carrots down to mush she can even mix them in to the potato soup, the color is explained away by cheese!!) Good Luck. I will tell you, that my kid is physically healthy despite the lack of fruits and veggies… she has NO Scurvy… honest.
    oooohhh what if you used “baby-food” consistency items to sneak it in. Maybe you could make carrot cake with it like that… just a thought…

  7. I don’t know why but when I saw this on Amazon. I thought of this post: http://amzn.com/B008WJ571S. I’m sure you could sneak some fruit or something into a recipe that was deglutenified and its a pop tart. what kid doesn’t love pop tarts!!! lol. I’m tempted to buy it and play with it. 🙂

  8. my daughter is the worlds pickiest eater 🙂 She goes through phases where she will only eat one or two things. Currently, she will only eat gluten free pasta with dairy free butter and dessert in any variety! In attempt to trick her I pulled out my deceptively delicious cookbook (which was forgotten about when we went dairy free/egg free then gluten free).


    I’ve been swapping out the flour in their recipes with just a standard GF all purpose flour. My daughter has lived off their muffins for about 2 months now. With all the vegetables and fruits in the recipes pureed, you have NO idea that they are in there.

    Good Luck !

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