Wednesday, April 7, 2010

how to sneak fruits and veggies into a toddler’s meal - recipe: sneaky cheddar cornmeal muffins

Much to my disappointment, my not-quite-two-year-old son John has been going through a starch and sugar phase. All John wants to eat is yogurt, toast with jam, plain pasta and crackers. So, I dusted off my copy of “Deceptively Delicious” — a cookbook written by Jessica Seinfeld (yep, Jerry’s better-half) geared to frazzled mothers like myself.

Every recipe “hides” fruit and/or vegetable purees into kid-friendly favourites such as chicken nuggets, pasta dishes, pancakes and of course, baked goodies.

Many of the recipes actually worked! I was shocked that John didn’t notice the quarter-cup of parsnip puree that I added to his morning yogurt. And although it took a bit of time, cutting up vegetables into unusual shapes did pique his interest, if only for a day or two.

In addition to Jessica’s recipes and tips, I’m doing my best to be a sneaky chef of sorts at home. John loves fruit muffins so I figured a savoury breakfast muffin was worth a try.

I took a basic recipe for cheddar cornmeal muffins (credit goes to the cookbook “Muffin Mania”) and added corn niblets, diced red pepper and finely chopped ham. John loved them. I enjoyed these savory muffins, too. They would be terrific served alongside chili or soup.

If you’re serving them to adults, you could easily dress them up with asiago or parmesan cheese (instead of the cheddar) and perhaps replace some diced red onion for the corn niblets.

On the topic of baking, please join us for our second annual Bake Sale to Benefit KidsAbility on April 16th, from 10 a. m. to 4 p. m. All of the profits from the sale will benefit children with disabilities right here in our community; helping them reach their potential. Please consider dropping by our shop to support KidsAbility.

We’ll be selling all sorts of delicious baked goodies, including cupcakes, squares, cookies, scones and muffins — in individual and family-sized portions.

sneaky cheddar cornmeal muffins (makes 12 muffins)


  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1 heaping teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese
  • 1/3 cup cooked corn niblets
  • 1/4 cup finely-diced red bell
  • pepper 4 slices deli style ham, very finely chopped


  • Preheat oven to 375º F. Sift together flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt.
  • Beat egg with milk and butter and add dry ingredients, stirring to moisten. Stir in one cup of the cheddar cheese, corn niblets, red pepper and ham. Spoon into greased muffin cups. Sprinkle tops with the remaining cheddar cheese.
  • Bake for 16 – 23 minutes or until muffins are cooked through. Serve hot with butter or freeze and reheat before serving.

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