About Me


  • MoxieTopics
    Short PDF ebooks on specific parenting topics, in-depth and focused

Coaching and Workshops

Click through to Amazon.com

Moxie's reading

The 10-year-old's reading


  • MoxieTopics
    Short PDF ebooks on specific parenting topics, in-depth and focused

« Q&A: how to keep in-laws out of the delivery room | Main | Q&A: baby naptime problems »



I use finely ground carrots in my spaghetti sauce. They take on the color of the sauce (so there's no "Ugh, what's that green stuff???") and they also thicken it nicely. Got this tip from MIL, who used it successfully for 35 years. When my husband saw me doing it, he freaked out and then pouted for a week when I told him that HIS MOTHER has been doing it forever. Hee hee. Now he thinks it's a riot when I sneak it in and our son just gobbles it up.

kelly jeanie

Can't wait to see the ideas here. Love the ground carrots in spaghetti sauce.

I have a recipe for pumpkin chip cookies that is soooo good. They are really moist and they stay that way for a long time. I get tons of compliments. Sometimes I use raisins instead of chocolate chips and that's really good too. I don't think putting pumpkin in chocolate chip cookies is odd at all.


I want the recipe for the pumpkin cookies.

I add shredded carrots to meatloaf and lasagna.
I use whole wheat flour when making oatmeal-craisin cookies (add a little gluten to keep it moist). I use it when making chocolate chip cookies too (but only half whole wheat).
I use applesauce in place of oil for packaged brownies.
I add slices of tomato and a litle garlic powder to grilled cheese (which is made on Innkeeper's 9,000 seed and nut whole wheat bread from Costco).
I use baby food prunes, applesauce, blueberries, sweet potatoes, carrots, etc and put it in plain yogurt to make the colored, sweetened, flavored kind without adding any sugar. No one is the wiser - yet.
I will occasionally put pureed carrots, celery, corn, potatoes, beans, etc in the broth of thick stews.
I double (or triple) the amount of kidney beans in chili and use lots of tomatoes and onions.


It's a propos that today's topic involves flax seed oil, because after reading Moxie's and readers' comments about the oil in other topics, I went out and got some nice, refrigerated-for-maximum-benefits oil at Whole Foods. I like the taste of ground flax seed in my fruit smoothies, pancakes, etc., so I didn't think I'd have any trouble with the oil. Readers, beware! It tastes TERRIBLE! Maybe different brands have different tastes, but I am really sorry I bought such a large bottle. Just wanted to warn you. Try a small bottle at first. It's not TOO bad in a smoothie, but you can really taste it if you try mixing it with OJ or something. I decided maybe the best thing to do is just suck down a spoonful and chase it with, you know, chocolate-covered raisins or other tasty reward. Still, it is going to be a struggle to finish the bottle. Not sure if it's better to get the capsules, which maybe don't have as many benefits but at least aren't revolting, or what. Anyway, buyer beware.


I'm glad this came up ... I recently started offering my 1-year-old small spoonfuls of flax oil, and she LOVES it.

For myself, I had the same experience as Jen with the taste ... I could barely gag the stuff down at first. It gets better if you keep trying. And it helps to use a small spoon and put it waaaay back on your tongue, almost pouring it down your throat. yack.

As far as smuggling in nutrition ... not much experience with that. My kid seems to like anything that's mixed with avocados, so I do some of that.


Jen, has your oil perhaps gone rancid? Flaxseed oil is very fragile.
While I don't find it particularly yummy (blah blah blah mild and nutty I don't think so), I can get a spoonful down if it's mixed into a few spoonfuls of something acidic, such as orange juice or limeade. Doing it straight is just a big gag-inducer, though I couldn't say whether that's flax oil in particular or all oil. Much as I love me some fat, a spoonful, straight, is too much for me.


I think flax seed oil tastes kind of like super-fruity olive oil. I wouldn't want to eat that straiught, either. I think the best way to eat flax seed oil is with lemon juice over salad. I think it would ruin orange juice.


Here is a good recipe for carrot cookies. Granted, they are COOKIES and therefore not that healthy for you, BUT they are still made with carrots and are probably better for you than chocolate chip cookies. Plus, I love their texture.

