Mar 23, 2010

My Picky Eater

For those out there who have ever thought a baby or child with a picky appetite is that way because of their parents, you better stop right there! Charlotte is one of the pickiest eaters and I swear I have done nothing wrong!! It absolutely drives me crazy as I try to give her a balanced diet, yet she eats only a small list of foods, and sometimes will even refuse these.  I pull my hair out at meals while trying to keep a calm and pleasant demeanor for her sake. Foods she likes: waffles, mac n' cheese, grilled cheese, cheesy rice, Cream of Wheat, boxed cereal, applesauce, canned carrots, yogurt, and almost any Gerber snack (yogurt melts, puffs, wheels, crunchies). She'll occasionally eat string cheese and oranges. I've tried so many other things, and a lot of kid classics.  Epic failure.  Without even giving most foods a chance, she will tighten her lips, arch her back, fling back her head and push the food away with both hands. What a pistol!
I worry most about her protein intake. This is such an important nutrient for her development.  For fear of lack of nutrition, she gets toddler formula when she wakes up and again before bed.  I try to mixed canned chicken into a few of her foods and I have been meaning to try tofu. Peanut butter has not gone over well.
Are there any mothers out there who have had picky eaters and can give me some advice? (Mom - I know Meagan wasn't always a good eater.) I'm looking for advice on how to disguise foods or hide nutritious things in other foods. Please help me feed this baby and regain my sanity!


Amber said...

I have not YET had to deal with a picky eater! It sounds miserable! BUT I leant my friend with a picky eater my "Deceptively Delicious" cookbook and she said her daughter will eat some of the recipes! Also, I know that she makes chicken noodle soup and purees all of the veggies into the broth to disguise them. Makes the broth thicker, but it is yummy!

Anonymous said...

I made tofu from scratch when Emily was little. Can't remember how but I mixed it into applesauce or oatmeal. She liked it. Give her a chance to get hungry so she'll want to eat. But in the end, some kids are just finicky. My girls ate like birds.Also Charlotte is a smart cookie. Kids use food to manipulate their parents.It's a way to control their environment. don't let her get a rise out of you and get into a power struggle. If she doesn't want it take it away but don't keep offering her different choices. I used to tell my kids,"This isn't Alice's restaurant where you can get anything you want".If none of this works maybe call Jo Frost? Linda

Dave, Anna and Madison said...

Tofu is a good tasteless protein source and can blend so easily with any other pureed foods:-) Madison loves tofu and I give it to her all the time since I don't give her a lot of meat except chicken... and good luck, I hope it will get easier soon! Oh have you tried a smoothie? with yogurt, tofu, banana,etc...? She likes yogurt so it may be a good one(although I'm sure you've tried it before...)

Jacqueline said...

A few of my friends have stuck turkey, spinach, and much more in pancakes. They say their kids love them. They make them ahead of time and freeze them.

Charlotte might be too smart for what I use with Matthew...I stick EVERYTHING (peas, green beans, chicken) in his yogurt when he is being picky.

Jennifer said...

One thing that has really worked for my girls (ages 2 and 4) is food coloring. This might sound silly, but they will at least TRY anything that is their favorite color. I go through insane quantities of red and blue, but it is worth it. They also think I made a special meal just for them. Scrambled eggs, yogurt, gnocchi, turkey meatballs, even milk.

My girls don't really like proteins either, forget beef of any kind and chicken is a stretch unless it is fried, which makes me cringe. What they do LOVE is shelled edamame. Whole Foods sells it shelled in the frozen section. I always have about 3 bags in my freezer. I just blanch in salted water for 5 minutes. They eat it like popcorn either hot or cold.
I would be cautious about tofu, while a good source of protein, their are several studies that suggest it is not as much of a superfood as once thought.

Another thing I like to do is hide veggies in their mac n' cheese. Pureed carrots and/or cauliflower work well, you just have to play with the quantity - too much and they notice.

Something I am just starting to get creative with is Almond flour. So far banana bread made with almond flour and honey is the hit of our house. No refined sugar, low in fat, a great source of protein and they think it is dessert! I fully intend on adding zucchini and other veggies I can hide in it.

Hope all this helps! I would be happy to send you the almond flour banana bread recipe if you are interested!