Gastronomical Subterfuge‏

by Lori Dwyer on March 8, 2013 · 5 comments

My children are fussy, finicky eaters. The Chop especially. He takes after me. The Bump has inherited her father’s appetite (”Can’t talk, eating…”), but has still been sadly influenced by me. Both my kids will pick and pull at food. They often demand nothing but garlic bread for dinner. On the rare occasion I do get them to the something new, they gag to the– point I’m almost positive it’s involuntary.

The anti–food phenomenon is absolutely my fault; and the requisite parental guilt is gutting and hollow and flagellating. I’d always naively assumed that the process of teaching my kids to eat healthy would be one of those things that just ’happened’, as if by some kind of magical intervention. I think things like that a lot. My own mother made parenting look so easy.

Actually, to be completely honest, I’d always assumed that The Chop and The Bump would pick up their dad’s relatively healthy taste for all manner of different foods. Had he stuck around for long enough, they might have.

But it didn’t quite work out that way and, after the sky fell in, so did my attempts at cooking. My little darlings have developed the eating habits of their mother. Very, very bad ones. Or, as I like to say, we are ’simple eaters with limited tastes’. Because that makes it sound so much better.

Like most kids, mine would both eat nothing but junk food, given half the chance (and let’s face it, so would I). In order to maintain some control over what we munch on, I’ve taken to trying not to fill the kitchen cupboards with junk food. If all they will snack on is yoghurt, fruit, sultanas, cheese and biscuits…. then that is all I will buy.

In theory, that works wonderfully.

In reality, it’s never that easy. Some days it feels as though the array of foods my children consider ’acceptable for digestion’ is shrinking and waning– they eat less and less. Each week they strike another foodstuff off the list with declarations of “I don’t like that!” and “Neither do I!!”

I get the feeling God is laughing me and my foolish best–of-plans intentions. Home made baby food. Carefully prepared toddler snacks. And two kids who, some days, seem to get all the nourishment they need from a packet of popcorn, an orange and a tub of yoghurt.

Somewhere along the line– a year or so ago, I do believe– I gave up on the dream and illusion that was raw, unprocessed foods, and started buying anything that looked even reasonably healthy and appealing, in order to get the little darlings to eat something– anything– other than milk arrowroot biscuits

Most attempts have been utter failures.

The Bump and I spent an inordinate amount of time playing with these. They look just like they're having a conversation, do they not?!

The Bump and I spent an inordinate amount of time playing with these. They look just like they’re having a conversation, do they not?!

And I actually thought that the SPC Fruit Crush–Ups thingies I had been sent to review would end up the same as most everything else I’ve tried– that is, relegated to the occasional parcels of untouched food that I pass on to friends whose children are less fussy than mine.

Initial trials showed the Fruit Crush–Ups to be unsuccessful, led in opinion by the Chop (the Bump, in general, defers to his decisions. As little sisters do). I’m not sure how this conclusion was reached. The packets are pretty. It’s one handed, which is important for busy kidlets. and there are six– six– different flavours to choose from. No child can be that fussy.

Except mine.

Numerous attempts to beg, bribe and coerce the children into just trying the bleeping things, please, resulted in… Failure. I froze them. I chilled them. I decanted them into glasses with straws and bowls with spoons. (All of that refer to the SPC’s, obviously, not the kids). I even put the strawberry over ice cream, for pity’s sake.

Fruit Crush-Ups over ice cream. Like au naturel strawberry topping!

Fruit Crush-Ups over ice cream. Like au naturel strawberry topping!

No, nay, nuh–uh, no way. Ugh.

“Please? Try it? Just once?” I beg the Chop, “it’s for my blog.”

That results in a wary, slightly worried look. He knows that ’mum’s blog’ is where lots of cool things– like PS3′s, road trips and Skylanders eventuate from. “You will still have your blog but, if I don’t try it, right Mummy?”

“Yes.” I sigh, “of course. But really, you should try them. They’re yummy. They’ve been named Product of the Year!” I am clutching at straws here and he knows it.

