Monday, September 12, 2011

"Picky Eater"

So as most of you know I have the pickiest eater. She was such a great eater when she was a baby. She would eat any of the babyfood I gave her. She never turned anything down.

I waited till E was about 11/12 mons old to start her on finger foods and table food. My reasoning was she had NO teeth and she was terrible at "gumming" it. She would gag and sometimes throw-up when I gave her solids, at 9/10 months, so I stopped. Immediately. Where I think I went wrong was, I feed her solids/table food too late.

Foods she will eat:
Chicken nuggets
Fish Sticks
Fruit of any kind
Crackers or pretzels of any kinds
French Fries
Sorbet, popsicles, icecream
Some dry cereals
Special K protein bars (has to be chocolate) or Kids Z bars (has to be chocolate)
yogurt, applesauce, jello
nutrigrain bars

Foods she will NOT eat:
grilled... anything (hotdogs, burgers, chicken, turkey, etc)
Lunch meat
Peanut Butter
Pasta of any kind
any kind of mexican, italian food

It makes dinner time a hassle... food for her... food for us. (yes I tired the "you eat this or you eat nothing" she ate nothing then cried about being hungry- shes not old enough to understand that you eat what I cook or you don't eat)

A typical lunch for her: yogurt, applesauce or jello, a fruit of some kind, milk (she gets juice 1-2 a week), crackers or pretzels and a protein bar or granola bar.  She gets fruit snacks in her lunch on fridays.

I took her to the peds b/c I was worried that she was not getting enough nutrients. She won't even drink pediasure and like drinks. She loves chocolate but NOT chocolate milk. Her ped told me not to worry, she will eat when she is hungry, offer her healthy foods, but if she will eat fruit and not veggies not to stress b/c they see fruits and veggies as the same thing.

He told me to stick with whole milk till she starts to eat better to ensure that she is getting enough nutrients. Girlfriend will drink milk all-day if I let her. Even after her soccer game she was saying no to the juice we gave out for snack and asking for milk (!), yuck! Milk in 100 degree weather. She fussed about it till we got home and she got some milk. Weirdo!

I was worried about her eating habits when she started pre-school back in Feb. I was worried that her teacher would think that I am a bad mom b/c there was no sandwich in her lunch box or it was not the "traditional lunch" but nothing was ever said about it.

When I was on the search for a new school back in Aug I found "the one" and when she was walking me through a normal 3 year olds day she mentioned lunch and how the students are to bring their own lunch. Perfect, now I know she will eat b/c I know what she likes.

That was great for all of 2 seconds because she proceed to tell me how they require a well rounded meal... Protein, Veggie, Fruit & Grains. She gave me a list of foods that children like in those food groups.

I did not have a problem with: protein, fruit and grains but we never hit the veggie category. E will make herself throw-up if she doesn't like something and you make her take a bite.

I was nervous when I sent her to her new school with her lunch but 2 1/2 weeks went by and nothing was said so I stopped being nervous., until this AM.

There was a note in E's lunchbox on Friday:

I cried. I felt like such a bad mom, like I was being judged. 

I already struggle everyday with what I feed my child and if she is healthy enough. I often wonder if I should try food therapy or making her eat what I cook. 

Over the weekend I scoured the interwebz for ways to sneak veggies into a picky child's diet.

I found a ton of recipes but alot of them called for slipping the veggies into meatballs or meatloaf (two things she will not eat) so after quite the search I found 4 that I made work for us:

Granola Bars

before baking

after baking (soo good)

fresh Blueberries, dried Cranberries
chocolate chips
condensed milk and a little butter

The way I added veggies to this? I bough some baby food and I added 2 jars (carrots and squash) to the mix before I baked them and guess what? They are delicious and you can not taste the babyfood. Next time I make them I will puree my own veggies b/c I could have used 4 jars and still been okay. She had a small bar for breakfast and enjoyed it.


apples simmering

after adding the spinach/blueberry puree

4 apples, peeled and cored

The way I added veggies to this? I added pureed spinach (2.5c)+blueberries+lemon juice+water to her apple sauce. It is amazing and you can not taste the spinach. It has a little bit of zip. I love it and its purple so I hope E will love it too. 


mix w.added babyfood 

after baking

Muffin mix

How I added Veggies to this?
I added 2 jars of carrots to the mix and they are great. Very moist, a slight carrot taste. E did not like these but we will try again.

I spoke to E's teacher about what was in her lunch so they know there is in fact veggies in there... they are just disguised. E told me her teacher says I pack "junk" in her lunch box... I don't know if this is true but I am trying my best to be  the best mom I can. I don't know if I should talk to her teacher about the "junk" comment or not. I don't want to be "that mom" but I am so self conscious about my parenting. 

I will continue too look for inventive recipes to add more flavors and nutrients to E's diet. Any suggestions?


Keep up in between posts, I tweet, A lot.

-Kandid Kelli


Angela said...

I definitely think that you should speak with the teacher about her junk comment, because who knows what else she could be saying to E, or even other kids.
Have you heard of the cookbook Deceptively Delicious by Jessica Seinfeld? It's full of recipes that have sneaky veggie purees in them. I believe it is also full of tips for picky eaters! I actually own it, yet have never made anything from it. I think I may dust it off and give it a shot!

Amanda♥Lynne said...

I wouldn't wory about this too much. You are clearly mindful of her nutritional needs. I think it is actually awesome that they are so proactive about healthy food at school! I think those notes are intended for parents who are not familiar with healthy food choices, at home and for school lunch. Maybe even being in school with her peers enjoying the nutritious food that is being praised by the teachers will help her with broadening her diet. Most of the foods she does eat are not necessarily unhealthy. Yes, cheetos and french fries arent the greatest, but even cookies and sorbet can be used to disguise healthy foods(like you have been doing). As for her list of foods she wont eat, veggies is really the only thing that she is missing out on, and as you have figured out-you can sneak veggies into what she will eat. I bet ssome carrot waffles would be delicious! Good luck with your picky eater. Abram is not nearly as picky, but we are starting to enforce "eat this or nothing" at our house, and he HAS to eat three bits of each thing on his plate. I was a picky eater as a kid, i would gag if forced to eat veggies or meat. Luckily I outgrew it, as I'm sure E will.