1/3 cup pecans
1 cup grated carrots (from 2 medium carrots)

1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 tablespoon vanilla
1/3 cup currants

1 cup flour
2 teaspoons Penzeys baking spice or cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon table salt

Preheat oven to 375.

Place pecans in a single layer oven dish, put in oven immediately, before oven is preheated. Remove when aromatic and toasted (about the time they're needed for the cookies, as it turns out), then chop finely.

Grate the carrot and let drain over a colander.

In a large bowl with an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugars til smooth. Add the egg and vanilla, beat for about 2 minutes. Gently add in nuts, carrots and currants.

(What follows is an unorthodox but effective technique. It substitutes for separately mixing the flour, spices, baking soda and salt.) Measure the flour, spices, baking soda and salt onto the top of the wet mixture but don't incorporate. With a spoon, gently and lightly stir together the dry ingredients on top of the wet mixture, still not incorporating. Now turn the mixer back on and mix the wet and dry ingredients until combined.

Using two spoons, one to scoop and one to scrape, transfer scoops of dough (it'll be wet) onto a cookie sheet (use parchment if you don't have good cookie sheets) leaving space between the cookies for spreading. Bake for about 12 minutes. Let cool.

I also advocate putting ground carrots into pasta sauce. You can also put all kinds of stuff into meatloaf and it sort of dissolves. Unfortunately, I don't have excellent suggestions because I ate everything as a kid (except red onions and eggplant) and my parents didn't have to do this with me (or so they claim).

kelly jeanie

Carrie, here is the recipe I use for pumpkin chip cookies:

Probably not real healthy, but very tasty.

I do use unsweetened applesauce in pancake mix in lieu of oil, and I've been buying a whole-wheat mix that is yummy. My toddler devours them without syrup.


As a nanny I used to make english muffin "pizzas" with a bunch of pureed baby food veggies- especially spinach- (organic, but of course) hidden under a thin layer of tomato sauce and cheese. The muffins absorbed some of the moisture from the veggies and she ate them right up.

Keep the suggestions coming as our almost 5 month old is getting her first solids tonight!


You know, there's a whole chapter in Super Baby Foods about slipping stuff into foods. I still add a TBS of soy flour and a TBS of wheat germ into every cup of flour I use for baking, because of that (it makes the proteins more complete, or something). I know brewer's yeast and avocado both get a mention, along with the ground flax seed (which I grind in a seeds-only coffee grinder, hopefully not foolishly). For a LONG time, we added avocado to anything fruity or smooth and it truly did disappear. But I've gotten out of that habit. You can also add nut butters to smoothies, in small quantities. Smoothies can be the wonder food, especially for breakfast, what with the avocado and the flax seed and the nut butter. But to disguise all that stuff, you've either got to have a child's untrained palatte or a LOT of frozen fruit in the mix. Not that frozen fruit is bad, but how big is your blender?

We're lucky on the veggie front: the kids eat spinach with dressing for lunch and steamed spinach for dinner. If they stop doing that, I'm blaming this sentence for jinxing our luck.

Off to watch the Alias finale....


After we needed to up the fiber in my daughter's diet (constipation => pressure on bladder => full release of bladder at inconvenient times), the doctor suggested added oat bran to everything. I like Bob's Red Mill Oat Bran cereal. It smells good on its own. I usually add it to pancake mix, as the doctor said, put it as much as you can and still have to look like pancakes.

And maybe we just have a 4 year old with a good appetite, but persuasion has worked the best. She is convinced that spinach and beans will make her strong. And she wants to be strong. You do have to feel her arm muscles after nearly every bite of beans, but it has helped. No more massively wet floors.


I have two rabid veggie-avoiders (payback for my being vegetarian?), but manage to get a decent meal into them pretty regularly with veggie pancakes. Viz:

1 lb spinach, cleaned and chopped
3 large carrots, chopped
1/2 cup cooked brown rice
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
2 eggs
1 cup shredded mozzarella
2 T olive oil (or you could use flaxseed)
pinch of salt
pinch of rosemary

Throw all the above into a Cuisinart and grind to a coarse green meal. Heat up a few T of olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat, make batter into small pancakes, and fry about 2 minutes per side, until just crisp on the outside and holding together on the inside.

