Sunday, August 16, 2009

Sneak Attack

When my boys first started eating solid foods, I decided that I was going to make my own baby food. I was warned by another friend who also made her own food: "make sure you give them the store bought kind every once in awhile or they'll never eat it when you need them to" (ie - at a restaurant or while traveling when it doesn't make sense to bring your own food). She was right! I must not have offered the store bought kind often enough, because they wouldn't touch it with a 10 foot pole, and now that they are eating primarily table food, I'm left with a pantry full of baby veggies that I can't bring myself to throw away. Are you in the same boat?

After doing a little research, I found some great ideas for how to sneak them into everyday recipes, which boosts the nutients and vitamins and (hopefully!) enriches the taste. Here are a couple ideas I came across:

  • Add a jar of sweet potatoes, green beans or garden vegetables to your meatball/meatloaf recipe (tip: this will make your meat a little softer, so add additional breadcrumbs to compensate)
  • Add a jar of squash to boxed mac and cheese. It's the same color, so it should go undetected!
  • Add a jar of carrots, mixed veggies or squash to chicken soup. It will bulk up the thickness and the flavor.
  • Add a jar of carrots or sweet potatoes to jarred (or homemade) pasta sauce
  • Add a few different jars as layers in your lasagna


  • Add a jar of applesauce to blueberry muffin mix
  • Add a jar of bananas to chocolate chip muffin mix
  • Add a jar of pears, applesauce, bananas or mixed fruit to oatmeal

If your kids were like mine, you probably don't have as many fruits left over as you do veggies. If none of these sound like winners to you, you could always use the extra jars as a baby shower game (

Has anyone else tried these sneak attacks or have any new ones to add? I'd love to free up a shelf in my pantry!


suzannah | the smitten word said...

these are all great ideas. dylan had so many digestive issues when she was little, we didn't even get through the jars our friends gave us when their baby grew out of them.

the trick is what to do with with "turkey casserole" and jarred "spaghetti and meatballs"--wouldn't want to mix that junk in with anything! luckily, food banks readily accept baby food donations, too--just like any other dry good:)