Parents can benefit from tricks used to get reluctant kids to eat healthier | On The Side | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

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Parents can benefit from tricks used to get reluctant kids to eat healthier

Try this macaroni-and-cheese secretly harboring cauliflower

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Among insecure parents, few topics drive more web traffic than debates about eating habits. What to do, for example, if your kid refuses to eat healthy foods? Pushing too hard can backfire, turning mealtime into a conflict. "Hiding" healthy ingredients inside food your kid likes has been popularized in a book, Deceptively Delicious, by Jessica Seinfeld (Jerry's wife). But it too is controversial. For one thing, it involves deceiving your child.

But in the Potter household, Dad can't stand cauliflower either. So when we use "hidden ingredient" recipes, we eat them, too. That way, we also eat healthy, and deceive our kid only insofar as we deceive ourselves. Which is why we adapted the following recipe from Jerry Seinfeld's wife. Does our kid like it? Who cares?  

Cut a half-head of cauliflower into florets, and steam for 8-10 minutes. Puree in a food processor until texture is smooth, adding water if necessary. 

Cook 1½ cups of macaroni, and drain. Coat large saucepan with cooking spray and 1 tablespoon oil. Stir in flour constantly until it achieves a paste-like texture, but before browning. Add ½ cup skim milk, thicken for 3-4 minutes. Add ½ cup of the cauliflower puree (save extra for later use); 8 ounces low-fat cheddar cheese; 4 ounces low-fat cream cheese; 1/8 tsp of paprika; and salt/pepper to taste. Stir until cheese is thoroughly melted. Add macaroni and serve warm.

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