This might not be the most popular stance, but we'd be lying if we didn't tell you we believe 'picky' eaters are not born - they are made. That said, in today's world of endless food choices we also believe it's hard not to end up with a 'picky' eater. White refined sugar + flour remain the primary ingredients in most popular kid's snacks and the cultural norms are unbelievably far from the ways we used to eat.
Here are 12 ideas for moms who want to nourish even the most 'picky' of eaters!
1. Grain-free Crackers
Simple Mills crackers are grain free (made with almond flour), yet Whit's littles love them as much as the highly processed carb alternatives on the market.
2. Alternative Gluten Free Pastas
If your child only wants pasta do their body a favor by rotating between the great alternative gluten free + high protein pastas on the market, Banza chickpea pasta is our favorite for texture, flavor + nutrition.
3. Quality Condiments
We love Primal Kitchen because they use avocado oil instead of canola and keep there ketchup free of refined sugars. Bryar, Whit's daughter, will only eat eggs with ketchup and both girls love to enjoy veggies sticks such as carrots, cucumbers + broccoli with Primal Kitchen ranch dressing.
4. Smoothies + Shakes
Kids might not always love the sound of a smoothie but they can normally get on board with a milk shake! Make quality smoothie/shakes with real food ingredients like avocado, nut milks, frozen spinach, frozen fruit, nut butters and a grassfed whey (the secret ingredient that makes them creamy + sweet and tasting a lot more like a milkshake then a smoothie). Smoothie/shakes are one of our favorite ways to get littles enjoying a balanced meal high in protein, fats + vegetables without complaining about it!
5. Homemade Paleo Baked Goods
Paleo baked goods can be a great way to sneak eggs into a littles diet if they are going through a 'no' egg phase. We love the blog Sweet Laurel for many wonderful recipes. The waffle recipe from our Prenatal Package is also a littles favorite.
6. Grain-free + Refined Oil Free Tortilla Chips
Siete chips are made with cassava flour + avocado oil. The Real Coconut chips are made with coconut flour + coconut oil and are seriously delicious. Whit's kids love these chips with guac or hummus for additional fat + protein! Simple change to get the refined, inflammatory oil OUT of their diets!
7. Hiding Veggies in Pasta Sauce
Most kids love pesto which can easily have more than just basil in it. Try making pesto with basil + arugula, spinach or kale to sneak more greens into your little's diets. You can also blend onion, zucchini + greens into a marinara sauce if your littles prefer that over pesto.
8. Homemade Ice Cream
One of the easiest ways to get quality fats into VERY picky eaters is homemade ice cream! That said, we would still make ice cream the reward for 'healthy eating' to create good habits ;) We love this keto ice cream recipe by The Roasted Root. Just make sure you are choosing grass-fed milk products whenever possible for the planet + your littles health.
9. Stars + Stickers
Create a chart with your children's names at the top. Every bite of quality food, 'please' + 'thank you' (or whatever you choose) will earn your child a star or sticker. Once they have 30 stickers (30 bites or about 3 meals) they get a small quality treat (for refined sugar free ideas check out this blog post).
10. Give your child an option!
'Would you like a smoothie/shake or a picnic plate of cheese, veggies + salami?' You get to lay out 2-3 meal options that are nutrient dense and they will feel empowered because they were able to 'choose' what they wanted.
Might seem unrelated but the gut to the taste buds is one long, inter-connected system and the flora in your littles tummies affects their taste buds. Dani has seen in clinical practice that using a therapeutic grade, multi strain probiotic to restore healthy levels of good bacteria does affect + change the way that little wants to eat.
12. Do your best to turn your 'picky' eater into an 'I'll eat whatever my mom gives me' eater.
Kids won't starve, eventually they will eat. It's just sometimes a matter of choosing your battles and who has a stronger will. Do your best to 'make' them eat what you give them by not giving into their request for something else if they don't like it. This is always easier at home, so start at your dinning table instead of the local restaurant, luckily we are all pretty homebound these days ;)
Do you have any other ideas you have for nourishing 'picky' eaters? If so we'd love to hear!
Xo Dani and Whitney