Dren of DrenNotes offers her take on the creative presentation of food:
I've been reading a lot of buzz on the interweb about Deceptively Delicious, mostly dealing with the ethics of "sneaking" in fruits and veggies into a child's diet. My child is a picky eater (and yes, I know where he gets is from). But this past month I've had some success in the three-year-old getting more variety into his meals without any deception.
Situation 1: Safeway was having one of their never-ending "buy one, get one free" deals on packs of 18 eggs, meaning we have a lot of eggs around the house. I had some I needed to use up and decided to make Egg Muffins for my lunch. When my toddler heard what I was making, he was insistent about eating one. Why? Because it was a *muffin*. I thought he'd turn his nose up once he saw it was made out of eggs instead of flour, but he actually ate two whole muffins and has asked for them multiple times during the week. It was all about the packaging (ah, a marketing junkie at such an early age).
Situation 2: I'm part of a meal swap group (eight families make 8 batches of an 8-serving meal that can be frozen, and we exchange them once a month – so great!), and after watching Feasting on Asphalt in which Alton Brown talked about a southern meal of fried chicken and waffles, I thought it might be a good freezer meal: a waffle topped with honey-butter, applesauce, and oven-fried chicken. When I gave it to the other families, they acted a bit hesitant – it's a fairly unusual combination for northerners (my folks are southern). I thought my son would have the same quizzical reaction, but he chowed it down! Why? Because it was all of his favorite foods! Waffle – good! Honey-butter – good! Applesauce – good! Chicken – good! My friends said their toddlers loved it as well – even asked for seconds which never happens. Where the packaging seemed odd to others, it made perfect sense to them.