Last week, I stumbled upon Jenn’s blog and fell in love with her genius idea of Mutant Pops. I thought, what kid wouldn’t love those? After a little
begging (just kidding, she is so gracious and offered to share immediately!) e-mailing, I’m thankful I’m able to share her recipe with you! —Laura
Sometimes, good things come from the least likely places. I have always enjoyed cooking, even before I had children, and I assumed that once my children came along and moved past the nursing stage, they would be eager to come to the family table and share in the joy and comfort of healthy eating. Boy, was I wrong! I did not anticipate that I would have a child with a feeding disorder. What is the difference between a picky eater and a child with a feeding disorder? A picky eater may reject certain foods, but still manages to get enough variety to promote healthy growth and development. A child with a feeding disorder may eliminate entire food groups and not take in enough calories and nutrients to survive.
It sounds pretty scary, but there is good in this story. Owen’s feeding disorder has really forced us to take a good look at what we feed our family, how we cook for them, and where our food comes from. It has made us even more determined to involve our children in all aspects of food. Everything that comes from our kitchen must have boosted nutritional value!
Perhaps the most sought-after recipe that I use regularly is the one for vegetable popsicles. It doesn’t sound appealing, but my kids love them so much that they no longer ask for the sugar-filled ones from the grocer’s freezer. If they are going to have sugar in their diet, I want to be the one to control it. These are love at first bite!
I always start with pineapple as a base, for the digestive properties and also because it covers the taste of almost everything. I puree whole fruit instead of just a bunch of juice because my son, Owen, does not eat enough solid food to allow for empty calories. Just as with babies beginning to eat pureed veggies, you start with milder flavors and keep adding as much as you can get away with!
There are endless variations. Change it up! The general rule of thumb is to start slowly with the vegetables, and increase with each successive batch. With the Mutant Spinach Pops, I started with a couple of handfuls, and now I can get about 2 or 3 packed cups of spinach into each batch. If you find them too sweet, add some water instead of juice.
Three Mutant Pops
- Cuisine: Snacks
- 1/2 pineapple
- Leftover steamed broccoli (I used a bit more than a cup)
- Enough raspberries to make it taste good
- Splash of juice
- Touch of honey
- Mango goes really well in this one so add away…
Spaghetti Squash, Strawberry, Orange:
- 1/2 pineapple
- 1/2 spaghetti squash, cooked (butternut may work too)
- 1/2 bag frozen strawberries, or equal amount fresh
- Splash of juice (I like to add fresh orange)
- A bit of honey, if you like
- Toss in some mango or peach chunks if you like
- 1/2 pineapple, cored and cut into chunks
- 1 cup fresh spinach, or more
- Orange or pineapple juice
- Touch of honey if desired
- Raspberry goes well in this mix, so toss in a handful of frozen berries if desired
- Blend on high speed until smooth. Pour into molds and freeze.
With any of the above recipes, you can add yogurt or coconut milk to make a creamy variation that is a little higher in fat and calories. They make a great dessert year-round, and in the summer months, my kids end up going through ten or twelve a day. I always have some in my freezer, even in the dead of winter. They are a great way to soothe sore throats! And yes, I even let the kids have them for breakfast. The above recipes also double as smoothies in our house. Just add a few ice cubes to the mix, yogurt if you like, and you have a mini meal. I may add a tablespoon or two of macadamia nut butter, tahini, or pumpkin seed butter for Owen, to boost his fat and protein intake. Happy mixing!
About Jenn Sprung: A full-time mom to three wonderful children, with a keen interest in boosting the nutrition in every bite. Because in my world, every bite counts! Visit Jenn’s blog Cleverly Disguised as Cake for additional sneaky resources, or learn more about Pediatric Feeding Disorders and how to help your child.