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April Fool Your Kids With a Sweet Treat: Fake Veggies

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Warning: April Fools’ Day is Saturday, so be on the lookout for some foolish surprises. If you’re a parent, you don’t need a silly holiday to prank the children.

Fooling kids is the best chapter of the parent handbook. There are many books that offer sound advice when it comes to deceiving our kids for the greater good.

The most popular and widespread ruse involves food. Parents start operation “vegetable cover-up” at the infant stage and this con goes on until they’re adults. Not only do I trick the kids, I have to creatively sneak veggies into my husband’s meals, too.

Moms begin camouflaging vegetables at the infant stage by serving vegetable baby food mixed with fruit varieties to make them more palatable. When my 6-month-old wouldn’t swallow the peas with the airplane spoon method, a little applesauce or pureed pears made it go down.

The toddler stage was a bit trickier, but I had a few fun recipes to disguise veggies. My favorite used pureed butternut squash in macaroni and cheese.

When my children got older, I would add spinach into smoothies or use cauliflower for mashed potatoes. More recently, I’ve been substituting cauliflower rice for rice dishes. My chicken-fried rice dinner is actually stir-fried cauliflower.

It’s a good thing my children don’t read my column, or I would have to delete that healthy recipe from my “veggie cover-up” file.

Oddly enough, my kids like my homemade kale chips. I was forthcoming with the main ingredient because calling it a green potato chip wasn’t going to fly. They happily devour these crispy green chips. I surely didn’t see that one coming.

With April Fools’ Day around the corner, I thought I would give you an edible prank that will fool the entire family. Because it’s a holiday, this will be a sweet treat for the children that won’t involve any real vegetables.

To make an April Fools' "carrot," warm fruit chews in microwave for 5-8 seconds to make them more pliable. The cut and shape the chews into carrot shapes. - LEE BELOTE
  • Lee Belote
  • To make an April Fools' "carrot," warm fruit chews in microwave for 5-8 seconds to make them more pliable. The cut and shape the chews into carrot shapes.

April Fools’ Vegetables

Ingredients:

A bag of colored fruit chews. I used Tootsie fruit chews that are shaped like Tootsie Rolls.
Green icing (tint white icing with green food coloring)
Green sprinkles

Directions:

Before making any of the vegetables, warm the fruit chews in microwave for 5-8 seconds to make them more pliable.

Peas, carrots, and corn: Cut pieces of the fruit chews and shape into the desired vegetable. Peas are easily shaped into circles when rolled in the palm of the hands.

Broccoli: Cut a green fruit chew down the middle and flare the two pieces outward. Use a spoon to affix a small dollop of green icing and then cover with sprinkles.

After making your faux vegetables, serve them alongside the regular meal to further the charade. The family will be pleasantly surprised to discover fruit flavored chews have replaced their traditional greens. With years of masquerading vegetables, it will be fun to turn the tables and fool them with a sweet treat.

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