The “Get Eli to Like Veggies Challenge”. Part One

by Allison @ Alli 'n Son on August 17, 2009

I don’t know if this is common knowledge or not, but toddlers HATE vegetables. I mean with a capital H. A. T. E. In case you didn’t know, or if you have seen the “Broccoli Video” Eli is no exception. If I’m lucky, I can trick him into eating sweet potato fries, if they are covered in ketchup. Maybe some corn if it is mixed in with scrambled eggs. And ketchup. Oh, and pancakes with sweet potatoes mixed together. But other than that, I’m out of luck. I’ve resorted to giving him V8 Splash which is fantastic because he still gets all of the good stuff he needs. But it doesn’t really teach him to like veggies. Or to at least tolerate them. So I’m doing an experiment, let’s call it the Get Eli to Like Veggies Challenge. I may be fighting a losing battle with this one, but at least I’ll have fun trying, and probably come up with some yummy (hopefully healthy) recipes along the way.

Yes, I have made pancakes with sweet potatoes, but that doesn’t really count for this challenge, since the pancakes were from a box, not homemade. I have made a few different zucchini muffins, but…most involved a lot of chocolate. Not necessarily healthy…unless are a choco-holic like I am! So I decided to try a recipe that is tasty, still has a lot of veggies in it, but isn’t loaded with chocolate. And I found this: Lemon Zucchini Bread/Muffins. The recipe originally came from, but I made a few modifications to it, and I think next time I’ll try reducing the amount of sugar, or replacing some/all with fruit juice, or maybe tomato juice for a new twist. But overall, these are fantastic muffins, with a little sweetness and a LOT of moisture. The batter will look very watery when everything is mixed together, which worried me a little, but the muffins turn out fantastic, so don’t let the appearance fool you.

And the best part, is they passed the test! Eli wolfed one down with his dinner tonight, along with some sweet potato fries, so he had two veggie servings and didn’t even realize it.

Lemon Zucchini Muffins

Lemon Zucchini Muffins


1-1/2 to 2 cups shredded zucchini with the skin on (extra vitamins!)
3/4 cup white sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 (or more) teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons lemon juice (more if you like a lemony taste)


1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).Line or grease one muffin tin (12 muffins total).
2. In a bowl, mix together together the zucchini, sugar, egg, oil and lemon juice. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder; stir in the cinnamon. Stir the flour mixture into the zucchini mixture just until blended. Pour the batter into the prepared muffin tins.
3. Bake 20-25 minutes in the preheated oven, until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from heat, and cool about 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Any suggestions to make these muffins even healthier, yet still tasty? Leave me a comment, I’ll try it next time, and let you know how they turn out.

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1 EMcQuillan August 21, 2009 at 1:01 pm

Mm, will try this for 1yr old DD. My fave sneaky veggie is pureeing zucchini (etc.) and then mixing hearty amts into tomato sauce and putting on pasta w/ a dash of cheese. She devours.

2 Allison August 23, 2009 at 8:46 pm

I’ve tied that too. I’ve even been able to mix in some chopped up veggies. Eli does of course pick out the green ones. :)

3 Liz@HoosierHomemade November 17, 2009 at 7:42 am

I love baking with zucchini! It makes everything so moist. Thanks for joining in the fun at Cupcake Tuesday!
.-= Liz@HoosierHomemade´s last blog ..Cupcake Tuesday ~ Thanksgiving =-.

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