This past week I received a note from a mother who sounded frustrated and discouraged about her young child’s picky appetite. I think most mom’s, who have more that one child, can say they’ve had at least one picky eater. It’s distressing and frustrating. We want our kids to be strong and grow healthy. We want them to like the food we prepare and we want them to be thankful for our efforts. Added to that desire can be the stress of food intolerances, and we have a real dilemma on our hands.
Out of our three children, we’ve had two picky eaters. Our third child is the pickiest. She has always been a light eater, and gets frequent tummy aches. Over the years I’ve learned what triggers her tummy aches and limit or eliminate those foods from her diet. She is compliant with those issues, because she has seen, and felt, the consequences of eating the wrong foods. One thing I’ve learned is to let go of my anxiety that she’s not getting enough. She’s growing and healthy. She sleeps well and is generally happy. She has always had a very positive attitude and all of those things can change in a moment with the wrong foods.
How I deal with this struggle is, not only letting go of my control, but also to let her enjoy the healthy foods that she likes, even if that’s all she will eat for the next 10 years! Some people don’t grow up into more diverse foods until they’re adults. While this may not be the optimal thing for their bodies, they will survive and can thrive on a few favorite items. When eating out, which is rare, I always pack something for her to eat, like a sun butter or peanut butter sandwich. She usually won’t eat at restaurants except Whole Foods food bar, and if she goes too long without food she gets extremely irritable and HANGRY!
Another problem we’ve had with all of our kids is that they’ll love a food for a little while and then all of a sudden they don’t want it anymore! That’s exasperating!
This post is to encourage others who are discouraged about their picky eater. They will grow out of it, but for now, give them the healthiest options that you know they will eat over and over and over and over and ……….
Our daughters favorite foods are listed below for your reference. Maybe your picky eater will enjoy these as well.
Her food intolerances are gluten, dairy, eggs, oats, and too many fried foods like chips, or fries (she rarely has fries)
- Apple with Peanut Butter or Sunflower Butter
- Cheerios twice a week (they’re oats, but she doesn’t have trouble if she doesn’t eat them every day)
- Gluten Free Pancakes Here, Here and Here
- Corn Muffins
- Paleo Sunflower Banana Muffins
- Grain Free Peanut Butter Banana Muffins
- Van’s frozen waffles on occasion (they contain soy, so I don’t buy them very often)
- Udi’s toast with coconut oil, monk fruit and cinnamon
- Grain Free Banana Bread
- Apple Snickerdoodle Biscuits
- Paleo Raspberry Scones
- Banana Biscuits
- Paleo Pear/Pecan Bread
- Paleo Apple Salad
- Paleo Pear and Pecan Salad
- Papaya Shortbread
- Paleo Berry Granola (with coconut milk yoghurt or almond milk)
- Paleo Chocolate Chip Scones
- Grain Free Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins
- Paleo/Vegan Zucchini Bread
- Marvelous Mango Muffins
- Marvelous Mango Paleo Granola
- Gluten Free Cinnamon Spice Rice Pudding
- Applegate farms Roasted Turkey Breast
- Tuna with Mayonnaise… Here and here are two egg free options.
- Carrots and Hummus
- PB and Honey on Udi’s bread
- Sunflower Butter and Honey on Udi’s bread (when in public settings where there may be a peanut allergy)
- Trader Joe’s Beef Jerky (the gluten free one)
- Gluten Free Noodles with coconut oil, sea salt and a touch of tomato paste
- Freeze Dried Apples or Mangoes (Trader Joe’s has the mangoes)
- The muffins listed above
- Corn chips with humus or Our favorite guacamole
- Avocado slices
- Watermelon (this is actually a vegetable!)
- Sunflower Seeds
- Sweet Potato Pudding
- Dark Chocolate
- Chocolate Fig Protein Bites
- Paleo Berry Granola or Udi’s gluten free granola (these contain oats)
- Marvelous Mango Pudding
- Mouth Watering Baked Chicken
- The Most Amazing Butternut Squash Soup
- Quick Pan Sausage
- Smack Your Mama Tuna or Salmon Patties
- Awesome Sockeye Salmon
- Bodacious Steak Tips
- Roasted Baby Carrots
- Savory Biscuits
- Raw Sugar Snap Peas
- Spaghetti Squash Pasta Salad
- Vegan Braised Cabbage (one of her favorites!)
- Black Olives (We use Lindsey Naturals, because they don’t contain harmful chemicals)
- Vegan/Paleo Chocolate Ice Cream
- Raspberry Pudding Pops
- Marvelous Mango Pudding Pops
- Chocolate Covered Cherry Pudding Pops
- Vegan and Grain Free Strawberry Shortcake
- Chocolate Covered Raspberry Pudding
- Amazing Paleo Berry Brownies
- Sugar Free Chocolates
She will also eat Chik Fil A grilled chicken nuggets, which I don’t advocate fast food, but sometimes it’s a necessity. We eat there VERY rarely. It’ll do in a pinch.
So after looking at this list, it seems that our girl isn’t doing too bad. There are just so many foods that we eat that she turns her nose to. Especially vegetables. To ensure that she gets enough vitamins, I give her 200 mcg. Seeking Health Folinic Acid Lozenge, 1/3 of a B-Minus from Seeking Health, 1/4 of a Hydroxo B12 from Seeking Health, 250 mg vitamin C, 4 Nordic Naturals Children’s DHA, 400IU’s of liquid Vitamin D in the morning and 3 Bluebonnet Rainforest Animalz Calcium with Magnesium and Vitamin D (chewable) at night. I mix the B Minus into her nut butter in the morning.
I hope this gives you some great ideas for how to nourish your picky eater and get some peace of mind.