“No. Thanks.” At least he’s polite.

Eventually, I resort to total subterfuge and stealthily pack the Fruit Crush–Ups into lunch bags, for big school and daycare, hoping to sneak them into my kids subconscious via peer pressure and distraction. Unfortunately, the Chop is far too old for this kind of disillusionment, and the Crush–Up returned untouched.

But the Bump… she’s still just a baby, bless her, and it’s far too easy to play with her mind sometimes. At the daycare teachers insistence that the Fruit Crush-Ups were, in fact, ’way cool!’, the Bump not only tried it, but loved it. And has polished off half a box of them since then.

Total success.


If you’d like to broaden your kids foodstuff intake and add an extra half piece of fruit to their day in a stealthy squeezie pack that can be frozen as an ice pack for lunchboxes (killing both the snack and potential food poisoning birds with one frozen stone!); I’ve got a whole terms worth of SPC Fruit Crush–Ups to give away– that’s eight of each six flavours, RRP $1.29 each, all to the one lucky winner. To be that winner, tell me in 25 words or less–ish; what is the ultimate subterfuge you have pulled on your kids, to get them to eat what they don’t want to?

This comp is open to Aussie residents only. It opens now and closes midnight 22nd March. The winning answer will be whatever tickles my pickle and makes me smile at the time of drawing. Winners must have a valid email address, and will be contacted soon after the competition closes. Winners have 48 hours to respond to the winning email or the comp may be redrawn. My desicion is final and no bitching, whinging or discussion will be entered into.

This post has been sponsored by the awesome people at SPC.

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Rebecca mum to 6! March 12, 2013 at 2:35 pm

Around here 3 out of 6 kids are good eaters, for the others its good stuff hidden in ‘yummy’ milkshakes/smoothies or veges blitzed til there is no tomorrow & stirred into sauces like gravy, pasta sauce, tomato sauce etc. It works for us!


Lisa Walton March 12, 2013 at 2:31 pm

Chocolate Bean cake – my version of his favourite Mud cake made with red kidney beans :-) The ultimate in subterfuge.


qc March 10, 2013 at 11:00 pm

I was impressed with this review. You were honest about the fact that your kids didn’t want to try it and that you had to trick them into it. A lot of bloggers wouldn’t have been.

As far as the subterfuge thing goes, maybe I was more of a hardline mother when my kids were young (for hardline, substitute lazy and relaxed): I figured that no kid would wilfully starve to death so if they didn’t eat what was available from a couple of choices, there wasn’t anything else. It wasn’t an issue and they grew up eating pretty much anything. I don’t know why laziness isn’t advocated as a parenting style a lot more!

But the subterfuge goes on the whole time with my new husband… you’d think that vegies were out to poison the man. It’s a lot harder to influence the eating patterns of a 50 year old and although he doesn’t have spectacular arched bow back tantrums, mealtimes can get quite heated, what with his desire for three different types of meat, deep fried, and my desire to prevent instant heart attack.

So, my approach is health by stealth and I sneak as many pureed fruits and vegies into as many things as possible. I might use those little packie things at that.

Oops, this wasn’t meant to win anything; just a comment.


Monique March 10, 2013 at 9:06 am

Mine is to get them to stop eating something I don’t want them to eat.
We have an ice cream truck that comes everyday winter or summer
My 2 children now know if the ice cream truck is playing its music it is to let all the children know it has run out of ice cream
Best lie ever


Drea B March 8, 2013 at 8:19 pm

I think we got lucky in a way. My daughter was born with a food allergy, which she grew out of, that severely restricted her food options until she was over two years of age. She couldn’t have dairy at all, wheat only kicked in well after age one. It was horrible to manage, and she had the most boring lunch box at child care, mostly it was rice products, veggies and some fresh fruit. But, she loves veggies and fruit still. She’ll actually ask for a carrot instead of a biscuit. She’s odd but I encourage it for as long as it lasts.


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