Have you ever found yourself having this conversation?
Parent (as aloof and noncommittal as possible): I just made some yummy ____________ (fill in the blank here). Do you want to try some?
Child (emphatically): No.
Parent (puzzled): Why not?
Child (in that duh tone they so often use): I don’t like it.
Parent (completely exasperated): How do you know you don’t like it? You’ve never even tried it!
Child (also completely exasperated): I just know…
Seriously?! What, are kids born psychic? They know every food on the planet and whether or not they’ll like it before they even taste it?
With three kids, I am not afraid to admit that sometimes I don’t really tell them what they’re eating.
Like rhubarb for example. I grew up eating it, so I love the flavor. Plus it’s rich in potassium, vitamin C, dietary fiber, and calcium. Only problem is, when we were living in Connecticut we had a rhubarb plant growing in our yard and after waxing poetic about how much I liked it, my kids picked it and tried eating it like a stalk of celery. Ew… My mouth puckers at the very thought! Now they are convinced they don’t like it.
So what do I do? I sneak it into a food that they love like homemade applesauce. By adding some strawberries and rhubarb, I get the taste that I love and the nutrients they need into them and they just think they’re eating Strawberry Applesauce and they’re none the wiser. (At least until my daughter reads this and tells the other two little piglets…)
5 large Gala apples, cut into chunks
1 c. strawberries, fresh or defrosted frozen
1 c. rhubarb, fresh or defrosted frozen
¼ c. water
½ – ¾ c. sugar (depending on how sweet you like it)
½ tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. nutmeg
Combine apples, strawberries, rhubarb, water and sugar in a large saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cover and simmer gently for 15-20 minutes until the apples and rhubarb are tender.
Remove from the heat, add the cinnamon and nutmeg and puree in a blender or food processor until you achieve the desired consistency. You can add a little more water or sugar here if it’s too thick or not quite sweet enough for you.