My kids love these and they make very convenient snacks on the go. They're essentially a meal, what with the veggies, cheese, eggs and rice/flour, but I can hand them out while driving, or when they're cranky before dinner.


Thank you all. These suggestions are great. I have been out of practice of making baby food at home since my son is eating more table food. I think I'll start up again just to have something to easily hide is foods.
I look forward to trying your suggestions.


Oooh, I love this thread! What great ideas. I am an avid veggie hider, and one thing that's really helped me since my twins started getting pickier (at about a year) is using an organic, low sodium veggie soup as a base. They like things much better with a little bit more flavor now. Add some pureed spinach and carrots plus a handful of brown rice, and viola! Veggie stew they love. I use LS split pea, minestrone, chili, etc. We're vegetarian, so they get protein that way. I do the same thing with Annie's Mac and Cheese. I add a pureed carrot and some greens or zuke, and halve the butter and milk. I think it's key that they've never had it any other way, and I plan to make sure it stays that way! I can't wait to try the pankcake, muffin pizzas and flax oil.


My mom also used to grind up veggies to put in spaghetti sauce - whatever was fresh at the time - carrots, squash, eggplant - and I remember being horrified when I found out. She also used to give me small cups of frozen peas, carrots or corn to eat as snacks rather than chips or cookies - no prep for her and I loved the novelty of eating frozen food (this was of course after I had teeth!). Applesauce and homemade fruit juice ice pops are also big in our family. We were also really into salsa, which you can make with a variety of fresh veggies.

I often toss shelled endamame or white beans into soup, salads, stir frys, etc., and keep the endamame in pods around for snacking. Most grocery stores sell both kinds in the freezer section these days. Adding a little brown rice or extra frozen veggies to canned soups is also easy.

There are also things like soba noodles, cous cous, and hummus that weren't available when I was a kid that I know I would have loved. Cous cous is great with diced up fruit or veggies, and you can grind up a bunch of good things (garlic, carrots) in homemade hummus (if you don't like chick peas, substitute white beans).

I love the recipes everyone has posted! Will definitely be printing them out! Thanks!


My mom always put wheat germ in everything, which I grew to hate! I think she might've just had too heavy a hand, though. Adding wheat germ, and substituting some whole wheat flour for white, and reducing the amount of sugar called for in cookie and muffin recipes by 1/3 seems to work well.

I took a zucchini-carrot cake recipe, did the partial whole wheat flour sub, added wheat germ, reduced sugar and doubled the amount of zucchini and carrot the recipe called for. Then I baked the batter in mini muffin tins, which probably helps get rid of excess liquid from the additional veggies. Toss in a few raisins and the resulting mini-muffins are toddler crack. Moist and surprisingly light.

Yeah, they're muffins. But we're big on baked goodies around here!


Carrot applesauce muffins!


Henry loves to make these with me. Only make sure you don't forget the sugar. THEY DON'T TASTE GOOD THEN.


Carrot juice mixed with apple juice for breakfast, carrots grated into sauces or lasagna, pureed zucchini or squash works in sauces too. Chopped spinach scrapes by in breakfast casseroles (tell them its Green Eggs and Ham) and zucchini and carrot bread is a great breakfast treat.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Search Ask Moxie

Sign Up For My Email Newsletter

Blah blah blah

  • My expertise is in helping people be who they want to be, with a specialty in how being a parent fits into everything else. I like people. I like parents. I think you're doing a fantastic job. The nitty-gritty of what you do with your kids is up to you, although I'm happy to post questions here to get data points of how you could try approaching different stages, because, let's face it, this shit is hard. As for me, I have two kids who sleep through the night and can tie their own shoes. I've been a married SAHM, a married freelance WAHM, a divorcing WOHM, a divorced WOHM, and now a WAHM again. I'm not buying the Mommy Wars and I'll come sit next to you no matter how you're feeding your kid. When in doubt, follow the money trail. And don't believe the hype.
Blog powered by Typepad