Mama’s Picky Eater Patrol: Volume 1 (Sweet Potato Pancakes)

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Mommy- 1
Lily Bean- 0
Remember when I told you that I refused to accept Lily Bean’s stubborn eating habits without a fight?
Well fight I did- and I won!
Last week I cracked open my copy of Deceptively Delicious by Jessica Seinfeld. I read the entire book cover to cover, and walked away with a few main ideas:
  • Veggie purees are the key to being a sneakster with food- they can be hidden in just about any recipe
  • Match purees to recipes that have similar colors (i.e. cauliflower can easily blend in with a mac and cheese dish)
  • Likewise, match similar tastes so that the purees can’t be detected by the wary toddler’s nose.
I settled on a recipe for sweet potato pancakes, and I’m proud to say, that I sort of took the “just wing it” approach. I used the recipe as a guideline and played around a bit with the amounts. Lily Bean LOVES her pancakes for breakfast, so this recipe was especially appealing to me. What could be better than sneaking a VEGETABLE into her innocent, unsuspecting pancake breakfast?
Here’s how simple it was!
The tasty lineup:
Pancake Mix
Cooking Spray
1 Large Sweet Potato
Cinnamon (not picture).
Sweet Potato Puree Prep
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Stab sweet potato a few times with a fork. Bake sweet potato for 1 hour, or until inside is soft and mushy. Remove from oven, cut open, allow to cool.
2. Scoop sweet potato innards into a food processor or blender. Puree until smooth and fairly lump free. (This took me right back to my baby food making days!)
Pancake Prep
1. Combine in a bowl: Pancake mix (I used 2 cups), Sweet Potatoe puree (my potato yielded 1 cup), Water (I used about 1 cup, add more or less as needed to get a good batter consistency), Oil (approx 2 TBSP), and a dash of cinnamon.
2. Whisk together until ingredients are well blended and the lumps are mostly gone.
(Here is mine right before blending the cinnamon.)
3. As you finish blending your ingredients, start heating up your griddle or frying pan. Coat surface with cooking spray. Pour batter as you normally would for pancakes. Adjust the amount to suit your child’s portion size. (I made mine big enough for Lily Bean to eat 1 for breakfast with some fruit, usually a banana.)
4. Flip over when bottom starts to brown. Continue flipping a couple more times- until pancakes are cooked all the way through and aren’t runny inside.

Behold! Check out this big pile of pancakes– all secretly LOADED with sweet potato!

5. Place your pancakes in a freezer bag and use a permanent marker to label and date the bag. Freeze.
6. Make pancakes as needed- I either throw them in the toaster or pop them in the microwave for about 30 seconds.
7. The proof: a happy and oblivious eater!
Have a recipe-in-disguise of your own to share? I’d love to hear it! Send them to
Want to snag a copy of Deceptively Delicious for yourself? Amazon has them for just $9.98 and i ships FREE with Amazon Prime!
*It’s also worth mentioning… this recipe was extremely frugal to make. My estimate for 3-4 weeks worth of breakfast: $1.35.
Illustration by Michael Klein
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5 thoughts on “Mama’s Picky Eater Patrol: Volume 1 (Sweet Potato Pancakes)”

  1. I use pancakes & muffins to clear out all over ripe fruit; or yogurt that no one will eat; or both :)

    I also add a splash of vanilla extract to it.
    I love Krustz pancake mix its great.

    I also learned that if you peel things like squash, zucinni or other vegi's b4 putting in a casserole it will tend to look like potatoes & not get as many objections. You can save the peels (including tomatoe) put in dehydrator & make vegi powder & use for soups, stews, or dips.

  2. I also have a very picky eater and this book worked miracles for us. I spent one day (like the book says) and steamed or roasted a bunch of veggies then pureed and froze them in 1/2 cup amounts. There are some flop recipes in the book-pink pancakes were not a hit at our house but a friend's daughter begs for them.
    The best recipe is the chicken and rice balls. My son only eats fish sticks for dinner (to the point I looked up mercury content!LOL)He devours the chicken and rice balls! We make a whole bunch but sautee them outside on the grill's side burner because they make a mess and stink up the house. Then freeze them in 4-5 a package to reheat later.
    Now I add veggies or pureed fruit to so many recipes but the book was a great source of info.

  3. I just tried making the sweet potato pancakes, and they were a BIG hit! THANKS! :) My son needs to be eating more veggies, but he’s a picky eater so this was just the kind of thing he needed! I think I will definitely have to get that book. :)


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