Monday, December 3, 2012

Fighting The Good Fight - Against Picky Eating

Friday was once again grocery day. Before-hand I made sure to ask as many mommies as I could about what they have done when their children enter phases of picky eating.

Here are some of the bits and pieces of info that I found particularly helpful that perhaps other parents going through a similar hard time may find of some use as well.

- Drinks only after meals. Not during to avoid your child filling up

- Only water between meals

- Is there any chance your child may have a food sensitivity?

- If your child is teething they may find eating a lot of foods painful

- "... kids around 2 just sometimes say things because they like communicating. She may just be saying she's hungry because she likes for you to react to her."

- "What about a muffin tin full of healthy snacks set at her level so that she can graze all day? She won't starve herself and some of this sounds like Quinny wanting to take control. Definitely fruit in one cup, string cheese or cheese cubes in another, goldfish crackers in a third and maybe some baby carrots in another one? Offer her a variety and let her choose."

- "There are snack bowls w/handles and a rubber lid that has slits in it so the toddler can reach their hand in & pull out finger foods but it provides some spill protection. Munchkin makes them & I think Gerber does too. Have you tried those? It is also great for letting her snack in the car. She can still make a mess, hopefully it just takes a bit longer"

- "We loved those snack bowls when my girls were toddlers. Ideas...what about the freeze dried fruits and veggies from Just Peas? I know they're a bit expensive, but it could help as a transition away from all the candy and junk. Freeze the yogurt tubes and let her have one."

- "Food boot camp. Worked like a charm for us but most importantly it changed their entire attitude about food." take away all of their favourite foods and make all new things. "Then they earn back their favorites after a week or two. But they have to have 3 bites before they can say if they like it or not. Now the girls eat a lot of new food and its not always tears when there is something new to eat. They are glad to try it. I also try to have them taste each thing as it goes in so they understand the flavor changes."

- " I do food boot camp stuff as well, but not for super young kids. I do it a little differently though. I don't have an "earn things back" part. I just serve what I serve and they can eat it or not. If they complain about it, then we don't have any of the special food (pizza, etc) for a long time until they have changed their attitudes about the healthy stuff. This goes over better with older children though. With toddlers, the trick though is to get rid of all the junky foods. Don't have them in the house at ALL. That way it isn't even an option. I have a super finicky eater (Lydia). That's why at 27 months, she only weighs 21lbs. She is insanely picky and fickle about what and when she will eat. At first, I 'd give her whatever she wanted because I just wanted her to EAT, kwim? But then, it became unfair to my older two because they wanted the things I was giving Lydia AND it wasn't good for her. What I do now is require her to sit at the table with us at every meal. I serve her a plate of food and if she eats, fine. If not, fine. I've found that putting the food in front of her and making her sit down helped. She still won't always eat much, but she will at least usually eat a few bites. I serve her what I serve everyone else. In between meals, I offer only certain foods: fruits, popcorn (plain-no salt, no butter-- and the good kind, not the microwaveable bags), peanuts, raisins, yogurt, dheese cubes, homemade granola etc. They won't starve themselves and if they are truly hungry, they will eventually eat something that you have. If you have removed the junk, you won't be tempted to give in to the whining for it or to hand it over because of their refusal of other things. ALSO my kids are allowed only one cup of milk and one cup of juice per day (I dilute juice until age 4 about 3/4 water, 1/4 juice) an only WITH meals. The rest of the time they have to drink water. That keeps them from filling up on drink so they won't eat later. Oh yeah, and I became a master at hiding pureed veggies in other things"

-" ... get milk with breakfast and dinner and juice with lunch. Water only after that and limited snacks since they fill up on those and then won't eat much of their meals. Thought I do serve healthy snacks, they'd rather eat yogurt and cheese and fruit than eat their meals. So no snacks 2 hours before a meal. They are pretty accustomed to it now and I rarely have to say more than "so we need to go back to food boot camp or are you going to try this new stuff?" They'd much rather try it for a few bites than eat it everyday for a week, lol"

- "You can also "healthify" favorite foods. Macaroni & Cheese=instead of using the boxed processed kind, make your own and mix in peas or veggies. Use less cheese and butter and use whole wheat pasta. Mix carrots into pasta sauces. This is my favorite recipe for chicken nuggets and it has spinach in the breading! You can't even taste it!
 Put sweet potato or pumpkin puree in muffins or pancakes, use whole wheat flour in place of all purpose, get plain yogurt and add honey instead of flavored yogurts that are full of sugar, etc.
I also make "popsicles" with healthy ingredients: fruit AND vegetable juices (buy a juicer!), yogurt with real strawberries and flax seed with a little honey, etc
I make pita pizzas with whole wheat pita bread, tomato sauce with some oregano mixed in and cheese. You can mix pureed spinach into the sauce there too"

- "If my girls start to go overboard with something I just remove it from the house. Then they aren't upset with me bc I said no, they are just upset bc we don't have anymore, lol."

- "Can you get some of those nutritional shakes for kids?"

- "Does she go to daycare? I don’t stress too much over dinner because {Little Lamb} pretty much always eats all of his food at daycare, even the fruit & veggies, because…monkey see, monkey do."

- "If she likes bread, could you try some breads or muffins with veggies and fruits baked in?"

- "The head of UCDavis’ pediatric gastroenterology department suggested using Carnatian Instant Breakfast"

Here are a couple of links provided by a helpful mommy:

After preparing a detailed grocery list I was ready to hit the store. I did my best to stick RIGHT to the list and not just browse every aisle to remember what I may have forgotten.
 While I unloaded the car the little lamb kept telling me she was hungry so I tried some of these veggie crunchers on her first. She ate most of her bowl but brought me the rest and asked for something else.
 The problem with these banana chips is that there aren't enough for more than one sitting if your child loves bananas like mine does.
 Because she decided she liked raisins the day before I made sure to get plenty.
One of these bananas didn't even make it out of the store intact! In fact she learned the word banana on the spot.

 Lots and lots of frozen fruit to make smoothies with.
Frozen veggies for smoothies and some veggies that come with cheese. Usually I'm not all for that but right now what I'm all for it keeping my childs immune system strong and her belly full.

My biggest problems this time may have been 1) maybe too  much fruit 2) probably too little food for the hubs and I.

Okay, I deviated from the list a little.

I've been trying to keep my Pintrest boards as easy to navigate as possible which has left me having quite a few boards. One of the more recent boards that directly pertains to this particular blog post is the one for "kids recipes"; there you will find recipes for smoothies and things like that to feed your children.

If you're interested in interesting looking kid snacks and things like that then you'd be interested in the "kid food" board.

No comments:

Post a Comment