Today I was thinking about my kids' nutrition, it's funny how they go through fases. My oldest daughter used to be a really good eater and my youngest a very, very picky eater. Well, that hasn't changed much but my youngest IS eating a lot more. He used to eat very little, if any food at all. I nursed him until he was a year old, and that's pretty much all the nutrition he got up until that point. He never liked any baby food, except for some occasional pureed fruit. He wasn't just picky, he was, and still is, a very MESSY eater. It's funny how I still get fooled thinking he has eaten pretty much all of his food only to find most of it on the floor. And that happens pretty often. I should've learned not to get my hopes up before looking down by now. But I guess us mothers never lose hope when it comes to our children. WOW. How deep. Okay, nutrition! Geez. It's late!
Well, the other day I was at Anna's house and we were talking about our picky eaters and she mentioned how her son absolutely LOVES pizza. And since he's a very picky eater, she decided to make a pizza but throw all kinds of veggies on top. Pretty smart, eh? And since it was a pizza, he ate it! I haven't tried this yet but I'm pretty (almost) sure my son wouldn't eat it. He's THAT picky. He would just look at it and make a grossed out face or if he dared to try it he would probably spit it all out (and maybe even gag a little). But I will try making this and will tell you all if I was right or if I was right. Okay?
After that day, I started thinking about other ways I can make healthier foods that my children (or more specifically my son) WILL eat. There is one book called Deceptively Delicious which I really want to get. A friend of mine suggested it. Have any of you read it?
Also, I found a couple ideas on the What to Expect website. I've probably mentioned this website on here many times before but it's got some great information. For the entire article, click here.
If you just want to stay on this page and keep reading, here are the tips they give you:
- Slip in some veggies. Add finely grated vegetables (carrots, beets, zucchini work well) to rice, cottage cheese, or even macaroni and cheese; they add a little color and a lot of nutrition.
- Say cheese. Boost the calcium quotient by grating mild cheeses such as cheddar, Colby, or Monterey Jack over veggies, or mixing cottage cheese into pasta.
- Redo the recipe. You can hide almost any veggie inside a meatball. Whenever you cook chopped meat, toss in some grated vegetables (again, carrots, beets, zucchini). They add a mild flavor, lighten the texture, and up the nutritional ante. Serving tomato sauce? Whether it's homemade or from a jar add in some finely chopped peppers, carrots, parsley, or beans, and cook till the veggies soften. If you like, run the sauce through the blender or food processor to totally hide the additions.
- Get fruity. Mash super-nutritious blueberries into pancakes to make "bluecakes"; make whole-grain raisin muffin-cakes with cream cheese "frosting" — this muffin trick works just as well with carrots, pumpkin, and zucchini.
- Sundae best. Layer pureed (or finely chopped) fruit with yogurt or cereal in a tall parfait glass. Or make a banana split for breakfast with a quarter of a banana, a dollop of yogurt, and a sprinkling of cold cereal.
- Pizza time. Sprinkle small pieces of soft-cooked (or roasted) veggies on top of homemade or store-bought pizza.
- Bake it in. For a real treat, make (good-for-you) cookies together. Look for healthier recipes such as oatmeal raisin or ginger snaps made with whole grains. Or grate zucchini or carrots into the batter of plain cookies or muffins to boost the fiber and vitamins.
Now you probably already know many of these. But I want to know more! Even MORE sneaky! So tell me what is YOUR secret to making your picky eaters eat healthy? Please share! =)
I think I can sleep now. Sweet dreams!