Mr 6 loves breakfast but we struggle with dinner and veggies
29/11/2018 at 10:48 pm #8923Dianne CodyParticipant
Dinner and getting in some veges to Mr 6 is challenging. He loves the frozen corn, peas and carrots so if he had that every night he would eat it. I grow most of our veges and I like him to try at least one of everything, he doesn’t have to eat it all. They say after 100 goes on their plate that they might learn to like it. Well he must have been offered some veges hundreds and hundreds of times and yet he still doesn’t really want to eat them though this week he did have lettuce! He does get served veges in different ways, he gets fickle so one night he wants them cooked, the next raw, and short of me checking in with him with everything every night when I am busy …. We don’t eat a lot of takeaways, he doesn’t like McDonalds – well only the chips and his favourite would be butter chicken from the Indian store. He can tell if I make it as I don’t get it quite to his liking. Ideally I’d like to put more veges into his lunch box but they just don’t get eaten so am giving up on that though saying that he does have some fresh peas, well see if they get eaten – they didn’t they he would eat them at home.
Textures seems to be a big thing for him (he will gag on some potato and kumara) and there’s no way he would try a nut or anything too crunchy. THe fruit needs to be just so, no bruises or anything and when I grow or buy organic which isn’t always as good looking it gets rejected. He doesn’t eat a lot of processed food. His older sister is great with most things.
He was breastfed till about 1 and about 5.5 months starting solids. He did like things like legumes pureed, now he won’t be so keen.
Love to see others ideas on this topic, thanks.
02/12/2018 at 11:01 am #8927Genevieve SimperinghamKeymaster
Oh gosh Dianne
@dicokd That sounds so stressful, it’s so worrying when we’re concerned our kids aren’t getting enough of their good nutrition into them. How frustrating to have the healthiest possible foods he could eat in your garden but he resists them.
Has he been quite picky right from the beginning of eating solid foods? Tell me about the beginning when first eating solids. Were his foods whole foods at that point mostly, or did you use the processed foods quite a bit? Have you read my article “when the meal table becomes a battle ground?” You might get some ideas from that. One of the best approaches, like with any issue that has become charged and can easily lead to power struggles, is to use humour. I would imagine Tabitha also talked with you about this one? I would be very curious to know how he responds to that? And I’d also recommend doing some journaling around it yourself to see if you can work through some of your own frustrations around it. You’ll never not care or give up, but the less powerless and frustrated you feel the easier it’ll be to help him regulate his emotions around his reactions to food. I agree with Tabitha about reducing the pressure. It’s this tricky balancing act between become more relaxed and light around the issue, while also continuing to try new things.
Cooked or steamed veggies sitting on a plate on their own are usually not the most appealing to children, but no doubt you’ve worked with making interesting sauces and dressings? For instance I make black bean burgers for our family sometimes and there are SO many veggies in it but it doesn’t really look like veggies. We just have them because they’re always loved but this can also be a good approach when a child has developed a negative association or a dislike of certain veggies. Also most veggies become more tasty when they’re baked, you can bake with extra virgin coconut oil. How does he go with baked eggplant, sweet potato, onions, mushrooms, carrots, parsnips, brussel sprouts etc? Have you tried the green smoothies? How does he respond to them, you can put some coconut cream/ milk and peanut butter and also get in some chia and linseeds for those omega 3’s? I make buckwheat bread with buckwheat goats, some buckwheat flour, psyllium husks, coconut oil, Himalayan salt, some stevia, sometimes guar gum and water and it’s very yummy, low GI, gluten and dairy free and a really good source of protein.
