Baby, Try the Broccoli!

Fresh Broccoli

Among the many, many worries that flit through my brain on a daily basis regarding my tiny offspring is the question of her nutritious intake. In simpler terms: Can she survive on peanut butter and jelly alone?

At just over 18 months old, she has decided that chicken nuggets no longer taste good, Fruit Loops are better suited to be tossed over the side of her highchair for the dog, and peaches are more fun when they are squished between her fingers. This means lunch and dinner alternate between grape and strawberry jelly peanut butter sandwiches, and of course, blueberry waffles for breakfast.

Her morning isn’t complete without her blueberry waffles.

The point is, this is hardly making a dent in her daily food pyramid needs, and should I try to sneak in anything remotely resembling healthy or nourishing, she takes one bite, makes a face, and pushes the food out of her way. Sure, she sometimes allows a grilled cheese or some macaroni to sneak in, but, who doesn’t like melted cheese? No one.

This week I implemented Operation Nutrition. My mission: Get some greens in this girl!

I tried to take the melted cheese angle, and feed her broccoli with cheese, but the vegetable taste wasn’t hidden enough, and she turned her nose up to it. Fail.

On my second try, I chopped up broccoli and incorporated it into her grilled cheese. SUCCESS! Her face didn’t change as she ate bite after bite of broccoli-goodness. Next week I plan on adding mushroom and spinach to her meal.

My second mission was to add more protein to her diet. I achieved this by adding cut up hot dog into her macaroni, and turkey slices to her grilled cheese (best hiding place, ever!).

My final mission was to cut her apple juice a little each day with v8 Fusion, until she was drinking a whole serving each day. That one took a little while, because she was severely attached to her apple juice, but we made it.

I am not a fan of this type of covert operation; I much prefer to tell her that I am the parent, and she needs to branch out and try more foods, but I realize that since her brain only understands, “PB&J good, broccoli bad!”, I  have to bide my time.

Until then, I shall keep my secret agent status.