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  • Writer's pictureAmy Slater

Kids and food battles: Stay the course

I think one of the most difficult things about meal planning for kids is the fear that they won’t like the meal. Food is expensive, and time to plan and prepare it is expensive! What happens if they won’t eat it?

The girls are almost two and a half and they have moments of food protests. One day they love sardines and the next day they push the plate away and say, “I don’t want that!” My solution is to wait it out. And, man, sometimes it can be brutal! They are stubborn and know how to pitch a fit. It would be SOOO easy to give them something to quiet them down during dinner. But, in the long run, it will make life much more difficult.

Take this beautiful little breakfast…broth cooked oats with grass-fed butter, basil, sage, and hemp seeds. They LOVED this dish, until, Friday when they did not want anything to do with it. Annabelle took one look and said, “no want that” and pushed the bowl clear across the table. Of course, Maddy saw Annabelle and did the same thing. So, I stayed the course, kept the same flavors, but mixed in some frozen blueberries.

Success! They reluctantly at first, noted Annabelle’s expression on the right, took a bite, and then gobbled it down. Secretly inside I did a little happy dance as it is so great for them to get that glycine-rich broth in their little growing tummies.

Sometimes, you have to plan ahead for the inevitable pushback you may get from the “sight” of new or different food. I like to combine the favorite and familiar foods with new flavors. Once you stimulate their taste buds with something they know, they are more likely to try the new food.

I tried out a new sauce yesterday at dinner. It had a bit of a bite to it so I knew all four kids would say, “it stings my mouth!” Followed closely by, I can’t eat it!! I was prepared…

I cut the girls’ mahi-mahi into small bites with little hints of sauce on the top combined with familiar favorites… sardines, green beans, sauerkraut, sweet potato with butter and pepper, and avocado with salt and olive oil. No-fuss! They ate everything on their plate, saved the mahi-mahi for last, and tasted a few bites! William’s plate is on the right with a full piece of mahi-mahi topped with my fabulous new sauce, cauliflower with butter and pepper, baked potato with butter, green beans, and sauerkraut. William ate half of his fish fully dressed in the sauce! YES!! Happy Me!!

The sauce was created in my dream blender (Vitamix)! I used an orange, 5 cloves of garlic, 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar, 1/4 cup olive oil, 1 cup cilantro, and 1/2 cup basil blend it up and you have a sauce!

When all else fails… just surround the said food with jungle animals!

Kids are tricky and I am learning more every day! I learn the most from my many fails.

Until next time!!

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