If his natural appetite for vegetables has been disrupted by eating processed foods I would really work to avoid bought sauces that have the sugar and salt, but you could perhaps use canned organic whole tomatoes and coconut milk to make sauces and curries. Dressings for salads can include a little bit of honey and tahini to make it more creamy can make salads more tasty for some children, or a tahini sauce with tahini, water, chia seeds, lemon juice, Himalayan salt, maybe a splash of almond or soy milk (organic)
can be a yummy addition to meals. Also sautéed onions slow cooked can add natural sweetness. If he’s got a taste for sweetness just bring in more of the natural sugars and wean out anything with processed sugar. So a yummy desert can be fruit salad or cooked bananas with coconut yogurt. Or chocolate sauce can be made with organic dates (softened in boiling water for a minute), peanut butter/ tahini, cacao powder and almond /soy milk, blended in a bullet or blender.
What foods does he tend to enjoy for breakfast? If they have that higher GI (glycemic index), that might start the blood sugar spikes and drops which leads to and maintains the sugar/carb craving cycle. If he’s not already eat whole foods for breakfast maybe you could make a museli with organic whole oats or buckwheat groats, nuts, seeds, shredded coconut. You might need to slowly dial down the sugar content by using a bit of the natural sweeteners. If you give me more details on the food he enjoys that might give me more of the picture.
You might be aware that when babies are introduced to processed sugar and processed salt too early it can disrupt their more natural instincts for whole foods. Do you wonder about sensory processing issues, is it something you’ve looked in to? There are quite a few related resources in our forums (you can do a search). There’s a whole chain of reactions physiologically and emotionally as well (so interlinked) if children become dependent on the unhealthy sugars, salts and fats and indeed it can even happen through too much of the healthy sugars and when this happens then it’s really important to get as much of the sugar and processed salt containing foods out of the child’s diet to get them back to a healthy state of internal balance that will free them of craving the sugars.
Dairy can play a bit part in the craving because it’s also one of the most addictive foods (I think it’s the casein that the brain goes crazy for), does he like or dislike dairy products? I don’t know if I’m barking up the wrong tree (to use an Irish expression lol!) with this line of thought, but him wishing for the more processed breads and white rice made me wonder if he’s sugar craving. If this is the case maybe try a month, or at least 2 weeks of planning out your meals and reducing your sugars and carbs and fruits to the very minimum, less than 25 grams a day and see if he starts to have a higher tolerance for his veggies. I have a couple of really good books recommended in the books section on eliminating the sugar cravings, let me know if they’re not easy to find and I’ll grab links?
If you suspect that there are sensory issues at play there, there’s a few good resources here in the forums (general forum from memory but you could do a search) or I can find them for you if you want to explore that a bit further.
02/12/2018 at 11:32 am #8930
03/12/2018 at 11:32 pm #8932Dianne CodyParticipant
Thanks for the insight. He was breastfed till about 5.5 months and had a mix of homemade or organic options. He’s been fairly fussy from the beginning though did use to like legumes though these aren’t his favourite always though maybe I need to mash them up a bit more as he did eat them like that. We have mainly raw milk and for breakfast he will have eggs, porridge sometimes with molasses or fruit added, sometimes plain. He likes lots of milk with it. Sometimes weetbix, not usually many other options. He wouldn’t eat a muesli option – think too lumpy or too much texture for him. Water is the main option 90% of the time. It’s unusual for me to buy much processed foods like muesli type bars. His older sister often makes something for lunches though he doesn’t eat a lot of this. He will eat seaweed crackers for lunch, bigger corn crackers sometimes, ham and cheese sandwich or marmite sandwich, often on a spelt bread from the local wholefood place or vogels, plain popcorn. Have tried giving dinner left overs but these aren’t eaten as he doesn’t like to be too different to his mates I think. Always fruit and often something like a homemade muffin with limited sweeetner. Sometimes potato -often if in chip form best, no to kumara which would be a carb we eat a bit of, rice, sometimes pasta like a udon with salmon and mixed frozen vege he likes, butter chicken, meat often not eaten a lot of. He’s started to like lettuce, sometimes he will eat carrots, other times not. Loves kale chips. Sometimes broccolli, sometimes not Def no to nuts, will ocassionally eat a scorched almond as it has choc on but most of the time he doesn’t like chocolate. Probably fickle is a term I would use. Some other ideas here I will try, thanks.
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