He used to be the topic of many of my blog posts when he was a toddler and preschooler. My son, Evan (read here), is now 11 years old and he’s been the child that was much more sensitive to smells, textures and flavors. For instance, he used to gag at the smell of broccoli. This made feeding him quite the challenge.
August is Kids Eat Right Month, and parents often wonder how to get their kids to “eat right” if they have an Evan in their home. The way I answer that question is to keep the feeding behaviors properly divided and you will progress at the best pace for that unique child.
As parents, we want to nourish our children with wholesome foods. In order to achieve that goal, we often go about things in a way that further the issues our children have with food. Keep these things in mind when feeding your little ones:
Eat or Not. One thing I never made Evan do is eat a particular food. He always had an option! The one bite rule is not typically good for kids that are visibly shaken at the thought of trying something. It only makes the anxiety worse around that food. Instead, no pressure!
No Separate Meals. One of the worst things we can do to progress our selective eater is to fix a separate meal than the family. What motivation will that give for trying new foods?
This or That. If the child is eating breakfast or lunch alone, provide two acceptable options for them to choose from. This allows them the choice, but you can make either choice acceptable. Keep those choices rotated for optimal variety.
More Than The Dinner Table. We wonder why our kids are so picky when we don’t involve them with any other aspect other than eating. Start as early as possible to involve your children with the menu planning, grocery shopping and making of meals. Take cooking classes or even visit your local farmer’s market with your kiddos. Make food experiences fun, and not always a pressure to eat.
Family-Style or Buffet. Meal setup allows a child to have "plate freedom." Keep meals unassembled so they can put it together in the way they want. One may want to mix it all while others may want it all separate. Let them choose what they want to eat within the meal provided.
Dinner Menu. One of things I loved that my mom did growing up was her dinner menus she posted each week. That allowed us to get excited about the meals coming that week. One thing you can do is allow your kids to pick meals they like so everyone can have their favorite to look forward to – it also shows your children that food choices do not revolve around one person. It’s a family thing.
Back to my Evan. He’s really come around with food! I followed all the divisions of responsibilities listed above and now, he’s picked this fun recipe to make with me in celebration of Kid’s Eat Right Month. It is out of Toby Amidor’s best selling book, Smart Meal Prep for Beginners. This one was totally managed (and eaten!) by Mr. Evan Lemond, emerging eater.
Makes 4 Waffles
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 Minutes
Nonstick cooking spray
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
2 large eggs, beaten
¼ cup low-fat (1%) milk
¼ cup 100% pure maple syrup
½ cup unsweetened applesauce
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 medium zucchini, shredded
1 cup fresh or thawed frozen blueberries
- Preheat a standard waffle iron and coat with cooking spray.
- In a medium bowl, sift together the all-purpose flour, whole-wheat pastry flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.
- In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, maple syrup, applesauce, and oil.
- Gently fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just combined, being careful to not overmix. Gently fold in the zucchini and blueberries until incorporated.
- Cook the waffles for about 6 minutes, or according to your waffle iron’s instructions, using 1 cup of batter per waffle. Transfer the cooked waffle to a plate, and repeat with the remaining batter to make a total of 4 waffles.
- Slice each waffle in half, and place one half in each of 8 resealable containers.
Storage. Place airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. To freeze, place freezer-safe containers in the freezer for up to 2 months. To defrost, refrigerate overnight. To reheat, microwave uncovered on high for 45 seconds, or reheat in a toaster oven.
Per Serving (1/2 waffle): Calories: 281; Total Fat: 7g; Saturated Fat: 1g; Protein: 8g; Total Carbs: 47g; Fiber 3g; Sugar: 16g; Sodium: 359 mg.
For more tips, tricks and resources all month long, follow the #KERMonth and #KidsInTheKitchen hashtag on Facebook, Instagram and/or Twitter. Also, visit the Kids Eat Right website for tons of information about feeding kids right.
Be sure to grab Toby's book that shoud be in every busy families kitchen! Meal Prep for Beginners on Amazon for only $15.29.