Monday, May 10, 2010

Sneaky Vegetables

There's a long post to come...all about how we were forced to switch Duncan's preschool in the middle of the year and how he appears to be at risk for AD/HD. We all went through a lot between the age of three and four, and my need to write about it before moving on is at the heart of my writer's block.

But anyway, what you need to know is that Duncan can't concentrate for long enough to eat his lunch when he's at school.

We have always had a difficult time feeding him. In fact, we fed him for longer than we really should have because we were so frustrated with watching him NOT feed himself that we always wound up shoveling food into him. It hasn't become much better though hopefully we're becoming more patient. Duncan can usually get through dinner, given time, nagging, and cajoling, but sometimes he needs one of us to sneak bites into his mouth when he's not paying attention. Lunch at home is similar. It goes without saying, though, that a preschool does not have manpower enough to sit with him and monitor what goes into his mouth. As a result, Duncan has been returning home with at least 3/4 of his lunch uneaten. I'm not sure why, but it's extremely disheartening and frustrating for Jamie and I to pack lunches each day that return home untouched. On the positive side, Duncan has become a voracious eater at breakfast. He's hungry enough at 6:00 a.m. that he eats steadily, without shenanigans, until he is full. Most days, he eats twice as much as I do. On a good day, he eats a hard boiled egg, a piece of toast, and a bowl of cereal. Jamie and I find consolation in the fact that he is eating two decent meals at home, and his weight is average.

Still, I worry about the nutrients he doesn't eat at lunch. He takes an embarrassingly healthy lunch to school, and we're pretty conscious about representing the major food groups at each meal. Of course, most days it is the fruits and vegetables that return, lonely, in his lunchbox. I've been trying to think creatively about how to get those items into him at breakfast, quickly and efficiently, since we don't have time to cook in the morning. Having seen few recipes for "breakfast cookies," I started thinking about muffins, carrot muffins, in particular. Yesterday I tried out this recipe, and I was pretty happy. They have a healthy balance of whole and white flour, 7 or 8 carrots (for 12 muffins), and pineapple. This morning, they were a big hit. Duncan would like me to add nuts and raisins next time, and those additions would add increase the nutritional content nicely. If he still likes them by the end of the week, I'll try zucchini next. That's about my repertoire of baked goods containing vegetables so I'm on the lookout for more if you have any great ideas.

Shhhh! Carrots? If no one asks, no one needs to tell.
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