I almost can't believe it. It's finally happened!
My once very agreeable and easy-to-feed 2 year old has now, all of a sudden, has become...
A picky eater!
No, no, this can't be. What happened to that little boy who used to steal broccoli off my plate?
Up to this point, my little guy, Christian, was more than happy to eat any healthy concoction I put together for him...veggies, fruits, a variety of proteins. Everything I ate, he would eat and was more than happy with any meal Mommy made for him.
Now, he has started to voice his strong opinion on different foods...and by that I mean, waving his hands over his face with a strong "NO!"
But, I'm up for the challenge. As committed as I am to feeding myself and my husband healthy food, I am even more committed to feeding my children healthy food.
Here are the rules I use to prepare Christian's food (pretty much the exact SAME rules I use for myself):
- Include a protein source into every meal (this includes snacks). I always make sure to include a natural protein source to keep his blood sugar from spiking and crashing during the day. I do think that many times children have meltdowns because of low blood sugar (and other times, they are just being kids!). Christian's favorites are eggs, meatballs, chicken (only if it's cooked in coconut oil) and scallops (only if they are on mommy's plate...hahaha). For snacks, I will include a few raw almonds, brazil nuts, walnuts or almond butter.
- Include raw food several times a day. It is not necessary to go "all raw," as some people promote, but I do think that the inclusion of one or two raw foods into each meal, with all enzymes intact, assists in the proper digestion of the whole meal. I have known some people to go an entire day only consuming cooked foods, with nothing raw in their daily meals, only to suffer from gastrointestinal distress, gas pains, and bloating. Many times this can be easily resolved by just adding a few raw foods into each meal. Christian's favorites are raw carrots and cucumbers with Celtic sea salt and olive oil. He'll also eat cauliflower (only if it's raw), and that's pretty much it. I've tried some other veggies, only to get the furious hand wave. He loves all fruits, so he'll usually have an apple, pear, banana, or kiwi with some raw nuts for snacks.
- Include one complex carb that is wheat free and gluten free. I truly believe wheat and gluten create havoc in most people's bodies...yes, even children. I know my son will be exposed to many different foods as he gets older, but at home, I will continue to feed him (as I do myself) wheat free and gluten free options. This does NOT mean I purchase any of those "gluten free" processed foods, which are overloading the supermarket shelves these days. It does mean I include rice, quinoa (he LOVES quinoa), and all varieties of potatoes.
- Include one or more healthy forms of fat into his meal. Most children (and most adults) are just not getting enough healthy fats or Omega-3s every single day. Christian is a huge fan of coconut, loves avocados and enjoys nuts with his snacks.
It sounds like my kid is eating pretty healthy right?
Well, I will give myself a pat on the back and say, yes, my child still does enjoy a variety of healthy foods, but there is just one problem...
He will NOT eat any other veggies than the few I mentioned above. Long gone are the days of zucchini, spinach, broccoli...not even the occasional asparagus. He will start saying NO even before you've put these foods in front of him.
What is a mommy to do?
So far I have used 2 very successful strategies to "trick" him into eating his veggies.
Hide veggies in meatballs. My Turkey-Vegetable meatballs are a perfect example of this strategy. These are so delicious and he'll never know there's healthy zucchini in them.
I've started giving him one Daily Energy shake each morning. I wasn't sure that he was going to drink this, but the first time I gave it to him, he drank the entire thing and asked for "mas" (that's more in Spanish). I put water, 1/2 tsp Daily Energy, and 1 tsp of raw honey in his sippy cup and shook it up really well. I told myself ahead of time that if he didn't drink it, I would then take that mixture and put it in a blender with a banana...but that wasn't necessary. He loved it.
Daily Energy is really just "real food" in powder form which is why I feel 100% safe giving it to my son and drinking it myself every day. It has often been called "nutritional insurance" - exactly why I give it to Christian every day - because with his pickiness around veggies, I want to ensure that he's getting all necessary vitamins and minerals every day. The added benefit is that he is also getting healthy probiotics and digestive enzymes.
Please discuss anything you may add to your child's regimen with your physician or health care provider first. Remember every child is different and may have different needs.
Daily Energy ⇐ See what's in it!