6 tips for dealing with picky eaters

So I've had some recent experiences with my so soon to be 2 year old son that have left me feeling the need to share (or vent) about the picky eating scene.  I thought that since I've been working so hard since day 1 to raise a well-rounded eater there would be no issues....I was wrong!  My son has an opinion of his own and has since 25 hours old so it shouldn't be a surprise that he wants a say in the kitchen.  Randomly today I stumbled upon this New York Times article titled "6 Food Mistakes Parents Make".  I hate to say it but we've made some of these mistakes in my house and you may have too.  It's always nice to have a reminder so here you go:

1.  Sending children out of the kitchen: Research proves that kids who help in the kitchen are more likely to be adventurous eaters so pick your battles.  Is it easier to clean up from a messy meal making session or fight about eating those veggies?  By the way, now that Sam is almost 2, I can't wait to check out The Kids Table to do some hands on cooking classes.

2.  Pressuring children to take a bite: Kids who were rewarded if they "took a bite of their vegetables" ended up being less likely to eat the foods they were rewarded for eating.  While this may sound counter-intuitive, we can see the rationale. 

3.  Keeping 'good stuff' out of reach:  In a research study, kids who were told they could have cookies sitting in a jar in the middle of the table after 10 minutes ate more cookies than the kids sitting at a table with a plate of cookies and no restrictions.  Interesting!  We've all probably done this one...oops!

4.  Dieting in front of your children: Children pick up on everything.  Our relationship with food is no exception.

5.  Serving boring vegetables:  It's okay to put cheese, ranch dressing or butter on the veggies you're serving both your children and yourself.  The fat in these toppings is vital for our bodies to absorb the fat soluble vitamins in the veggies.. 

6.  Giving up too soon:  Give it 15 attempts.  This seems like a lot but it works.  Who said anything about raising kids was time efficient.

Another interesting idea is to limit the number of snacks your child has.  According to Bringing Up Bebe, the new book written by an American mother raising her children in France, french children aren't picky eaters.  The author, Pamela Druckerman, claims this is because they aren't given snacks all day so they will be hungry for the food that is served for meals.  In theory, this is a great idea and something worth considering.  Now if I can only pry the snack-pack out of my son's hands...

So now for the fun part.  Here are some healthy recipes we've tried lately with great success.  Please do share if you have any great recipes for kids!

I substituted oat flour for the wheat and they were easy for on the go and a great english muffin substitute for me topped with a poached egg and avocado.

I ended up baking these at 350 for about 20 minutes or so in a cupcake pan so we could also take them on the go.  I added a splash of vanilla and substituted maple syrup.  Next time I'll add even more blueberries!

Coconut fudgsicles- a must try!

60 calorie creamy chocolate fudgsicles :: * 2 T cocoa powder * 1/2 cup canned coconut milk * 2 small, very-ripe bananas (200g) * scant 1/16 tsp salt * 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract * optional: feel free to add peanut butter! Combine all items in a blender. Pour into popsicle molds and freeze.  PS, I love my stainless steel popsicle molds!

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